RealAudio is a proprietary audio format developed by RealNetworks and first released in April 1995. It uses a variety of audio codecs, ranging from low-bitrate formats that can be used over dialup modems, to high-fidelity formats for music. It can also be used as a streaming audio format, that is played at the same time as it is downloaded. In the past, many internet radio stations used RealAudio to stream their programming over the internet in real time. In recent years, however, the format has become less common and has given way to more popular audio formats. RealAudio was heavily used by the BBC websites until 2009, though it was discontinued due to its declining use. BBC World Service, the last of the BBC websites to use RealAudio, discontinued its usage in March 2011.
Windows Media Audio (WMA) is an audio data compression technology developed by Microsoft. The name can be used to refer to its audio file format is audio codecs. It is a proprietary technology that forms part of the Windows Media framework. WMA consists of four distinct codecs. The original WMA codec, known simply as WMA, was conceived as a competitor to the popular MP3 and RealAudio codecs. WMA Pro, a newer and more advanced codec, supports multichannel and high resolution audio. A lossless codec, WMA Lossless, compressed audio data without loss of audio fidelity (the regular WMA format is lossy). WMA Voice, targeted at voice content, applies compression using a range of low bit rates.