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.
wav The Waveform Audio file format associated with the .wav filename extension was a format developed through collaboration between Microsoft and IBM. It is an extension of the RIFF and was first released in 1991. It is one of the earliest standards used for encoding audio bit streams on personal computers. It is typically used for storing uncompressed raw audio files on the Microsoft Windows platform, however it enjoys cross platform support on Macintosh and Linux and does have support for compressed audio. Because of the relatively large file sizes of uncompressed .wav files, the WAVE format in unpopular for file distribution over limited bandwidth computer networks including the internet.