mp3 vs wav

MP3 and WAV are two types of media file formats used in computers, and they are both popular on PCs. MP3 in particular has been adopted by the community for transferring music over the internet.


MP3 is one of the first portable audio file formats, introduced in the MPEG-1 standard of Audio/Video compression. It stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3). It was later extended to the MPEG-2 standard as well.

MP3 uses a lossy compression algorithm in encoding which allows the file size to be significantly reduced. Depending on the bit rate, the audio quality and file size will change. The compression algorithm reduces the amount of information from the signal by ignoring the parts of the signal that are beyond the hearing resolution of the human ear.

This method is commonly known as perceptual coding or perpetual noise generation. (Similar compression methods are used in jpeg for image files and MP4 for video files)

The low file size of the mp3 file format makes it ideal for transferring audio files over the internet. This became a major problem for producers and recording artists in the early 2000s when internet websites such as Napster offered free song downloads over the internet.

Although now it has become something commonplace, you can download Youtube songs using Tubidy . No need to install a lot of software on your computer.

This brings a well-known reputation to the file format as a major piracy tool. Even a music player with MP3 compatibility is considered a copyright infringement. However, with the release of the iPod in 2001, competition helped legitimize the file format.


WAV or Waveform Audio File Format is a file format developed by Microsoft and IBM for the PC, and is a derivative of the Microsoft File Interchange File Format (RIFF).

This method saves media files as chunks of data. WAV files are generally RIFF files with one “WAV” chunk consisting of two sub-chunks called fmt and data. WAV is the main audio file format used in windows based software for audio quality.

WAV is a lossless file format; therefore, no compression is performed during encoding of the data stream in linear pulse code modulation.

Raw and uncompressed audio files are often generated in WAV format in windows. It can be easily manipulated and edited, and professionals prefer WAV for higher quality. Despite its primary use as a container for uncompressed files, WAV can store compressed audio as well, compressed by the Windows Audio Compression Manager.

Due to uncompressed file encoding, WAV files tend to be large; Therefore, it is not a popular file format for transferring over the internet. However, it remains popular for its simplicity and quality.

MP3 vs WAV

  • MP3 and WAV are two popular audio file formats that are used both on computers and on devices like music players.
  • MP4 was developed by Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) ISO while WAV was developed by Microsoft and IBM.
  • MP3 is part of the ISO MPEG 2 standard; actually, MP3 stands for MPEG-2 Audio Layer III. WAV is a development of Microsoft RIFF and was originally a proprietary format. However, it later became the industry standard due to widespread use.
  • MP3 uses lossy compression during encoding. WAV is a lossless file format and uses linear pulse code modulation. Compressed audio can be encoded to WAV files as well, but that's not in common use.
  • MP3 files have a smaller file size compared to WAV due to lossy compression in encoding.
  • WAV sound quality is better than MP3 quality.
  • MP3 is a common format for transferring music over the internet, while WAV files are not used for the same purpose due to the relatively larger file size.