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.
WavPack lossless audio compression. Note that, when converting .wav to this format and back again, the RIFF header is not necessarily preserved losslessly (though the audio is).