From Tracy Harter: "... I know that flac is
opensource and perhaps more flexible and that apple lossless is obviously
proprietary. But that's about all I know."
The underlying issue is which will still be around in 20 years?"
The answer that has always worked for me is to examine the financial value
of all of the material stored in a given format and go with the one storing
the most valuable assets.
Apple holds a dominant position in the audio file sales business that I
would expect software capable of playing Apple files to remain readily
available for some time despite it being proprietary. The trouble with open
source is that there is little incentive for developers to maintain
compatibility with new generations of computers unless the software is in
really widespread use.
A less obvious issue is bit depth capability. Here FLAC had an advantage
over the first generation of Apple lossless which was limited to 16 bits
however the current Apple lossless seems to return what you put in although
I haven't tested it yet.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!