The most popular audio format

There are a few hundred audio formats in the world, so we’ d like to concentrate on the three that we think might be of use to you: mp3, wav and ogg/vorbis. They are also three of the most common file formats.

Audio formatBrief descriptionBest use
.mp3Mp3 is one of the most common audio formats. In an mp3-file the sounds are condensed, meaning that any sounds humans can’t hear are filtered out. That’s why there is a certain loss of quality when using the mp3 format. Kbit is the unit in which we measure how much a file is condensed. The higher the kbit rate, the better the music sounds (at 194 k/bit there is no sound difference between a CD and an mp3-file).The format is widely used and is supported by many players.
.wavWav is a non-compressed audio format. A big difference between mp3 and wav is the size: a wav-file needs more kbit than an mp3 to create the sound quality of a CD.The files can easily be used with almost any audio editing software. Since the data are not compressed, they can be processed later without loss. The non-compressed audio formats have long loading times.
.ogg/vorbisOgg/vorbis is very similar to mp3. Both files compress the information (sound) they carry to make the files smaller, which is why sounds the human ear can’t hear are cancelled out.The format offers a small file size with good sound quality. Despite being open source, it is less widely used than MP3.


Course: Presenting content

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