Apple open-sources Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC)

Arnold Kim reports for MacRumors, “On MacOSForge, Apple has announced that they are releasing the Apple Lossless Audio Codec as an open source project: The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is a lossless audio codec developed by Apple and deployed on all of its platforms and devices for some years now. Apple is making the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) available as an open source project. Full details can be found on the Apple Lossless Audio Codec project page.

“The Apple Lossless Audio Codec is a similar to other ‘lossless’ codecs such as FLAC which offer audio compression without any loss in audio information,” Kim reports. “The project has been released under the Apache license.”

More info in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” and “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. I wasn’t really worried about Apple Lossless going away any time soon, but it’s still nice to have the format opened up. I store all my music in that form, and some added peace of mind is good.

  2. FLAC

    I understand why Apple developed the ALAC. What I don’t understand is what has EVER stopped Apple from adopting the FLAC format as well?! FLAC is Open Source, entirely free to integrate and extremely popular on the Internet. It should be directly supported in QuickTime, iTunes and all iDevices.

    Hello? Apple? FLAC! What’s stopping you?

          1. It is not misnamed. Just because something is compressed does not mean it can’t be lossless.

            Think of it this way: Take a theoretical word document that was compressed into a zip file two different ways, lossless (like ALAC), and lossy (like MP3, AAC). The original word doc was 10 MB to store, the lossless file only takes up 5 MB, the lossy file takes up 2 MB. The big difference is that when you decompress and open the lossless file. It is 100% identical to the original word document. Totally indistinguishable. When you decompress and open up the lossy file, it is largely the same, but maybe some punctuation is missing, a few words might have typos. The lossless copy was perfect in every way, just stored more efficiently. The lossy copy took less space and is still certainly readable, but at a cost of losing some of the polish in the original document.

            FLAC and ALAC sound identical because they are both lossless. ALAC may store the same information more efficiently, i.e. have smaller files, but the information in the file is the same.

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