We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Au File?

By M. Haskins
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An au file is a computer file with the filename extension .au or sometimes .snd, and is an older audio file format often described as simple or basic. The au file format was commonly used by various early personal computer systems and web pages, but is not as commonly used today, so to listen to an au file on newer media players, it is often necessary to use an audio converter. This audio file format was created by the computer company Sun Microsystems, and originally used what is called the u-Law encoding method for data, referring to a logarithmic type of encoding mainly used in Japan and North America. Newer versions of the au format also support other types of audio encoding formats. Audio programs that can open an au file include QuickTime, Real Player's 32-bit version, Winamp, and Microsoft Windows Media Player.

A raw audio file created using the u-Law, sometimes called mu-Law, logarithmic encoding method is essentially identical to an au file, with the only difference being that newer au files have a header. Raw u-Law files and older au files were both headerless. This sound file format was used on computer systems developed and sold by NeXT, a computer company started by Steve Jobs in 1985. The u-Law method of logarithmic encoding of sound data was also extensively used on the Unix operating system, which was used by Sun Microsystems for some of its computer systems.

A newer au file has three basic parts: a header, an optional block of information that can vary in length, and the audio data itself. Included in the header is the sampling rate, the data length in bytes, and the number of channels. For example, if the header specifies the number of channels as one, the sound is in monaural, and if it is set to two, the sound is in stereo.

To listen to an au file using newer audio technology, conversion of the file is often necessary. Various audio converters on the market can handle the au format including Fx Audio Tools, ACDR, and Allok Audio Converter. In spite of the development of many newer computer file formats for audio, such as mp3, the au file format is still used on the Internet, and it can be used for sound by Java programs. Au files are also used by the digital audio editor Audacity, which is a freeware program.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.