The Audio Interchange File Format, (ending aif, more rarely also aiff) was developed by Apple in the late 80s and represents the standard audio format on the Macintosh operating system. The equivalent on Windows systems is the resource Interchange File Format (extension riff).
In a standard AIF file, the audio data contained is stored uncompressed as PCM. Therefore, such files are quite large. In addition to the standard format, there is also the AIFC format, which also knows various types of compression. Although there is a native extension for this on the Mac (AIFC), only the AIF or AIF suffix is often used for compressed AIF files. However, most applications can still play these files without any problems.
On Windows, it should be noted that most applications can not cope with all compression methods. Here only iTunes or the Quicktimeplayer helps, because these programs can deal with all variants.