Audio file format

related topics
{system, computer, user}
{album, band, music}
{math, number, function}
{rate, high, increase}

An audio file format is a file format for storing audio data on a computer system. It can be a raw bitstream, but it is usually a container format or an audio data format with defined storage layer.

The general approach towards storing digital audio is to sample the audio voltage which, on playback, would correspond to a certain level of signal in an individual channel with a certain resolution—the number of bits per sample—in regular intervals (forming the sample rate). This data can then be stored uncompressed, or compressed to reduce the file size.

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Types of formats

It is important to distinguish between a file format and a codec. A codec performs the encoding and decoding of the raw audio data while the data itself is stored in a file with a specific audio file format. Most of the publicly documented audio file formats can be created with one of two or more encoders or codecs. Although most audio file formats support only one type of audio data (created with an audio coder), a multimedia container format (as MKV or AVI) may support multiple types of audio and video data.

There are three major groups of audio file formats:

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