GSM 06.10 Lossy Speech Compression. A lossy format for compressing speech which is used in the Global Standard for Mobile telecommunications (GSM). It’s good for its purpose, shrinking audio data size, but it will introduce lots of noise when a given audio signal is encoded and decoded multiple times. This format is used by some voice mail applications. It is rather CPU intensive.
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.