Apple Lossless

ALACApple Lossless Audio Codec.m4aALEApple Lossless (ALAC)Apple Lossless EncoderApple lossless format
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.wikipedia
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Audio coding format

audio codingaudio coding standardaudio compression format
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.
Lossless audio coding formats such as FLAC and Apple Lossless are sometimes available, though at the cost of larger files.

Lossless compression

losslesslossless data compressioncompression
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

ITunes

Apple iTunesApple PodcastsiTunes India
These other lossless codecs, such as FLAC and Shorten, are not natively supported by Apple's iTunes nor the later Music applications (either the Mac OS or Windows versions) or by older iOS devices, but there are free converter tools available to change the format from FLAC to ALAC or vice versa. The software for encoding into ALAC files, Apple Lossless Encoder, was introduced into the Mac OS X Core Audio framework on April 28, 2004 together with the QuickTime 6.5.1 update; thus making it available in iTunes since version 4.5 and above, and its replacement; the Music application.
iTunes supports WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, AAC, and MP3 audio formats.

MPEG-4 Part 14

MP4M4A.mp4
Apple Lossless data is frequently stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a.
In response, Apple Inc. started using the .m4a filename extension for MP4 containers with audio data in the lossy Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) or its own Apple Lossless (ALAC) formats.

QuickTime

QuickTime PlayerQuickTime XApple QuickTime
The software for encoding into ALAC files, Apple Lossless Encoder, was introduced into the Mac OS X Core Audio framework on April 28, 2004 together with the QuickTime 6.5.1 update; thus making it available in iTunes since version 4.5 and above, and its replacement; the Music application.
For example, iTunes can export audio in WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC, and Apple Lossless.

Advanced Audio Coding

AACAAC-LCMPEG-4 AAC
However, Apple Lossless is not a variant of AAC (which is a lossy format), but rather a distinct lossless format that uses linear prediction similar to other lossless codecs.

Libavcodec

lavc
The open source library libavcodec incorporates both a decoder and an encoder for Apple Lossless format, which means that (including VLC media player and MPlayer, as well as many media center applications for home theater computers, such as Plex, XBMC, and Boxee) are able to play Apple Lossless files.

Audio Interchange File Format

AIFF.aiffAIF
Users of iTunes or Music applications who want to use a lossless format which allows the addition of metadata (unlike WAV/AIFF or other PCM-type formats, where metadata is usually ignored) have to use ALAC.

AirPlay

AirPlay 2AirTunes
The codec is also used in the AirPort and AirPlay implementation.
The streams are transcoded using the Apple Lossless codec with 44100 Hz and 2 channels symmetrically encrypted with AES, requiring the receiver to have access to the appropriate key to decrypt the streams.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 11Windows Media Player 12Windows Media Player Mobile
Windows 10 supports ALAC encoding and decoding since 2015, thereby enabling other media players to use it, e.g. Windows Media Player when ripping CDs or the Spotify desktop client for playback of local .m4a files.
Windows Media Player 12 adds native support for H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 2 video formats, ALAC, AAC audio and 3GP, MP4 and MOV container formats.

MPlayer

liba52mplayer2Gnome MPlayer
The open source library libavcodec incorporates both a decoder and an encoder for Apple Lossless format, which means that (including VLC media player and MPlayer, as well as many media center applications for home theater computers, such as Plex, XBMC, and Boxee) are able to play Apple Lossless files.

VLC media player

VLCVLC playerlibVLC
The open source library libavcodec incorporates both a decoder and an encoder for Apple Lossless format, which means that (including VLC media player and MPlayer, as well as many media center applications for home theater computers, such as Plex, XBMC, and Boxee) are able to play Apple Lossless files.

Monkey's Audio

APE.apeMonkey's Audio (APE)
Similar to the FLAC and Apple Lossless format, files encoded to Monkey's Audio are typically reduced to about half of the original size, with data transfer rates and bandwidth requirements being reduced accordingly.

Rockbox

Rockbox ProjectRockbox kernelRockbox port
The library was subsequently optimized for ARM processors and included in Rockbox.

Audio file format

audioaudio fileaudio files
Lossless compression formats include the common FLAC, WavPack, Monkey's Audio, ALAC (Apple Lossless).

Foobar2000

Foobar 2000foobar2000 media playerFPL
Foobar2000 will also play Apple Lossless files as will JRiver Media Center and BitPerfect.
At its core, foobar2000 natively supports a range of audio formats, including MP1, MP2, MP3, MPC, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC / Ogg FLAC, ALAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, CD, Speex, and Opus.

Windows Media Audio

WMAWMA LosslessWMA Pro
Windows Media Audio Lossless (WMA Lossless) is a lossless audio codec that competes with ATRAC Advanced Lossless, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Shorten, Monkey's Audio, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and WavPack (Since late 2011, the last three have the advantage of being open source software and available for nearly any operating system.) Designed for archival purposes, it compresses audio signals without loss of quality from the original using VBR.

Audio codec

audio codecscodecaudio
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

Apple Inc.

AppleApple ComputerApple Inc
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

Music

audiomusicalPop
Apple Lossless, also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), is an audio coding format, and its reference audio codec implementation, developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

Proprietary format

proprietaryproprietary file formatproprietary file formats
After initially keeping it proprietary from its inception in 2004, in late 2011 Apple made the codec available open source and royalty-free.

Open-source software

open sourceopen-sourceopen source software
After initially keeping it proprietary from its inception in 2004, in late 2011 Apple made the codec available open source and royalty-free.

Royalty-free

royalty free
After initially keeping it proprietary from its inception in 2004, in late 2011 Apple made the codec available open source and royalty-free.

Digital container format

container formatcontainercontainer formats
Apple Lossless data is frequently stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a.