Most Common Types of Audio Files and Containers

Digital audio has many formats that can be created. Each type of file has different attributes. Understanding the differences in audio formats can help you save time and make it easier to preserve and archive your own audio mp3juice. First, you need to know what kind of file you’re working on. The file extension refers to the sequence of letters following the dot in the file name. For example, JingleBells.mp3. This guide will help you to identify some of the most common audio file types that you may encounter.

Waveform Audio (.WAV)
WAV audio, one of the oldest audio formats and most easily recognized, is also one of our most popular. Many people immediately recognize.WAV files from their computers as sound files. WAV files have been used by Microsoft ever since Windows 1.0. WAV files, most commonly, are uncompressed using the linear pulsecode modulation (LPCM), which is also used for audio CDs. WAV can easily be used to make an audio CD. WAV files are notorious for their large file sizes. This is due to the use of 32-bit unsigned numbers to record the file’s size header.

Despite being old, the WAV audio file is still very popular.

MPEG-1 Layer 3(.MP3)
The MP3 is undoubtedly the most used audio format. The format is probably familiar to your grandparents. The MP3 format is used for almost all of the music available online today. This is due to its amazing compression and quality ratios. MP3 files are only 10% smaller than standard WAV files, yet they sound almost identical. MP3 files are generally popular due to their small size and similar sound quality.

Lossless Audio Codec Free (.FLAC).
FLAC format is relatively recent on the market, but it is quickly becoming the standard format for audiophiles and archivists. FLAC allows you to receive uncompressed audio in a smaller package that what you would find in WAV. FLAC is simply a codec that allows digital music to be compressed losslessly, reducing file size without actually losing any information. FLAC allows audio compression to be reduced by around 50-60%, while still maintaining the same quality. FLAC is currently not supported by all devices. This is expected to change in the future.

Ogg Vorbis (.OGG)
Vorbis, a free and open-source software project, produces an audio codec that can be used to encode lossy audio files. Vorbis is commonly used in conjunction the Ogg container format. This is why it is sometimes called Ogg Vorbis. Vorbis was created in 1993. But, intensive development began in 1998 when licensing fees for the MP3 file format were announced. Although Vorbis is popular among free software supporters, it has lost little popularity. While it’s supported by most modern digital audio players, users may not be able to use it with external devices like cellular phones and MP3 players.