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Why Choosing Audio Files and Choosing Clothes are Similar?

Because you have to choose the right thing for the right purpose. If you put on your favorite street-style T-shirt to go for a job interview, there's a 95% chance you fail - unless they also show up in a T-shirt. So imagine how it would be if you chose the wrong format for songs to put in your iPod: You might either waste a lot of your device memory for just a couple of large and high quality songs, or in the other hand, have the worst of your time listening to a low quality, noisy mess. Which one do you prefer? None of them, I guess.
So, it's important to know about the audio file formats, which are the most widely supported, and which serve you best for your music taste and for your musical devices are what you have to do. Here I give you brief information on and comparisons between the most commonly used ones: .aiff, .wav, .mp3, .acc, and .ra. At the end of this document, you'll also know which one is the most suitable for your needs.
What have you known about WAV, AIFF, MP3, ACC and RA formats?
.AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format):
An uncompressed, lossless audio format which was developed for Apple's OSX on Macintosh computers. File size: Very big.
.WAV (Wave file):
An uncompressed, lossless audio format for storing analog audio data (wave sound signal) in a digital format. WAV format was made as the standard audio file used on PCs. - File size: Very big.
.MP3 (MPEG1, Audio Layer 3):
A lossy digital audio compression format which achieves smaller file sizes by eliminating sounds the human ear can't hear or doesn't easily pick up. It is the most popular sound file format these days for both Mac and PCs for music distribution on the Internet. - File size: Small to medium.
MPEG: Moving Picture Experts Group -- a committee that sets international standards for the digital encoding of movies and sound.
.ACC (Advanced Audio Coding):
Developed by Fraunhofer in order to improve upon the MP3 format, it generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates. ACC is now the default audio format of Apple's iPhone, iPod, iTunes, and the format used for all iTunes Store audio. Like the MP3 file format, ACC can be played on both Mac and PCs. - File size: Small to medium.
.RA (Real Audio):
RealAudio is a proprietary audio format developed by RealNetworks, used for streaming audio across the Internet in real-time. To stream and receive .ra files, end users must have RealPlayer installed (for Windows or Mac). RA format was made to preserve audio quality at lower bit-rates for lower file sizes so that it can be played at the same time as it is downloaded. - File size: Small to medium.
A proprietary format: A file format where the mode of presentation of its data is opaque and its specification is not publicly available.
Conclusion:
- If you need irresistible quality audio files whatever their file sizes are, choose WAV (if you have a PC) or AIFF (if you have a Macintosh).
- If you are pleased with average quality songs and want to have as many as possible in your MP3 Player, or iPod, or mobile devices, choose .mp3 files or .acc files encoded at 256 kbit/s or above.
- If you are a music artist and want to provide samples of your work, choose the .ra files.
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