Audio Formats

(General information)

Audio Formats

There are different types of format according to the specific audio compression chosen. It is important to tell the difference between the file and the codec formats.

The codec encodes and decodes audio data while that data is stored in a file with a specific audio. Most known public audio formats can be created usually with one of two (or more) encoders or codecs.

Even though most audio file formats only support one type of data (created with an audio codec), there are 3 main audio format groups:  uncompressed formats, such as .wav or .aiff; format without loss (compressed audio with no diminished quality) like FLAC, MPEG-4 SLS, MPEG-4 ALS, MPEG-4 DST, Apple Lossless and WMA Lossless; and finally, formats with loss (compression algorhythm with loss) would be MP3, AAC, WMA, and Opus.

The lossless format requires more processing time than the non-compressed formats but it is much more efficient with the file weight it has. The uncompressed audio formats encode both audio as well as silence with the same number of bits per time unit. Encoding one (1) minute of silence of an uncompressed format produces a file of the same exact size as encoding one minute uncompressed file of orchestra music. However,  with these files music is a slightly smaller file and, on the other hand, silence barely occupies any file space. These compression formats offer a compression ratio of more or less 2:1.  The development of these files has aimed at reducing the processing time by maintaining a good compression ratio.

Audio compression formats with loss.

With this encoding system, data is compressed but certain parts of data are lost.  The process tries to minimize the amount of data by reducing the file weight and thus there is a loss of quality. In reality, what it loses frequencies that are not audible to the human ear, therefore it really maintains most of the audio quality.

The MP3 is a digital audio compression format that uses an algorhythm to achieve an even smaller file size. The MP3 can also be compressed using a variable rate of bits per second (higher or lower), resulting in higher or lower final audio quality and file size. The MP3 has become the standard format for audio streaming and audio compression with medium audio fidelity loss thanks to being able to adjust the compression quality rates proportional to the size per second, and therefore to the final file size. A compressed MP3 file could occupy up to 15 times less than the original uncompressed file.

At Freeaudiolibrary we use MP3 files with MINIMAL compression and MAXIMUM professional quality to ensure that our clients enjoy top-notch music that sounds great and at the same time, can be downloaded quickly and easily thanks to reasonable file weight/size.

Our professional team can reassure you that our files have minimal quality loss due to minimal compression. In the case that your projects require  alternative formats, we will do our best to provide you with whatever you need, whether it’s WAV files at 48KHz or any other. Just send us an e-mail with specifying your needs and requests as thoroughly a possible to:


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