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Audio Lossless Coding

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Title: Audio Lossless Coding  
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Audio Lossless Coding

Audio Lossless Coding
Developed by ISO
Type of format Audio compression format
Contained by MP4
Standard ISO/IEC 14496-3

MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, also known as MPEG-4 ALS, is an extension to the ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 2:2006 in 2006.[1] The latest description of MPEG-4 ALS was published as subpart 11 of the MPEG-4 Audio standard (ISO/IEC 14496-3:2009) (4th edition) in August 2009.[2]

MPEG-4 ALS combines together a short-term predictor and a long term predictor. The short-term predictor is similar to FLAC in its operation - it is a quantized LPC predictor with a losslessly coded residual using Golomb Rice Coding or Block Gilbert Moore Coding (BGMC).[3][4] The long term predictor is modeled by 5 long-term weighted residues, each with its own lag (delay). The lag can be hundreds of samples. This predictor improves the compression for sounds with rich harmonics (containing multiples of a single fundamental frequency, locked in phase) present in many musical instruments and human voice.


  • Features 1
  • Software support 2
  • History 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


  • Support for PCM resolutions of up to 32-bit [2]
  • Arbitrary sampling rates (tested up to 192 kHz, higher frequencies such as 384 kHz can be handled with the current specifications)[5]
  • Multi-channel / multi-track support (up to 65536 channels)
  • Fast random access to any part of the encoded data.
  • Tagging
  • Streaming[5]
  • Error correction mechanisms[6]
  • Optional storage in MP4 file format[2]
  • Can be multiplexed with video data using MP4 file format
  • An MPEG-4 Audio profile "ALS Simple Profile".[7]

Software support

As of 2006, there has not been wide acceptance of this format, possibly due to the lack of encoders and decoders available.[6]

A reference implementation of MPEG-4 ALS encoder and decoder (mp4als - e.g. mp4alsRM22rev2) can be obtained at the MPEG-4 ALS homepage and it was also published as ISO/IEC 14496-5:2001/Amd 10:2007/Cor 3:2009.[2]

There is a MPEG-4 ALS Decoder plugin for Winamp player.[8]

On November 11, 2009, the FFmpeg open source project gained an MPEG-4 ALS decoder in its development version.[9]


In July 2002, the Moving Picture Experts Group issued a call for proposals of lossless audio coding procedures to be sent in before December. Seven companies submitted their proposals which were examined taking into consideration compression efficiency, complexity and flexibility. By July 2003, Lossless Predictive Audio Compression (LPAC) was selected as the first draft for the future standard. The reference model was further developed under participation of the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), RealNetworks, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT).

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b c d Communication Systems Group (2009-10-01). "MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding (ALS)". Technische Universität Berlin. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  3. ^ Tilman Liebchen and Yuriy Reznik (2004-04-03). "MPEG-4 ALS: an Emerging Standard for Lossless Audio Coding" (PDF). Data Compression Conference. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  4. ^ Tilman Liebchen: Technical Universifty of Berlin, T. Moriya, N. Harada, Y. Kamamoto: NTT Communication Science Labs; Y. Reznik: RealNetworks Inc. (2005-08-03). "The MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding (ALS) Standard - Technology and Applications" (PDF). Technical Universifty of Berlin. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  5. ^ a b Noboru Harada, Takehiro Moriya, and Yutaka Kamamoto (2009-05-07). "MPEG-4 ALS: Performance, Applications, and Related Standardization Activities". NTT Technical Review. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  6. ^ a b Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase (2006). "Lossless comparison - Comparison Table". Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  7. ^ ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (2009-07-03), ISO/IEC 14496-3:200X/PDAM 2 – ALS Simple Profile and Transport of SAOC - N10826 (DOC), retrieved 2009-10-15 
  8. ^ "MPEG-4 ALS Decoder plugin 1.00 for Winamp". 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  9. ^ FFmpeg (2009-11-11). "FFmpeg-cvslog r20517". FFmpeg. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 

External links

  • MPEG-4 ALS homepage - Technical University Berlin
  • MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding (ALS) - MultimediaWiki
  • MPEG-4 ALS: Performance, Applications, and Related Standardization Activities - NTT (2007)
  • Technical papers describing design of resdual coding and quantization algorithms in MPEG-4 ALS codec
  • Announcement on ACN Newswire
  • Technical specifications (ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 2:2006) (not free)
  • Official MPEG web site
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