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.
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.