List of Approved File Formats

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These are file formats that I feel are superior in the industry and should be used as the standard for their particular category.

Audio

Lossless

Name: Free Lossless Audio Codec
Extension: *.flac
Pros: High compression quality. Patent free, open source.
Cons: Few applications natively support it.
Versus: Primary competitors include WAV, WMA (lossless), and AAC (lossless). All of which are patented, closed-source, and don't compress as well.

Lossy

Name: Vorbis
Extension: *.ogg
Pros: High quality even at low bit-rates. Patent free, open source.
Cons: Few applications natively support it.
Versus: Primary competitors include MP3, WMA, and AAC. All of which are patented, closed-source, and have lower quality at high-levels of compression.

Compression

Name: 7 Zip
Extension: *.7z
Pros: High level of compression, especially in archives with multiple files. Patent free, open source. Supports encryption.
Cons: Some compression formats compress slightly better.
Versus: Primary competitors include ZIP, RAR, ACE. All of which are patented, closed-source, and don't compress as well.

Graphics

Lossless

Name: Portable Network Graphic
Extension: *.png
Pros: High level of compression, patent free, open source, many programs support it, supports 24-bit color with alpha transparency. Official Internet standard.
Cons: Doesn't natively support bit-depths higher than 24.
Versus: Primary competitors include BMP, TGA, and TIFF. All of which are patented, closed-source, and don't compress as well.

Lossy

Name: Joint Photographic Experts Group
Extension: *.jpeg
Pros: High level of compression, many programs support it.
Cons: Closed source, patented.
Versus: Sadly, there aren't any competitors to speak of.

Vector

Name: Scalable Vector Graphics
Extension: *.svg
Pros: Supports most common vector objects. Official Internet standard. Open source, patent free.
Cons: Doesn't support some of the more interesting vector effects.
Versus: Comparable to AI, CDR, WMF, EPS. All of which are patented and closed-source.

Video

Yet to be reviewed.