The variety of ways that computer users can record and play sound. The most common is to record a wave form at standard 16 bit, 44.1 kilohertz, used in compact disks. This captures most of the sound range we can hear and most of the audio sensitivy that most microphones can manage. Some audio professionals prefer a better soundcard that allows 24 bit, 96 kilohertz range but most computer owners will have to upgrade in order to have this kind of capability.
With the advent of software rendered computer music, many computers no longer need to record music. It can now be generated internally or taken from professionally recorded "samples" at these high bit rates mentioned above.
There are formats for recorded sound like WAV, AIFF, RAW, and others. Then there are audio formats for saving space on your computer or transfer over the internet, including (Audio Compression) types such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Real Audio and others. There are also formats specifically for music production like Mod files.
- WAV (*.WAV)
- AIFF/AIF - Audio Interchange Format
- AU, SND - Used by Sun and NeXT Operating Systems
- MED - MED/OctaMED sound format
- OGG Multimedia Container (*.OGG) and includes Ogg Vorbis (below)
- Mod tracker files
- ASF Advanced Systems Format
- ATRAC3 (*.OMG) - Sony's limited, proprietary format
- MID Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
- MPEG-4 audio AKA AAC (*.MP4)
- MPEG-1 audio layer 3 AKA MP3 (*.MP3)
- Ogg Vorbis (*.OGG)
- Monkeys Audio
- FLAC (*.FLAC)
- Real Audio (*.RA, *.RAM, *.RM)
- Best Compressed Audio Format to make a choice of quality vs. size.
- Fixed Bitrate Audio Compression
- Variable Bitrate Compression