Difference Between AIFF and MP3 (With Table)

AIFF and MP3 are two popular file formats used for storing digital audio. The main difference between AIFF and MP3 is that AIFF is uncompressed while MP3 is compressed. 

We can use AIFF to store various audio files like songs, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. MP3 is a lossy digital audio format used for compressing the tracks without any loss in quality. It supports only MPEG1/2 Audio Layer 3 coding format.

The critical difference between AIFF and MP3 is that the AIFF can be used to store a wide variety of audio files such as songs, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. In contrast, MP3 can be used to compress a wide variety of digital audio files such as songs, podcasts, etc.


The difference between AIFF and MP3 is that AIFF is an uncompressed audio format, whereas MP3 is a compressed audio format. When you convert an AIFF file to MP3, you’re compressing an already uncompressed audio file. This can lead to a significant drop in quality.

Difference Between AIFF and MP3

AIFF is a common audio file format used to store sound data on electronic audio devices. The Electronic Arts Interchange File Format(IFF) serves as the foundation for this format. It’s most found on Apple Macintosh computers. The MP3 file extension is.mp3 or .bit.

The MP3 file format is a standard audio format that can store music files and audiobooks on your computer. It is a compression method, which means it takes an original file and makes it smaller for more accessible storage and sharing – for example, taking a 5MB song and making it 1MB. However, the original data cannot be re-created from the compressed version in its entirety.

Comparison Table Between AIFF and MP3

Parameters of ComparisonAIFFMP3
Full formThe full form of AIFF is Audio Interchange File Format.The full form of MP3 is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.
Developed by Apple Inc developed AIFF.The Moving Picture Experts Group developed MP3.
Compression The AIFF format does not support compression.The MP3 format support compression.
Filename extensionThe file extension of AIFF is .aif or.aiff.The file extension of MP3 is.mp3 or .bit
Launched in AIFF was launched in 21 January 1988,MP3 was launched in 6 December 1991.
Media type  The media type of AIFF is audio/x-aiff or audio/aiff. The media type of MP3 is audio/MPEG or audio/MPA.

What is AIFF?

AIFF files are used for storing high-quality music data and audio samples. They can also be used for storing audio or for encoding uncompressed audio file formats such as WAV or PCM with less space than the original file. AIFF files are much larger than MP3 or OGG and have a higher quality than compressed files like M4A or AAC.

 They have been incorporated with various digital audio tools and hardware equipment since 1988, when they were introduced. You can play and convert AIFF files on both Mac and PCs using various software programs like iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, VLC, and more. 

TunesKit Audio Converter is also one of the finest AIFF converters, allowing you to convert AIFF files to AAC, MP3, WAV M4A, and other common formats at up to 30x quicker speeds without sacrificing quality.

In 1988, Apple’s Macintosh became a leader in the new audio-visual industry. By creating AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) for the Macintosh Operating System, Apple provided an excellent way for people to store and exchange digital audio information.

What is MP3?

An MP3 file is an audio file that reduces the file size using a compression method. It irreversibly compresses data, and part of the original data from the source is lost in the process.

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 is a type of audio coding which allows digital audio to be compressed to 1/12 of its original size without any significant loss of quality.

The music industry is against this type of compression because it degrades the quality of their recordings. This degradation is not very noticeable to most people, and it allows for a dramatic reduction in file size. The MP3 format was developed by an organization called Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is sometimes referred to as MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III.

MP3 files are commonly used by portable media devices, such as smartphones, iPods, and other music players. Because they reduce the size of a file, they can also be used to store files on computers and send them via email or downloading from websites.

Standard programs that can open MP3 files include Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player for Mac, iTunes, VideoLAN VLC media player, Apple’s Safari browser, and Songbird.

Main Differences Between AIFF and MP3 

  1. AIFF is an abbreviation for Audio Interchange File Format, whereas MP3 is an abbreviation for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.
  2. Apple Inc. created AIFF, whereas the Moving Picture Experts Group created MP3.
  3. The AIFF format does not support compression. The MP3 format, on the other hand, allows for compression.
  4. AIFF files have the extension.aif or.aiff, whereas MP3 files have the extension .mp3 or .bit.
  5. On January 21, 1988, AIFF was released, while MP3 was released on December 6, 1991.
  6. AIFF uses the media types audio/x-AIFF or audio/AIFF, whereas MP3 uses audio/MPEG or audio/MPA.


The AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) and MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) are digital audio formats. The difference between AIFF and MP3 is that AIFF is an uncompressed format, and MP3 is a lossy compressed format.

Both AIFF and MP3 require digital-to-analog converters to play them because they are both digital formats. AIFF files are more significant than MP3 files because they do not compress. The main advantage of using MP3 files is that they can be downloaded much faster than AIFF files.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045926X09000810
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/1406.6221