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.
ALAC is the format of a small specialized program called an audio codec. Its main task is to compress a file with digital music without losing its quality. The name of the format created by Apple's IT giant is Apple's abbreviation Lossless Audio Codec. This format may also be called ALE (from Apple Lossless Encoder). Files in this format can play devices even with limited computing resources - such as an iPod. When compressing a file in this format, it is approximately 40-60% of the original file. Now almost every multimedia player based on the libavcodec library is able to play ALAC format files.