“Apple Lossless, also known as ALAC, is a lossless audio codec Apple developed some time ago for digital music. The codec compresses music files anywhere from 40-60 percent of their original size with no discernible loss in audio quality or fidelity.” — Apples ALAC codec is now open source. About a year and a half ago I started re-ripping all my music in ALAC, it’s fantastic, especially now that iTunes can down-convert when syncing to iPhones / iPods.

7 thoughts on “ALAC now open source

  1. Awful nice of them to open source it, but it probably won’t really change anything. ALAC was reverse engineered 6 years ago. The libavcodec already has support for encoding and decoding to it. Most recent change I know of about it was 2 years ago when they added 24-bit support.

    FLAC is still a better codec as it gets pretty much the same compression and has a much, much faster algorithm for encoding and decoding. If only it had the device support that ALAC has. Kinda wish Apple had gone with it instead of inventing something new.

  2. FLAC For The Win! Many new devices have native support for FLAC these days.

    It’s like we should feel very delighted that DRM mogul threw us a penny…

  3. @OTTO – I think you under estimate the potential this has to change the live music market. FLAC has quickly become the defacto standard for bands distributing lossless recordings of their concerts. It has long be used alongside the SHN format by live music tapers and traders. The reason it has potential to change things is because Apple owns the portable listening device market and most of the live music aficionados hate that they don’t support FLAC.

    Look for tapers and traders to drive adoption of ALAC and for bands to start distributing high quality ALAC instead of FLAC.

  4. The claim about perceived audio quality is certainly debatable, one thing however is not: You need an open-source lossless format for long-time archiving. As long as I can compile (or write from scratch) a certain decoder for my current system, I will always have the possibility to encode the file into any other format needed, even after hundreds of years.