Apple Makes Apple Lossless Audio Codec Open Source

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The best part about today’s giant hard drives is not having to compromise on the quality of my music encoding. I typically encode with WMA Lossless simply because it works with all of my systems and devices. However, I know many geeks prefer to use FLAC because of its open source roots. Open source advocates now have the choice of Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) as Apple has chosen to open it up under the Apache 2.0 license. Apple hasn’t given any explanation for its magnanimity, but I’m sure they won’t get any complaints. It leaves me wondering though, what’s your preference for audio encoding?

ALAC is similar to another common open lossless format know as FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), but uses an MPEG 4-compliant QuickTime container. ALAC is supported in iTunes as well as Apple’s popular iPod and all iOS devices. For audiophiles who can’t stand lossy formats like AAC or MP3, it offers a better sounding alternative. 

Ars Technica

  • For ease of use and quality,

    For ease of use and quality, WMA Lossless.  I then use the Lame encoder and make MP3 encoded copies for portable use.

    I don’t think it matters what lossless format is used. If the need arises to switch formats, it is easily done with dBpoweramp. They key thing is that some lossless format is used for archiving and use with a decent audio system. I made the mistake a long time ago of not doing this and ended up re-ripping my collection because the quality of the mp3, while adequate for portable use, fell apart when played back through my home audio system.

  • Isn’t it too late for

    Isn’t it too late for ALAC?

    The horse has already bolted. All the high end hi-fi companies and audiophiles have settled on FLAC as the format of choice for high quality streaming/digital listening.