A WAV is an UNCOMPRESSED file, which means you get what you make. It is also knows as "loseless". There are other similiar file types as well, such as a FLAC for uncompressed listening pleasure. Now then, uncompressed listening pleasure makes no damn sense because our ears can only hear a certain range if frequencies. In fact, as you get older you hear even fewer frequencies. The purpose of a WAV is for mass production and editing, allowing the manipulation of the file for unlimited possabillities.
A MP3 is a COMPRESSED file, which means you take out a lot of those freqencies for a much, much smaller file that can be loaded on any music player (or MP3 player) for your listening pleasure. The highest you can go with a MP3 is 320KBps. (320 Kilobytes every second). This is preffered by most artists. 240KBps is also preffered. You can easily tell the difference as you get lower in KBps with a MP3, much more noticable than a WAV.
In Flash, most artists choose above 80 KBps for music and sound, since adding high quality sound can result in a massive 10MB+ file. Since there are many, many types of media in the industry, there areany, many types of compression methods. MP3, WAV, and FLAC are the common ones. I have come across m3u, for online radio stations, and used the file to connect a flash game to an online station. I have also come across WMA, windows media player, AIFF and AIF, Apple uncompressed formatting, and .ogg, a strange compression method developed by Vorbis.
Hope this helps!
I have a question, however. Do i LOSE quality if I change an MP3 to a WAV?