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10 Types Of Audio/Video Formats For The Web

August 21, 2013 Web Design and Development, IADT General 0 Comments

Audio And Video Formats For The WebIf you’ve heard about the tens of different types of audio and video formats used on the Web, you might be overwhelmed by your options. However, if you take a few minute to learn about these formats, they can quickly become easy to understand and choose.

We’ve narrowed down your choices to five audio and five video formats that are most commonly used, depending on the video uses. Find out how this works in this brief overview:

Audio Formats

  1. MP3 is one of the most popular audio file formats. It is both high in quality and small in size. While most high quality files take up a large amount of space, and therefore have a long loading time, MP3 files are compressed to smaller sizes without significant quality loss.
  2. Files formatted to WAV are uncompressed and widely accepted by most operating systems. WAV is also the default audio format for Windows. While it’s difficult to share WAV files because of their large size, this format is good for archiving original versions of high quality recordings. A similar file format, which serves as the Macintosh default audio format, is AIFF.
  3. The XMF format is used primarily for music-based audio files. The file can include both a performance recording and the musical sounds used, bundled together into one file. This is usually a combination of a MIDI file and a Downloadable Sound file. XMF files are compressible and can include reference and language information.
  4. Recently developed and popular among the free software crowd, Ogg Vorbis is a patent-free and no-cost file format, in contrast to others such as MP3. Ogg Vorbis files are also compressed to the same size of an MP3 with higher quality. The only setback is that these files aren’t yet widely used.
  5. Streaming audio files are commonly in the .ra format because of the first developer of this type of file, RealAudio. Other similar and popular types of audio streaming include QuickTime and Shockwave.

Video Formats

  1. Flash Video (.FLV) is the most popular online video sharing format. According to Lorraine Grula in her guest blog on reelseo.com, most computer users have Adobe Flash Player installed on their computers, which plays videos in the Flash format. Most popular video sharing sites also use the Flash format because of its small file size and good post-compression quality.
  2. The default Windows video format, WMV, also creates small video files. Unfortunately, they are low quality because of the high amount of compression. They prove useful for emailing video files, as Grula explains that they are one of the only formats small enough to email.
  3. The Apple-developed video format is MOV. This format is popular because of its high quality. The quality seems to make up for its large size. Both PC and Mac users widely use QuickTime, the program that plays .MOV files.
  4. AVI files, developed by Microsoft, are large and rarely used on the Internet. However, this format is a good option for saving original video files. The format is easy to edit and has a very high quality.
  5. An option for both audio and video formats, Mozilla’s developer site names HTML5 as a quality Web format. It’s important to know how to embed videos within the website’s coding in order to share it properly and effectively.


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