Audio files with or without compression
First, let's look at three categories that you can group all audio file formats into. They are determined by the degree of data compression and the associated level of sound quality loss.
If no special algorithm (or codec) was used to compress the audio in your file, this will lead to a double result: first, there will be no loss of sound quality, and second, the space on your hard disk will soon run out.
At its core, recording in uncompressed format fully corresponds to the original audio file, in which real audio signals are recorded in digital representation.
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WAV, AIFF, or FLAC: uncompressed formats
WAV and AIFF are the most popular formats for uncompressed audio files. Both are based on PCM (pulse Code Modulation), a well-known mechanism for directly converting an audio signal to digital form. WAV and AIFF use similar technologies, but the data storage methods are slightly different. In these formats, you can record both CD-quality and higher-resolution files.
The WAV format was developed by Microsoft and IBM, which is why it is used on Windows-based platforms; it is the standard CD recording format.
The AIFF format was created by Apple as an alternative to WAV; although AIFF files are less common, they provide more complete metadata support, allowing you to store album covers, song titles, and similar information.
The disadvantage of these formats is that they require huge amounts of memory. CD-quality files (16-bit, 44.1 kHz) take up about 10 MB of disk space per minute of sound.
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