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Why the Format of MP3 Is More Popular Than WMA

Nowadays audio compression formats are not so many. Besides, there are also few image compression formats to be used. I guess you may have heard of some formats such as GIF, JPG and BMP. But the two most popular audio formats are WMA and MP3. As for the WMA format, it is a kind of older audio format. It was produced by Microsoft Company in order to work with Microsoft's Windows media player.As the WMA compression format was only devised for WMA files, it is not able to be converted to other formats.

As for the audio quality, there are obvious differences between MP3 and WMA formats. When the phone line speed is around 30kbps, WMA is really a proper audio format. At this speed, WMA could access an FM level of audio quality even though the surroundings are not quiet enough. At the speed of 128kbps, Microsoft declares that the WMA is almost the CD-quality. But nowadays WMA is not popular any more among users. Its compression offers comparatively small audio documents and these documents need less processing power to run. So this format becomes less popular when MP3 comes into being.

At the year of 1991, the MP3 audio compression was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Compared with WMA, MP3 provides higher quality sound for it adopts perceptual audio coding to compress CD-quality sound. Consequently, MP3 has become the widespread criterion among audio broadcasting and usage. It offers the CD-quality sound at proper compression sizes with high speeds. But remember that MP3 quality will likely suffer the same as WMA at low bitrates.

By Shirley Jingsi Huang


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