WAV (or WAVE) is actually the first full-fledged audio format with good sound quality. It was developed quite a few years ago by the joint efforts of Microsoft and IBM. Sometimes this format is even called “Audio for Windows,” because it is the standard for storing audio stream for a traditional Windows desktop computer. Full name - Wave Audio File Format. The short name is derived from the English word wave ("wave"). The peculiarity of this format of digitized audio stream is the lack of compression. WAV files take up too much space, but it is ideal for storing high quality files in their original form.
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.