Apple has made its Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) open-source, the company’s codec for compressing audio files without losing data – and hence music fidelity – along the way. Introduced to OS X back in 2004, and now supported on Macs, in iTunes, on iPods, iPhones and iPads, ALAC is also used in AirPlay on the AirPort Express.
The company claims files using Apple Lossless will require “about half the storage space” of the originals, though the exact amount of compression depends on the type of music involved. The files are DRM-free, and several third-party projects have adopted the standard, including Plex, VLC, Boxee and XBMC.
While a welcome move by Apple, many music fans are still hoping the company will broaden its codec horizons and add FLAC lossless support to iPods and other devices. More details on using ALAC now that it’s distributed under the Apache license here at MacOSForge.
[via 9 to 5 Mac]