Apple May Offer New Lossless Codec Via iTunes
The latest version of Apple’s iTunes Producer, a software program sent to record labels as a utility for submitting their music for inclusion on the iTunes Music Store, hints that Apple may begin to sell tracks on iTunes encoded with their new lossless format. The lossless compression technology debuted as part of QuickTime 6.5.1 in 2004. At the time, Apple claimed that the new format offered CD quality sound at close to half the file size as a Redbook 16 bit 24 kHz file. Currently, Apple only sells songs in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, a low quality compression scheme.
iTunes Producer 1.4 can now encode music in Apple Lossless format, which will, of course, produce larger audio files and will increase download time and hard drive space for consumers. The format was already incorporated into iTunes 4.5, so all Apple has to work out is a Digital Right Management (DRM) system.