Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between AAC and Apple Lossless

soundAAC vs. Apple Lossless

AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding, and it is an audio format that is used to store analog sound into digital files that can be replayed on digital audio players. AAC was intended as a replacement for the MP3, and as such is a lossy audio format, where some of the sound information is removed in order to reduce the file size even further. On the other side of the spectrum, are the lossless audio formats, where all of the data is retained, one of which is Apple Lossless. Apple created this format to be used in the wide range of iPods.

Files that are encoded with AAC are substantially smaller than files encoded with Apple Lossless. The difference in size can be up to 10 times. This is very significant in mobile devices where space is often an issue. Aside from space considerations, you would also need better hardware in order to cope with the higher amount of data that needs to be processed.

The price you pay for Apple Lossless is necessary if you want the best audio quality. The difference in quality can range from very little, as in the case of AAC files encoded with very high bit rates, or very big, like with the low bit rate AAC files. The difference in quality can be eliminated by people who do not have the right equipment. A huge Apple Lossless encoded song would sound much worse when heard through cheap headphones, or an inferior player.

Another difference between the two that might not be evident to consumers, is the licensing fees. Apple Lossless is a free audio format, and no fees are charged to the hardware or software makers. On the other hand, AAC is not free, and the fees can vary depending on the number of units produced. In certain special cases, a flat fee is charged.

In general, AAC is better for mobile devices due to its excellent size to quality ratio. Apple Lossless is much more suitable for home listening, where you can have huge amounts of storage, and the best audio equipment.


1. AAC is a lossy compression codec, unlike the Apple Lossless.

2. AAC produces much smaller files compared to Apple Lossless.

3. Apple Lossless requires beefier hardware compared to AAC.

4. The sound quality of AAC is inferior compared to that of the Apple Lossless.

5. AAC requires licensing fees, while Apple Lossless is a free codec.

6. AAC is good for mobile use, while Apple Loss is much better for home use.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. I have a hard drive of 320 GB x 2 at Raid 0. The great majority of my songs in itunes were imported from CD’s and are at 128 kbps with some purchased songs at 256 kbps. Why the difference? Can I change existing songs at 128 kbps to 256 or Apple Lossless? I noticed you state that there is not a big difference between 256 kbps and Apple lossless. How do I choose 256 kbps for the future? I really appreciate your help. Just a note that more than half of my library is composed of songs from the 50’s, 60’s 70′ and 80’s.

  2. Really good info. Thanks.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder