mp3 First released in 1995 and developed by the Fraunhofer Society, the mp3 audio format is arguably one of the most recognizable audio file format that ever existed. This digital audio encoding format hails from the lossy data compression algorithm family. The format enjoys widespread support and compatibility with most handheld music players, smartphones, computers, and in car stereos most of which have native support for the format. It is also a popular format used for distribution of audio files over computer networks such as the internet. Free mp3 encoders such as LAME and audacity give authors the tools necessary to create .mp3 files.
flac The FLAC file format associated with the .flac filename extension refers to the FLAC audio encoding algorithm. FLAC is the acronym for Free Lossless Audio Codec. The algorithm is from the lossless audio compression family of formats for digital audio compression. It was developed by the Xiph.Org foundation, a non-profit organization that produces open and free to use multimedia formats, and had its initial release in 2001. Though there isn't widespread compatibility for the format as compared to similar formats such as MP3, the FLAC format enjoys some compatibility and support with in car and home stereo manufacturers as well audio playback software and portable audio devices.