Before going into the details of ALAC vs FLAC, it’s essential to know their abbreviations. ALAC stands for (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), and FLAC stands for (Free Lossless Audio Codec).

The technique of compression is often used to make the original files smaller so they could be stored and sent more efficiently. However, this likely will mean some data is lost during the process. Lossless compression on an audio file has the advantage of reducing the size without compromising sound quality. Lossless refers to a method where no audio data is lost.

Consider the differences between ALAC vs FLAC files if you want the most critical audio files while maintaining the integrity of how these audio files may be played and recognized. Even though both file formats have excellent sound quality, you’ll notice a variance between the two. So, in this article, we’ll discuss ALAC vs FLAC in detail.

Comparing FLAC and ALAC

A FLAC file is an auditory file compacted using the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) standard. It is very comparable to the more well-known MP3 file. Still, it is compressed to a lower file size without losing any original audio data, calling it “lossless.”

The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) filename is a data format. Apple created these file formats exclusively for iOS. They use the M4A format, and, like FLAC records, they’re in a lossless arrangement file, which means that, although compressed, they don’t lose any original audio data or sound.

ALAC vs FLAC
ALAC data format was created by Apple exclusively for their iOS.

ALAC vs FLAC: Comparison Table 

FLACALAC
File ExtensionFlacm4a, caf
Sound QualityFantastic (slightly better than ALAC)Great
Compression Ratio and File SizeBetter compression ratio but relatively more minor (FLAC: 57%)ALAC: 57.8% Note: Compressed size/uncompressed size * 100 represents the compression ratio. Thus, lower is preferable.
Sampling Rate24-bit16-bit
Supported ProgramsFLAC can be played in the majority of music apps, except iTunes.ALAC can only play in many iOS applications, including iTunes.

ALAC vs FLAC: 6 Must-Know Facts

  • Apple created ALAC as an Apple-only alternative to FLAC.
  • Most websites that sell high-resolution music include both FLACs and ALACs. 
  • There are no discernible differences between the two depending on whether you are an Apple enthusiast or not.
  • Most Apple users like ALAC over FLAC.
  • iTunes does not support FLAC.
  • You must have all Hi-Res files in the ALAC format if you depend heavily on iTunes for your daily activities. Additionally, it works with every iOS-based Smartphone.
ALAC vs FLAC
All Android phones (Android 3.1 or later) support FLAC audio playback.

What’s The Difference?

Both file formats are alike in that they are lossless audio records that are compressed without sacrificing their original quality. This compression generally enables you to store more data on a USB storage device or a thumb drive, which are personal storage drives. 

The sound quality is similar and the significant difference between the two is what software supports them.

Compatibility Of ALAC And FLAC

Because Apple develops ALAC files, they may be accessed anytime using iTunes and all iDevices such as the iPhone or iPod. If you wish to play ALAC files on your PC, you might need to install iTunes for Windows in the Microsoft Store or find some other 3rd party player. The best thing to do, however, is to convert that ALAC file to something supported by Windows.

FLAC and ALAC Audio File Conversion

Many online websites such as FreeConvert.com can do this for you. Downloadable software including Wondershare and EZ Converter, are helpful as well. Additionally, you won’t need to be concerned about audio quality deteriorating when you go from one audio arrangement to another since these converters ensure the excellent quality of your audio files throughout the conversion. 

How to Get ALAC vs FLAC

ALAC files may be obtained by extracting the CD you purchased on iTunes. ALAC can also be purchased. HD Tracks and Society of Sound are the two options. FLAC files may be obtained by ripping the CD in Bluesound Vault.

Which Audio Format Is the Best?

Both are smaller in size and higher in sound quality compared to the widely-popular MP3 files. Also, most websites that sell high-resolution music include both FLACs and ALACs.

The ALAC file arrangement is your most acceptable option if you’re a die-hard Apple fan and listen to music on an iPhone or through iTunes. If you use a computer, you could discover that FLAC audio files are more suitable for you and that your machine already has the tools to play them.

ALAC vs FLAC: What Are The Differences? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you tell the differences between ALAC and FLAC?

Regarding sound quality, FLAC prevails over ALAC. FLAC has a more effective sample rate, whereas ALAC uses a 16-bit encoding format. ALAC has a CD-like quality far superior to most of your ordinal records. The FLAC is more similar to the workspace controllers.

Is ALAC lossless?

Apple Lossless Audio Codec is a proprietary lossless audio compression technique (ALAC). The whole Apple Music library is now available ALAC encoded in determinations varying from 16-bit/44.1 kHz (CD Quality) to 24-bit/192 kHz, in addition to AAC.

Is FLAC better than lossless?

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files are compressed to almost half their original size compared to uncompressed WAV or AIFF files of equal sample rates, but there shouldn’t be any audible “loss” in the quality of the sound. Additionally, FLAC files may have resolutions of up to 32-bit, 96kHz, which is superior to CD quality.

Can iTunes play ALAC?

You may switch formats without affecting your routine because it is compatible with iTunes and iOS.

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