M4A always Apple Lossless?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by koswo, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Hi, I understand that Apple Lossless audio files have extension M4A. Now my question is, are all files with extension M4A Apple Lossless encoded or are there also lossy files among them?

    Thanks for clearing that out :)
  2. macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    .m4a is for the MP4 container. Apple Lossless is a codec. The MP4 container could also carry a lossy codec like AAC.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Most of the songs in my iTunes library are 256kbps AAC with the .m4a extension...
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2007
    ALAC ftw!!! Seriously, I love the sound quality of lossless like ALAC, but on some of my music, I encode to 320kbps VBR aac....I honestly can't tell the difference on some CD's I rip. I typically (using Max) rip to both aac & ALAC, then sample a few tracks to see if there's an audible difference, if not, I keep the aac & trash the ALAC to save space (I keep all my music on my MBP HD, which is only 120GB, so I'll save space whenever I can)
  5. macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2003
    M4A is not unique to the Apple Lossless format. There are also lossy files with the M4A extension.

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