The BAM Format is a binary format for storing sequence data.
The current definition of the format is at [BAM/SAM Specification].
The corresponding SAM Format can be used to store sequence data, both aligned as well as unaligned, in a human readable format.
BAM and SAM formats are designed to contain the same information. The SAM format is more human readable, and easier to process by conventional text based processing programs, such as awk, sed, python, cut and so on. The BAM format provides binary versions of most of the same data, and is designed to compress reasonably well.
Our libStatGen library reads both SAM and BAM format files.