MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is an audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players. MP3 is an audio-specific format that was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in the MPEG-2 standard. The first MPEG subgroup Audio group was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS, University of Hannover, AT&T-Bell Labs, Thomson-Brandt, CCETT, and others.
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a digital multimedia format most commonly used to store video and audio, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images. Like most modern container formats, it allows streaming over the Internet. The only official filename extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files is .mp4, but many have other extensions, most commonly .m4a and .m4p. M4A (audio only) is often compressed using AAC encoding (lossy), but can also be in Apple Lossless format. M4P is a protected format which employs DRM technology to restrict copying. MPEG-4 Part 14 (formally ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003) is a standard specified as a part of MPEG-4.