AU is an audio file format created in Audacity. This is a free cross-platform program designed to edit audio files. AU format (Audio Units) was developed by Sun Microsystems. This format greatly simplifies the task of reliable storage of audio files. An AU file consists of 3 parts: a header (max. 24 bytes), a description block of various sizes, and audio data. The file format is used on computers running the Sun or Unix operating system. However, it opens with other audio players. The AU format uses the logarithmic encoding method, previously very popular on computers running the Sun SPARCstation operating system. Previous sound file formats, in order to reduce the size, used the logarithmic scale of recording samples. Among the representatives of such formats, the Sun AU group of formats, which are still in action, gained great fame. Problems with opening the AU file usually manifest themselves when there are no corresponding applications that would be installed on the PC. Applications that use .AU files are Apple QuickTime Player, Microsoft Windows Media Player, Real Player, Winamp, and other widely used audio players. And this is the vast majority of professional audio editors.
OPUS is an audio file that is encoded using the Ogg Opus format (lossy coding). It was created for online audio streaming, that is, in order to transmit sound through a global network. The format is being developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Xiph.Org communities. Applies SILK codecs when used in Skype and CELT (from Xiph.Org), provides support for variable bitrate. Most often, the OPUS codec is used for video conferencing, game chats, VoIP telephony. OPUS is a free audio codec that has international standard status (IETF RFC 6716). Its main advantages are a low coding delay (from 2.5 to 60 ms) and its significant speed, an increased degree of compression of audio data with high-quality sound, as well as support for multi-channel audio (within 255 channels). In 2011, J. Skeglund of Google conducted two series of tests, during which OPUS coding and decoding were compared, taking into account the assessments of experts and ordinary listeners. Studies have shown that OPUS provides stereo music with the same quality as MP3 and better quality than G.719 64 kbps. OPUS offers great streaming capabilities with dynamic tweaking and very low latency. This is always high sound quality and excellent data compression. Full support for OPUS is provided by Mozilla applications. He is the key Skype audio codec.