Opus is a lossy audio coding format developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force, designed to efficiently code speech and general audio in a single format, while remaining low-latency enough for real-time interactive communication and low-complexity enough for low-end ARM3 processors. Opus replaces both Vorbis and Speex for new applications, and several blind listening tests have ranked it higher-quality than any other standard audio format at any given bitrate until transparency is reached, including MP3, AAC, and HE-AAC.
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.