Windows Media Audio (WMA), developed by Microsoft, is an audio data compression technology that consists of four distinct codecs that include WMA, WMA Pro, WMA Lossless and WMA Voice. It is a proprietary technology which was originally developed as a competitor to the MP3 and RealAudio codecs.
Microsoft claims that the audio encoded with WMA provides better sound than MP3 at the same bit rate and that audio encoded with WMA at lower bit rates sound better than MP3 at higher bit rates. It uses a modified VQF encoding (Voxware).
Some of the best WMA programs include EAC 081b Ripper and the preferred encoder is Microsoft ODMA producer. WMA Voice applies compression with the use of low bit rates and is involved in voice content. WMA compression formats can be played using Windows Media Player, Winamp, ALLPlayer, RealPlayer, Zune Software, VLC media player and other software media players.
WMA, WMA Pro, WMA Lossless and WMA Voice are the four codecs of Windows Media Audio. WMA Pro supports multichannel and high resolution audio, WMA Lossless compresses audio data without the loss of audio fidelity and WMA Voice applies compression with the use of low bit rates.