MP3 is the most common music (sound) file format. This format was developed by Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson. This format for storing and transmitting music (sound) files in digital form uses signal compression technology. That is why, unlike the previously widespread WAV format, MP3 files (full name - MPEG Audio Layer-3) are much smaller in size, and their sound quality is much higher. The MP3 format was one of the first and most successful sound compression methods. One of the important characteristics of this process is the degree of compression, that is, how much data is transferred per unit of time. Standard MP3 encoding is from 64 to 320 kb / s.
ALAC is the format of a small specialized program called an audio codec. Its main task is to compress a file with digital music without losing its quality. The name of the format created by Apple's IT giant is Apple's abbreviation Lossless Audio Codec. This format may also be called ALE (from Apple Lossless Encoder). Files in this format can play devices even with limited computing resources - such as an iPod. When compressing a file in this format, it is approximately 40-60% of the original file. Now almost every multimedia player based on the libavcodec library is able to play ALAC format files.