Forums > MaxMSP

sfplay~ multichannel file length limits

Jun 14 2010 | 7:57 pm

Hi list,

I have trouble loading large multichannel files into sfplay~

For example, i can load a 10min 18 channel file, but not 15mins or above. Using macbook pro, max 5.

Does anyone know how to calculate the maximum length of a multichannel file to be played back in sfplay~? Or is there no limit and I’m missing something……

If attempting to playing back lengthy multichannel works for concert presentation, is it best to have a number of sfplay~ objects and to trigger one after the other as the piece progresses..?

An suggestions much appreciated.


Jun 15 2010 | 1:21 am

If I recall, Mac OSX has a file size limit of around 2 GB, so depending on the sample rate, bit rate, number of channels, and time length, is it possible you’re exceeding this limit? Just an idea…

Jun 15 2010 | 2:05 am

Thanks Steven. I think you’re quite right. Seems 2GB limit stands with 5.1.x.


Jun 15 2010 | 9:55 am

Quite a while ago i dropped Max (4.6 and 5) completely for multichannel audiofile playback using sfplay~ because of problems discussed here (and elsewhere):
For reliable playback of multichannel files i always use Bidule now. Use OSC if you want to make your own interface in Max communicating with Bidule or use Bidule-VST inside Max. And there is a 64bit version for windows users as well…


Jun 15 2010 | 11:29 pm

Thanks for the tip stefan, this works well.


Feb 19 2016 | 12:09 pm

Any news on this? I also need to play larger than 2GB multichannel files and would like to avoid splitting them or having to use other applications.

Also discussed here:

Feb 20 2016 | 7:14 pm

are you in 32 bit mode? … are you using AIFF/AIFC ?

if not, you should be able to load 4 GB files into RAM (for example .wav), which is at least two times more.


p.s.: such applications could make good use of the .caf format, which allows 4 gb per channel, but since it would be a mac only thing, you cannot exspect it from buffer~. ;)

Feb 21 2016 | 8:10 am

Max on OSX supports the -caf format, but unfortunately it is not a full implementation, and the problem with large files remain. What is really needed is to be able to play wav64 sound files. Also, when doing long recordings using sfrecord~, it would be great if it could segment long recordings into a sequence of wav or aif files the same way that many portable recorders do.

I’m glad that others are starting to request this as well, maybe that helps making this a higher priority feature request.

Feb 21 2016 | 1:04 pm

hi, thanks for the replies.

It crashes both in 32 and 64-bit. I´m using Max7 with OSX 10.11.2
Tried rendering my 16-channel file both in WAV/AIFF, different bitrates, etc.
It consistently crashes when size is above 2GB approximately no matter the format.

Yes, I tried loading into buffer and apparently it works (the whole thing is 4.6GB at 4424 / 3.07 at 4416). The patch gets a bit sluggish sometimes but it might actually be an alternative solution at least for this project if in the end the patch is stable. However, clearly playing from disk would be more convenient.

I agree with Trond support for wav64 is much needed. It is really unfortunate that Max7 is still not able to deal with large files. Hope it gets improved soon. I got in touch with c74´s support to ask anyway.

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Forums > MaxMSP