Popular Audio Formats

Audio Formats:

Some of the popular audio formats are as follows:


AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding. It is the successor to MP3 format and it provides better sound quality than MP3. AAC is the default standard for Youtube, iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc for audio format.


AIFF stands for Audio Interchange File Format. AIFF was developed by Apple to store sound data in personal computers. AIFF uses more disk space than lossy audio formats such as MP3.

Apple Lossless

It is also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) was developed by Apple. ALAC will use half of the disk space used by AIFF.

Audible 2,3 and 4

2 is suitable for AM radio, 3 is for FM radio and 4 is for MP3. Audio files are stored in compressed format.


AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave and was developed by Microsoft. As the name suggests, AVI contains both audio and video data.


Free Lossless Audio Codec uses lossless compression of digital audio and typically one can achieve up to 50 to 60% compression of original data.

FLAC is open format and can be obtained royalty free.


M4A is also known as MPEG 4 audio and was developed to succeed MP3 audio. The sound quality of M4A is much better than MP3.


Also known as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio layer III uses lossy compression for storing digital audio. A lot of digital audio players use this codec.

MP3 VBR (MP3 Variable Bit Rate)

It is the opposite of CBR (Constant Bit Rate) and it provides better quality to space ratio when compared to CBR.


The name is derived from “ogging”. It is great for efficient streaming and manipulation of digital multimedia.

Wav (Wave Form Audio File Format)

Developed by IBM and Microsoft as an audio file format. It is used in Microsoft Windows systems.

WMA (Windows Media Audio)

It is an audio compression technique developed by Microsoft. It is used in Windows Media players.