The term non-lossy codec means the coding thing having no compression lost, more here. I need such format to process the audio, without destroying the quality. Wikipedia mentions in the context of lossy compression:

Ogg Vorbis (noted for its lack of patent restrictions)
Speex (noted for its lack of patent restrictions)

but the other wikipedia site for lossless things is open-ended, it mentions some patents and some expirations but not whether some codec has no patent-restrictions. Does there exist a lossless (non-lossy) codec without patent-restrictions or some sort of lists/matrix summing up the patent -things?

Perhaps related

  1. Xiph.Org, the organization behind the multimedia formats and software tools here
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You didn't try googling for "lossless audio codec" first? It's the first result. $\endgroup$
    – endolith
    Jun 29, 2012 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


FLAC is the de facto standard, particularly, notice from the latter link:

The specification of the stream format can be implemented by anyone without prior permission (Xiph.org reserves the right to set the FLAC specification and certify compliance), and that neither the FLAC format nor any of the implemented encoding / decoding methods are covered by any patent. It also means that the reference implementation is free software. The source code for libFLAC and libFLAC++ is available under the BSD license, and the sources for flac, metaflac, and the plugins are available under the GNU General Public License.

In its stated goals, the FLAC project encourages its developers not to implement copy prevention features of any kind.[5]


As of 2012 Apple released their ALAC lossless codec to open source. Qaac has a '-A' command line option to use it.


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