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Apple Lossless (also known as ALAC) and AIFF are two non-lossy formats encoding audio files, keeping all information intact. Some people may feel confusing since they look alike and both of them are lossless. So, what are the differences between? You could get more information of then through reading our tutorial.

What is Apple Lossless?

Apple Lossless is also known as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), or Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE). Apple Lossless is developed by Apple Inc. and used for the lossless data compression of digital music. At present, all the iOS devices can play ALAC encoded files. Besides, ALAC music files are not protected by any DRM scheme, which means that they are free to play.

Apple Lossless

What is AIFF?

AIFF is short for Audio Interchange File Format, encoding sound data for PC, and other electronic devices. AIFF is also developed by Apple Inc. and is commonly used on Apple Macintosh computer system. AIFF is an uncompressed format, meaning that all the audio information stored in AIFF format are lossless.

Apple Lossless vs. AIFF

Information Compression

Nowadays, most people would now concentrate on the quality of the audio files. Both Apple Lossless and AIFF formats are lossless, but one of the differences between them refers to that AIFF is uncompressed, however, Apple Lossless is compressed. Compression means that it compresses the data with the use of algorithms, and this is the essential elements that drive Apple Lossless and AIFF into the difference.

File Size

The compression mentioned above aims at minimizing the file size of the files. Since Apple Lossless is compressed, therefore, the file size of Apple Lossless is smaller than AIFF. When you have limited storage space, the smaller the file size is, the more you can store. If you want to own lossless audio files but have limited storage space, it is better to use Apple Lossless.


By comparison, the playback of AIFF would be more steady since it is uncompressed. Because of compression, when we use media players to play Apple Lossless audio files, the players need to decompress the file before it plays back. Most of the newly developed media players could solve this problem easily, but as for those old media players, they would be slow on decompressing the file, lagging the play behind.

In the Nutshell

To sum up, the essential difference between Apple Lossless and AIFF format due to the compression. Apple Lossless is compressed while AIFF is uncompressed. The compression would have affected the file size, playback speed obviously, but both of them are lossless. So, just select the one which is more suitable for you.

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Our TuneFab Apple Music Converter is able to convert the music files into AIFF. If you want to get the non-lossy and uncompressed audio files, try to use TuneFab Apple Music Converter to finish the conversion!

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How to Convert Apple Music to MP3

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