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M4A is a file extension used in compressed MPEG-4 audio files that have a lossy compression algorithm. M4A is pretty much very similar to another popular compressed audio format, but is designed to have better quality in the same or even smaller file size. The M4A format was developed by Apple in 2004 and is based on the QuickTime format. Music available for purchase on iTunes usually uses M4A recordings. Many M4A files are encoded with the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) lossy codec to reduce file size. Some M4A files may use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) instead. The M4A format provides good compression with high sound quality. Any compatible media player will work to play M4A audio, including Apple iTunes, Windows Media Player, VideoLAN VLC media player, Nullsoft Winamp, Apple QuickTime Player, and others.
Popular compression and lossy format with small file size and far from the highest sound quality. The emergence of the MP3 format was made possible by the joint efforts of a development team of almost 40 people who have been working on the project for several years. Compared to lossy files, MP3 songs take up much less disk space thanks to a special algorithm. Other advantages of MP3 include excellent compatibility with various programs and audio devices. Despite the fact that, due to the age of MP3, today it does not shine with compression efficiency, its popularity remains very high due to its versatility - the extension is supported on any operating system, a lot of both standard and specialized multimedia software plays this file format. MP3 files can be created with high or low bit rate, which affects the quality of the resulting file. The principle of compression is to reduce the accuracy of some parts of the sound stream, which is almost indistinguishable to most people's ears.