User:UED77/Lossless comparison

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The lossless comparison page aims to gather information about lossless codecs available so users can make an informed decision as to what lossless codec to choose for their needs.


Given the enormous amount of lossless audio compressor choices available, it is a very difficult task to choose the one most suited for each person's needs.

Several people only take into consideration compression performance when choosing a codec. But as the following table and article shows, there are several other features worth taking into consideration when making that choice.

For example, users wanting good multiplatform compatibility and robustness (E.G, people sharing live recordings) would favour WavPack or FLAC. Another user, looking for the very highest compression available, would go with OptimFROG. Someone wanting portable support would use FLAC or ALAC, and so on.

En fin, this is not a matter worth getting too worked up about. If you later find out the codec you chose isn't the best for your needs, you can just transcompress to another format, without risk of losing quality.

Note: for latest comparison of lossless compression, scroll down to the Links section of this page.

Comparison Table

Features FLAC WavPack TAK Monkey's OptimFROG ALAC WMA
Compression* 58.70% 58.0% 57.0% 55.50% 54.70% 58.50% 56.30%
Flexibility** very good very good very good very good very good bad bad
Error handling yes yes yes no yes   yes
Seeking yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Tagging Vorbis tags ID3/APE APEv2 (exp.) ID3/APE ID3/APE Quicktime ASF
Hardware support very good limited no limited no good limited
Software support very good good average good average bad good
Hybrid/lossy no yes no no yes no no
Replay Gain yes yes yes no yes sort of no
RIFF chunks yes yes   yes yes   no
Streaming yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Pipe support yes yes yes yes yes no yes
Open source yes yes no yes no yes (decoding) no
Multichannel yes yes no no no yes yes
High resolution yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
OS support All All Win/Linux Wine All Win/Mac/Linux Win/Mac Win/Mac

(table continued below)

Features Shorten LA TTA LPAC MPEG-4 ALS MPEG-4 SLS Real Lossless
Compression* 63.50% 53.50% 57.10% 57.20% 57.10%  ? 57.0%
Flexibility** bad average bad bad very good bad bad
Error handling no no yes no yes yes  
Seeking yes yes yes slow yes yes yes
Tagging no ID3v1 ID3 no yes yes Proprietary
Hardware support limited no limited no no no no
Software support very good bad average average bad bad bad
Hybrid/lossy no no no no no yes no
Replay Gain no no yes no yes yes no
RIFF chunks yes yes no yes      
Streaming no   no no yes yes yes
Pipe support yes yes no       no
Open source yes no yes no yes yes no
Multichannel no no yes no yes yes no
High resolution no no yes yes yes yes no
OS support All Win/Linux All Win/Linux/Sol All All Win/Mac/Linux

* The Compression ratio is calculated with the division of compressed size by uncompressed size * 100. So, lower is better.

Encoding speed, Decoding speed and Compression ratio are based on each encoder's default settings.

** Flexibility refers to the amount of encoding choices offered to the users (Fast/low compression, Slow/high compression and everything inbetween)

See also

External links

Other lossless compressions comparisons

Sorted based on last update date.

More on lossless compressions