After seven years, Apple open sources its Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Apple first introduced its own lossless audio compression format, Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), in 2004 with iTunes 4.5. This Thursday—seven years later—the company made the code for its encoder and decoder available under an Apache 2.0 open source license.
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.