Audio and Video File Formats In Computer World

File Formats

Every file you run or view on your computer devices has a specific format, and that format reflects the type of file, whether it is an audio file, or a video file, or an image file or so and so type of files. Though, a specific type of file can have multiple formats, like for a video file you are aware of files with .mp4, .mkv, .avi, etc, but a single format can have only one specific file type in general. Like .mp4 formats are only for video file types. Ultimately, we are going to learn and know about the audio and video file formats in this article.

File Extensions

For getting to know about file formats, we first need to know how we can distinguish between multiple files via file formats or how a computer distinguish between such files for its task. If you got the word “file extensions” in your mind, then you got it right. Well, file extensions are special names which find their place as a suffix in every computer file name and are placed just after “.” of a file. For example: Let’s say a video file named “Movie.mp4” is there. Here “Movie” is the name of the video file and “mp4” is the extension, which shows that it is a .mp4 video file.

Now let’s move on to the detailed list of audio and video file formats.

Audio File Formats:



As you know that here file formats are referred to audio, so, obviously we are going to get on with audio file formats, extensions and its usage. You can compare all the major audio formats category-wise here in wiki Comparison of audio coding formats.

  • .mp3:

    The most commonly used audio format in the digital world. It is exactly known as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III and referred as MP3. The codec compresses audio files to kinda lossy format with a compression rate of 75% to 95% generally, compared to that of CD and DVD audios. Though, the compression doesn’t affect the audio as much to that lossy extent as it mostly reduces the accuracy of those parts of audio where it is far audible to human hearing. It is just a popular audio format. Wiki details.

  • .3gp:

    The 3GP file format. It is the format which is widely used for both video and audio type files on mobile phones. It was basically made for all the 3G mobile phones as the name says.  Wiki details.

  • .ogg:

    Ogg format is a major file format used throughout the internet in general to provide high quality streaming audios and videos. It is also a lossy codec with more compressibility rate than other general codecs.  Wiki details.

  • .wav:

    The WAVE or WAV audio format is used to store small uncompressed audio streams in Windows system generally. But it is also compatible with almost all major operating systems.  Wiki details.

  • .aac:

    AAC(Advance Audio Coding). An audio file format very much similar to MP3, but designed as a successor of it to provide better sound quality. Wiki details.

  • .aax:

    Audible Inc. A company/seller  from amazon which makes its own audio files with this file format which is also encoded by AAC only. The quality may vary as it is made for digital books in general. Wiki details.

  • .wma:

    Windows Media Audio (WMA). An audio file format developed by MicrosoftWiki details.

Video File Formats:


As the name says, video file format is the format for the video files in computer. To compare video file container formats, visit here in wiki page Comparison of video container formats.

  • .mp4:

    MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4. Like MP3 for audios, MP4 is also the most common video file format used for almost in every digital stuffs. Wiki details.

  • .flv:

    Flash Video(FLV). This is a commonly used video format for viewing short videos over the internet via Adobe Flash PlayerWiki details.

  • .avi:

    AVI(Audio Video Interactive). A video format introduced by Microsoft with great abilites with combined audio and video streaming files. Wiki details.

  • .wmv:

    Windows Media Video(WMV). This video format is also developed by Microsoft. Wiki details.

  • .mkv:

    Matroska Multimedia Container- MKV. A great video file format with wide capacity features to hold subtitles, video and audio in a single file. Wiki details.

  • .webm:

    WebM. Wiki details.

That’s all about different audio and video file formats list and to learn more about audio and video file formats you can visit the wiki pages: Video File Formats and Audio File Formats.

Thank you for reading and please share this page to other learners like you. For any question or suggestion comment below.

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