MP3 is the most common music (sound) file format. This format was developed by Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson. This format for storing and transmitting music (sound) files in digital form uses signal compression technology. That is why, unlike the previously widespread WAV format, MP3 files (full name - MPEG Audio Layer-3) are much smaller in size, and their sound quality is much higher. The MP3 format was one of the first and most successful sound compression methods. One of the important characteristics of this process is the degree of compression, that is, how much data is transferred per unit of time. Standard MP3 encoding is from 64 to 320 kb / s.
RA is a streaming audio file category format designed to play audio over a wide area network. The RA (RealAudio) file format was developed by RealNetworks in the mid-90s of the last century. The file itself contains encoded audio information, but it may also contain links to audio content. It may contain audio data or reference an audio streaming file. In order to compress the data, they use their own Real compression algorithm with a variable bitrate, as well as a variety of codecs. The .ra file format is a common format required to play streaming audio on the Internet. Real Audio is a standard format for playing audio clips in a web browser. As a rule, they use the RealOne Player to play it. However, due to the fact that it is completely unsuitable and clogged with advertising, they recommend the RealAlternative package. Previously, most radio stations broadcasting online used this particular format. Also until 2009, the format was used on its website by BBC. Currently, the RA format is not so popular among those who broadcast online, since new technologies have already been introduced.