What Is an AAF File?

How to open, edit, & convert AAF files

What to Know

This article describes what an AAF file is, how to open one, and how to convert one to a different file format like MP3, MP4, or WAV.

What Is an AAF File?

A file with the AAF file extension is an Advanced Authoring Format file. It contains complex multimedia information like video and audio clips, as well as metadata information for that content and project.

Most video editing programs utilize proprietary formats for their project files. When multiple programs support the importing and exporting of AAF files, it's easy to move the working contents of a project from one application to another.

several AAF files in Windows 10

The format was developed by the Advanced Media Workflow Association and is being standardized through the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

AAF is also short for anti-aliasing filter, but that has nothing to do with the file format described on this page. The internet slang terms as a friend and always and forever can be shortened to AAF as well.

How to Open an AAF File

Several programs exist that are compatible with AAF files, including Adobe's After Effects and Premiere Pro, Apple's Final Cut Pro, Avid's Media Composer (formerly Avid Xpress), Sony's Vegas Pro, and more. These programs use the file to import project information from another AAF supporting program or export it for use in another.

See Adobe's directions for importing AAF projects from Avid Media Composer if you need help exporting an AAF file from Avid's software and importing it into Premiere Pro.

Many files are text-only files, meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor (like one from our Best Free Text Editors list) may be able to properly display the file's contents. However, this probably isn't the case with AAF files. At best, you might be able to view some metadata or file header information in a text editor, but considering the multimedia components of this format, we highly doubt that a text editor will show you anything useful.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the file, but it's the wrong application, or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see our guide for changing which program opens when you double-click an AAF file in Windows.

How to Convert an AAF File

The software from above that can open the file is likely able to also export it to OMF (Open Media Framework), a similar format.

Converting AAF files to multimedia file formats like MP3, MP4, WAV, etc., can be done with AnyVideo Converter HD, and probably other video converter programs. You might also be able to convert the file to these formats by opening it in one of the above programs and then using the built-in export/save option.

If you can't find a free AAF converter that works, AATranslator might be a good alternative. Just be sure to buy the Enhanced Version.

Still Can't Open It?

If the programs mentioned above won't open your file, double-check that you're not confusing another file extension for this one. AAF consists of two very common letters that are used in lots of other file extensions.

For example, AAC, AXX, AAX (Audible Enhanced Audiobook), AAE (Sidecar Image Format), AIFF, AIF, and AIFC might incorrectly appear to be related to AAF files. You'll most likely get an error if you try opening any of those files in any of the openers linked above, and vice versa.

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