Apple released its Lossless Audio Codec, or ALAC, as open source on Thursday, potentially opening the format to a wider audience. Apple began using the codec several years ago as a way to offer higher quality audio files at much smaller sizes compared to other audio formats.
Apple Lossless Codec goes Open Source
The Apple Lossless format was introduced in 2004 for the Mac and has carried over to iOS devices and most iPods, too. The format was reverse engineered several years ago, so it is already available through several other applications such as VLC and Boxee.
The codec sources are available under the Apache license. Developers interested in working with the ALAC codec can check out the Mac OS Forge Web site.