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.
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.