this format is free, which apparently is one of the reasons for its popularity. The used codecs supports variable bit rates (as a default), and .ogg files usually play back easily on all platforms. All things being equal, the sound quality exceeds that of mp3 somewhat.
AU is a file extension for a sound file format belonging to Sun, NeXT and DEC and used in UNIX. The AU file format is also known as the Sparc-audio or u-law fomat. AU files contain three parts: the audio data and text for a header (containing 24 bytes) and an annotation block.