By Kirk McElhearn

I regularly get questions about lossless audio files, or files compressed in a lossless format, for my Ask the iTunes Guy column. These questions come from people who seek to listen to the best quality audio files with iTunes. But many iTunes users don’t know what these files are.

In this article, I’m going to explain what lossless audio files are, how to create them, why you might want to use them, and why you might not.

What is compression?

Let’s start with a simple question: what is compression? You’ve probably familiar with Zip compression, which lets you shrink the size of a Word file or a PowerPoint presentation for storage or to send to someone by email. When you unzip—or decompress—the archive, the resulting file contains the exact same data as in the original. This seemingly magical compression algorithm looks for redundancies in data, and writes a sort of shorthand, saving a great deal of space.

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Read more here:: The complete guide to using iTunes with lossless audio