FLAC is fine. The fidelity and features using it are unquestionable. The number of devices in use that support FLAC is not as high, thus Audacity misses out on serving a great number of users. Since Apple released their proprietary lossless format to open source, are there any programs willing to take up the challenge of building Audacity to support ALAC. Other lossless codecs, such as FLAC and Shorten, are not natively supported by Apple’s iTunes software (either the Mac OS or Windows versions) or by iOS devices, so users of iTunes software who want to use a lossless format which allows the addition of metadata (unlike WAV/AIFF or other PCM-type formats, where metadata is usually ignored) have to use ALAC. All current iDevices can play ALAC–encoded files.
iTunes supports AIFF metadata.
Increasing numbers of programs support WAV metadata (either RIFF INFO, or ID3). You could ask Apple to support WAV metadata. It’s a serious lack that they don’t, in my opinion.
On Windows and Linux, Audacity supports ALAC if you add FFmpeg: Audacity Manual .
On Mac OS X, you can import ALAC into Audacity without FFmpeg, using Audacity’s built-in QuickTime importer.
- 24-bit ALAC imports using FFmpeg may be corrupted, though this may be a limitation in the elderly FFmpeg version Audacity uses.
- Audacity FFmpeg support is such that formats with higher resolution than 16-bit are only imported at 16-bit.
Are the above two issues what you are trying to address? Audacity will probably see licensing objections to adding built-in support for a proprietary codec like ALAC. We can legally use libraries on the operating system (which is why Audacity on Mac OS X can import ALAC natively).