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Apple Loseless, the "forced" audio format on the Internet

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According to reports on the website of David Hammerton,, the young American developer managed to understand the operation of Alac, Apple Loseless Audio Codec, the digitization format without loss of information (therefore a competitor of Mp3 and Aac at high bitrates) used from the house of Cupertino to copy digital music without loss of quality through iTunes and to stream via Airport to the Airport Express bases.

The decoding (and not the encoding, which the developer has not implemented, even if it indicates it as simple to make) marks a significant step in the knowledge of a technology, that of Apple, in direct competition with the Open Source Flac standard.

Apple's choice to develop its own "loseless" format (without loss of information) stemmed from technical needs: memory management in the first two generations of iPods and mini and shuffle, in fact, according to some engineers who analyzed the functioning of the Apple's digital players would not have been able to handle the Flac format. Hence the need to create a loseless format that is equally efficient in terms of yield but more "light" in terms of the demand for power and memory for Apple's digital readers.

Among other things, the same reason would be the basis of Apple's decision not to use the Ogg format, very popular in the Linux environment: the requests for power and memory for the codec would in fact exceed the capacity of the processors and the memory availability of the first digital music players of the Cupertino house.

What the effects on Apple are not clear: the copyrighted Alac format of the Cupertino company that, in this period, is particularly active with those who fly their rights. On the other hand, the only potential risk is that of being able to "break" the protection of digital music purchased on the iTunes Music Store through a somewhat laborious system.

In practice, if a user transmits the streaming of protected music via Airport, iTunes transforms it "on the fly" into the Alac format, which could be intercepted by a second machine (by the same user), decoded and written to disk in Wav format. A mechanism that isn't really fast (the speed would be that of playing music) or simple to "crack" the music of iTunes.