WMA is a widespread licensed audio stream compression format. Created in 1999 by Signal Processing Group, a member of the IT giant Microsoft. Initially, this company created WMA as a competitor to the popular MP3 format. The name WMA is an abbreviation for Windows Media Audio. Among the advantages of this format is the support of almost all Windows systems and devices, as well as the similarity in characteristics and quality with MP3 files. It is believed that a compressed WMA audio file with a bit rate of 160 kbit / s is fully consistent with the quality of an MP3 file with a bit rate of 256 kbit / s. Today, even Apple devices support the WMA format.
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.