File Formats

Sound (music), pictures, video, text and numbers are all stored in different file formats.

At the end of a computer filename is the filename extension.  The filename extension identifies the file’s format and its characteristics.

E.g. the .doc in notes.doc indicates this is a text document.

File TypeFile Format
Sound.mp3  .wav  .mid  .flac  .aif
Text.doc  .docx  .rtf  .txt  .pdf
Pictures.jpeg  .gif  .png  .bmp
Video.mp4  .flv  .wmv

Proprietary file formats

Proprietary file formats are file types that belong to specific software programs or companies.  The encoding methods of these file types are often kept private, or restricted through licences.

The encoding methods of open format file types are published and free to be used by everybody.