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Audio Recording and Editing: Formats

Resources for creating audio projects, from simple recordings to more complex files.

Audio Formats

Learn about popular audio file types and their associated uses. For a more detailed list of audio formats, consult AudioStream's Guide to Common Music File Types and Formats.


MP3 logo




The MP3 is a high-quality, compressed audio format, allowing for smaller file sizes and quicker download/streaming time.







Similar to the MP3, AAC files are compressed and maintain high quality. AAC is currently the standard format for iOS and iTunes audio files.







Though the WAV and AIFF were originally designed for Windows and Mac platforms respectively, each format is now compatilble with both platforms. Both formats are uncompressed, very high quality audio, and are best suited for short, downloadable clips because of their large file sizes.






The OGG is a high-quality compressed, open-source audio format, producing even smaller audio files than MP3s. OGG files may not be playable on all devices and platforms.