MP3 is no doubt the most favorite audio format around the world. Its universal compatibility makes it possible to play and edit audio with any software and enjoy them on any music devices. However, it is highly likely that you are looking for a program that can convert MP3 into other audio formats because of the exclusive usages of certain formats.
Usages of Common Audio Formats
Uncompressed Audio Formats
It is audio that captured and converted digital format without any compression to store on computer. It provides the best sound quality ever, perfectly preserving the sound captured. However, it takes so much space that most of us do not use this format for casual storage and playback needs unless we have to for some reason.
- PCM: another uncompressed and lossless format which has a subtype as LPCM. PCM is the most familiar format used in audio CD and DVD.
- WAV: WAV, developed by Microsoft & IBM, is a container format for audio. It can contain compressed audio but mostly, people use it to wrap uncompressed PCM to make it more suitable for Windows.
- AIFF: somewhat like WAV, AIFF is a container format to wrap PCM. But it’s purpose is the suitability for Mac OS. However, Mac OS can also read WAV easily just like Windows PC can handle AIFF.
Lossy Compressed Audio Formats
This type of compression will cause data loss during the process. Quality and fidelity will drop in exchange for smaller size. But hey, most of us can’t tell the difference because of limitations of human ears, as long as the audio does not get compressed too much.
- MP3: as we stated at the beginning, it’s the most popular. Go for it if what you pursue is universal.
- WMA: WMA has better quality and smaller size than MP3. However, it is proprietary, not supported by many devices and platforms. Check this tutorial here if you need to convert WMA to MP3.
- AAC: With more advanced compression algorithm, AAC outdoes MP3 in terms of audio quality. It is becoming more and more popular and has been the standard audio compression method for iOS and Android systems, iTunes, YouTube, Nintendo portables as well as PlayStations.
- OGG (Vorbis): OGG is a container format that usually used to contain Vorbis files while it actually can hold many other audio formats. It is widely used to provide streaming audio. Check this tutorial to convert MP3 to OGG.
Lossless Compressed Audio Formats
On the contrary of lossy Compression, lossless compression preserves the quality of original audio files while reducing the file size, with no loss at all. An obvious drawback is that the compressed audio is still very big.
- FLAC: the most common lossless audio format. It can “shrink” the original audio file by up to 60% without losing any data. It is like the “MP3” in lossless audio formats, supported by most major media software and devices.
- ALAC: developed by Apple, ALAC is slightly less efficient than FLAC in compression. But iOS devices iTunes and natively support ALAC instead of FLAC.
- WMA Lossless: WMA Lossless is an alternative to WMA, which is natively supported on Windows and Mac computers but not on much other hardware.
Now you know the main differences between these most popular audio formats. To convert MP3 as well as other formats covered above, you need MP3 converter software. Free MP3 WMA OGG Converter is the best MP3 converter that can handle all types of audio conversion. It provides super easy presets to control the quality.