Audio files are commonly used for storing digital audio such as music or sound-effects which are then played back through their associated software.
As audio is rather complex, storing the data in digital format can result in large file sizes. It is more common for audio data to be compressed to reduce overall file size.
There are two main types of compression; lossless which compresses the audio with no loss of quality and results in a 2:1 ratio in file size compared to storing the data in raw format and lossy which reduces the file size even further but reduces audio quality.
In additional to the audio storage formats, the following list also contains formats associated with audio hardware and software.