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(MPEG 1/ 2/ 2.5 Layer 3)
MPEG Layer-3 format. Very popular format for keeping of music.
It became the de facto standard for lossy audio encoding, due to the high compression rates (1/12 of the original size, still remaining considerable quality), the high availability of decoders and the low cpu requirements for playback. Sampling frequencies from 16khz to 24khz (mpeg2 layer 3) and 32khz to 48khz (mpeg1 layer 3). Formal and informal listening tests have shown that mp3 at the 192-256 kbps range provide encoded results undistinguishable from the original materials in most of the cases.
MPEG Version 2.5 was added lately to the MPEG 2 standard. It is an extension used for very low bitrate files, allowing the use of lower sampling frequencies. LAME codec is used for MP3 encoding.
The extension is *.mp3.
MP2 (MPEG 1 Layer 2)
MPEG Layer-2 format. Compression ratio is 1:6...1:8 corresponds to to 256..192 kbps for a stereo signal.
The file extension(s) are *.mp2 or *.mpa.
MP2 Website: www.mpeg.org
WMA (Windows Media Audio)
Windows Media Audio format. A special type of advanced streaming format file for use with audio content encoded with the Windows Media Audio codec.
Windows Media Format modules are required for the conversion. It comes with Windows Media Player, or you can download and install it from here.
The extension is *.wma.
WMA Website: www.microsoft.com
This format was created by Microsoft and IBM, and it has unfortunately become a popular standard. It specifies an arbitrary sampling rate, number of channels and sample size. It also specifies a number of application-specific blocks within the file. It has a plethora of different compression formats.
WAVE files can be converted by different codecs. It supports the following types of codecs:
The extension is *.wav.
OGG (Ogg Vorbis)
format. Ogg Vorbis is an audio compression
format. It is roughly comparable to other
formats used to store and play digital
music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other
digital audio formats.
The file extension(s) is *.ogg.
OGG Website: www.vorbis.com
FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player just like you would an MP3 file.
The file extension(s) are *.flac.
FLAC Website: flac.sourceforge.net
Monkey's Audio (APE)
Monkey's Audio is a fast and easy way to compress digital music.
Unlike traditional methods such as mp3, ogg, or wma that permanently discard quality to save space, Monkey's Audio only makes perfect, bit-for-bit copies of your music and always sounds exactly the same as the original but still saving a lot of space. You can always decompress Monkey's Audio files back to the exactly the same original files.
The file extension(s) are *.ape or *.mac.
APE Website: www.monkeysaudio.com
MusePack is an audio compression format with a strong emphasis on high quality.
It's not lossless, but it is designed for transparency, so that you won't be able to hear differences between the original lossless file and the much smaller MPC.
It is based on the MPEG 1 Layer II algorithms, but has rapidly developed and vastly improved and is now at an advanced stage in which it contains heavily optimized code.
The file extension(s) are *.mpc, *.mp+ or *.mpp.
MPC Website: www.musepack.net
AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
Audio Interchange File Format, a format for storing digital audio samples in a file. This standard format for sound files was defined by Apple.
The file extension(s) are *.aif or *.aiff.
TTA (The True Audio Lossless Codec)
The True Audio (TTA) codec is a free, simple, realtime lossless audio compressor. Based on adaptive prognostic filters, TTA has compared favorably to a majority of its popular open-source peers. The codec was built to offer adequate compression levels while maintaining high operation speeds.
The TTA lossless audio codec performs lossless compression on multichannel 8, 16 and 24-bit data of WAV audio files. The term "lossless" refers to the fact that such compression results in literally no data or quality loss; when decompressed, the audio file data are bit-identical to those of their originals. Compression ratios achieved by the TTA codec vary, depending on music type, but range from 30% - 70% of the original. The TTA lossless compressed audio format supports both ID3v1 and ID3v2 information tags.
The file extension(s) are *.tta.
TTA Website: www.true-audio.com
OFR (OptimFROG Lossless, DualStream)
OptimFROG is a
lossless audio compression program. Its main
goal is to reduce at maximum the size of
audio files, while permitting bit identical
restoration for all input. It is similar
with the ZIP compression, but it is highly
specialized to compress audio data.
VOX (Dialogic ADPCM)
Dialogic ADPCM format. The Dialogic ADPCM format is commonly found in telephony applications, and has been optimized for low sample rate voice. It will only save mono 16-bit audio, and like other ADPCM formats, it compresses to 4-bits/sample (for a 4:1 ratio). This format has no header, so any file format with the extension .VOX will be assumed to be in this format.
The file extension(s) are *.vox.