Is a multimedia container format from Microsoft, which stores video and audio file streams. Distinctive feature is a the lack of information on the coding data. The container defines the structure of the stream so it can, like AVI, contain videos with different codecs, as well as operate during synchronization of streams.
this is a lossless-format (and encoding algorithm) for Apple platforms. M4A is widely used in iPod players and as a component in QuickTime media-players. The m4a codecs decoder is found in open sources - this allows third party users to open files in that format.