There are three categories of audio formats - uncompressed, lossless and lossy.
- Uncompressed audio formats are just as the name suggests - formats that don't use compression at all. This means the huge file sizes, but best possible quality. A WAV audio file is an most popular uncompressed audio file.
- Lossless compression applies compression to an uncompressed audio file, but it doesn't lose information or degrade the quality of the digital audio file. The APE (Monkey's Audio) file format was very popular, but it displaced by FLAC.
- Lossy compression will result in some loss of data as the compression algorithm eliminates redundant or unnecessary information - basically it tosses what it sees as irrelevant information. Lossy compression has become popular online because of its small file size, it is easier to transmit over the Internet. MP3 was a first and most popular format that use a lossy compression. OGG Vorbis and MP4 offers better quality with same file size.
Converting Between Different Audio Formats
Audio Converter Plus is a quick and easy-to-use audio converting utility. The program converts between the most popular audio formats, including WMA, WAV, MP3, OGG, AVI/MPEG audio, MPC and more. Software works on all Windows systems.