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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Is there software available to allow Windows Media Player to play Apple Lossless Audio Format files?

If so where do I get it. I get the impression FFDSHOW is supposed to support Apple Lossless but I cannot see how to get that to work in Windows Media Player.

Many thanks.

Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #1
I'm afraid that's a pretty tall order my friend, asking one behemoth company's media player to play the proprietary lossless format of one of its chief rivals.    I think there's a component that allows you to play ALAC files in Foobar (the popular audio player around these forums) but I know of no such equivalent for WiMP (try googling a few keywords maybe?).  AFAIK use of ALAC is pretty much limited to iTunes.

  • Mangix
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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #2
If so where do I get it. I get the impression FFDSHOW is supposed to support Apple Lossless but I cannot see how to get that to work in Windows Media Player.

why would something like ffdshow, which is open source, have support for a propietary format which is inferior to Open Source ones like FLAC?

  • Nayru
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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #3

If so where do I get it. I get the impression FFDSHOW is supposed to support Apple Lossless but I cannot see how to get that to work in Windows Media Player.

why would something like ffdshow, which is open source, have support for a propietary format which is inferior to Open Source ones like FLAC?

ffmpeg aims to support all formats (at least for decoding) including proprietary ones like Apple Lossless, WMA, and RealAudio.  Why would someone want this?  Well, suppose you have an Apple Lossless file and you want to encode it with FLAC.  That'd be pretty difficult if you couldn't decode it...

  • audiomars
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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #4
-----snip-----
Well, suppose you have an Apple Lossless file and you want to encode it with FLAC.  That'd be pretty difficult if you couldn't decode it...
-----snip-----


You can always use dBpowerAMP Music Converter combined with its aac & Apple Lossless decoder for the task detailed above.
Reason is immortal, all else mortal
- Pythagoras

Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #5
To my knowledge, there isn't a plug-in to play ALAC files in Windows Media Player.  Nero 7 comes bundled with a plug-in for WMP to allow for mpeg-4 video (h.264/AVC and h.236), and mpeg-4 AAC audio play back but I think that is about it.

It is strange that Windows Media Play can't readily convert/play ALAC files yet iTunes can convert Windows Media Lossless (and other WMA files) to the mpeg-4 AAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, or iTunes mp3.  You would think that Microsoft would want for people to switch from the iPod/iTunes world to their Windows Media Player/WMA world thuss offering a easy solution to convert all your music (like what Apple offered).

  • eofor
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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #6
That's pretty simple: Microsoft licenses the WMA decoder to 3rd party developers (incl. Apple), while Apple does not license its proprietary codecs. Same with DRM: any hardware manufacturer can buy a license to decode protected WMA because MS does not care about hardware, while Apple does not license FairPlay DRM to others to protect iPod sales.
  • Last Edit: 26 May, 2006, 10:05:34 AM by eofor

Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #7
That's pretty simple: Microsoft licenses the WMA decoder to 3rd party developers (incl. Apple), while Apple does not license its proprietary codecs. Same with DRM: any hardware manufacturer can buy a license to decode protected WMA because MS does not care about hardware, while Apple does not license FairPlay DRM to others to protect iPod sales.


Duh, Apple would need to license their ALAC format to Microsoft to enable WMP playback and conversion.

Thanks for clearing that up, I just didn't think about it.  It is funny that Apple wanted a WMA license so people could use iTunes to convert to other formats while Apple won't give Microsoft a license so Windows users can convert from mpeg-4 AAC or ALAC to WMA.

Eh, I guess that is the way the world works.

  • eofor
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Apple Lossless in Windows Media Player
Reply #8
Apple could also write a ALAC DirectShow filter themselves so every application can use it (which is what they should've done IMO instead of porting the whole f$%#kin bug-ridden and slow QuickTime architecture to Windows). Microsoft did the same on the Mac platform recently when they abandoned the half-assed idea of their own Windows Media Player for Mac and replaced it with a proper WMA/WMV plugin for Quicktime (Flip4Mac).

AAC-in-MP4 can be played on WMP with ffdshow or the Orban AAC plugin.
  • Last Edit: 26 May, 2006, 11:46:36 AM by eofor