Audio file formats

Audio file formats are standards for storing the audio file in a Storage device. Audio file formats differ based on the technic used to compress the audio file.

Audio file format uses three types of standards:

Some examples of Audio  file format standard are:

Lossy formats:

Lossy formats are the methods in which the original audio file are reduce more as compare to lossless compression.


  • mp3 is most common audio file format.
  • MP3 is developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) released in 1993.
  • MP3 is a lossy compressed format
  • MP3 file fomat is 1/10th the size of .WAV or .AIF files
  • MP3 Files extension is   .mp3 
  •  MP3 is 1 minute recording needs 1 MB storage 
  • MP3 format is mostly used and supported by many devices. 


  •  AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding
  • AAC developed in 1997 after MP3.
  • AAC is a lossy compressed format
  • AAC used by YouTube, i tune,  Android, iOS, 


  • WMA stands for Windows Media Audio.
  • WMA  released in 1999 by microsoft.
  • WMA is  Lossy compression 
  • WMA is not widely used
Some other examples of Lossy audio file format are:  MOC, OGG

Lossless formats.

Lossless audio file format are the methods used to compress an audio file  to minimize the audio file size.


  • FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec.
  • FLAC is compress 50% of original file 
  • FLAC uses lossless compression.
  •  WAV stands for Waveform Audio File Format
  • WAV is released in 1999 by micosoft.
  • WVA is least efficient in compresso n.
  • WAV used lossless compression.
  • WAV is not an open source 
  • WAV least hardware supported.
  • ALAC stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec
  • Released in 2004.
 Some other examples of lossless audio file format are:  WavPack, Monkey’s Audio

Uncompressed formats.

uncompressed file format is a real sound wave, (original ) which are not compress by any form.

  • uncompressed file format uses more storage. 
  • uncompressed file format gives the best quality of sound.


  • WAV Stands for Waveform Audio File Format
  • WAV is a subset of Riff 
  •  WAV  Developed Microsoft and IBM in 1991.
  • WAV is an uncompressed/lossless compress format.
  • it is used to store bitstream in PCs
  • WAV provides better quality than lossy compression.


  •  PCM stands for Pulse-Code Modulation.
  • PCM is  used for CDs and DVDs, 
  • PCM captures analog waveforms and turns them into digital bits.
  • PCM is an uncompressed file format.
Some other uncompressed file formats are: AIFF, AU, or BWF

Examples of Lossy Audio File Format and Lossless Audio File Format

Lossy Audio File Format

Lossless Audio File Format













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