WAV (or WAVE) is actually the first full-fledged audio format with good sound quality. It was developed quite a few years ago by the joint efforts of Microsoft and IBM. Sometimes this format is even called “Audio for Windows,” because it is the standard for storing audio stream for a traditional Windows desktop computer. Full name - Wave Audio File Format. The short name is derived from the English word wave ("wave"). The peculiarity of this format of digitized audio stream is the lack of compression. WAV files take up too much space, but it is ideal for storing high quality files in their original form.
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.