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Open Source

Submission + - Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Now Open Sourc

Lord Satri writes: "MacOSForge announced that Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is now available open source under the Apache license: "The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple and supported on iPhone, iPad, most iPods, Mac and iTunes. ALAC is a data compression method which reduces the size of audio files with no loss of information. A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec project contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder. Also included is an example command line utility, called alacconvert, to read and write audio data to/from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. A description of a 'magic cookie' for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well.""
Businesses

Greenpeace Slams Apple For Environmental Record 271

nandemoari writes "According to a recent advertisement airing on American TV, Apple's new Macbooks (well-received by most technology critics) are 'the world's greenest family of notebooks.' It seems an indication that the Cupertino-based company is increasingly aware of a consumer base that demands green electronics. However, Greenpeace is less than enthused with Apple's overall green performance. In their report (PDF), the environmentalists argue that Apple 'needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.'" Ars Technica points out that Greenpeace's research isn't quite up-to-snuff, and it's also worth noting that Greenpeace admitted to targeting Apple for the publicity in the past.
Media

iTunes On OS X Finally Has Competition 668

mallumax writes "The truth is, iTunes is an average music player. Though the UI is simple and good like most Apple products, it has lagged in features compared to music players available on Linux and Windows. A feature as basic as monitoring a folder and adding the latest music files to the library is unavailable in iTunes. There are no plugins or themes. Despite the many faults, many of us continued to use iTunes because of the lack of options available. But today the wait is finally over. Not one, but two music players have become credible contenders. Songbird: An open source music player which has been in the works for more than 2 years has finally released its 1.0 Release Candidate builds. The team behind Songbird has members who previously developed for both Winamp and the Yahoo Music Engine. It has support for extensions and themes ('feathers' in Songbird parlance). Amarok: The undisputed champion among Linux music players is finally coming to OS X, thanks to KDE 4 being ported there. Amarok developer Leo Franchi has been able to run a Amarok on OS X natively. So we can expect a reasonably stable Amarok to hit OS X in a few months' time. Hopefully these players will gain traction among OS X users, which will finally force Apple to either step up in terms of features or open up iTunes for extensions."

Is Apple Killing Linux on the Desktop? 1224

Domains May Disappear writes "Chris Howard has an interesting commentary at Apple Matters on recent trends in OS market share that says that while OS X has seen continual growth, from 4.21% in Jan 2006 to 7.31% in December 2007 at the same time, Linux's percentage has risen from only 0.29% to 0.63%. The reasons? 'Apple has Microsoft Office, Linux doesn't; Apple has Adobe Creative Suite, Linux doesn't; Apple has easily accessed and easy to use service and support, Linux doesn't; Apple is driven by someone who has some understanding of end-user needs, Linux is not,' says Howard. 'Early in the decade it seemed that if you wanted a Windows alternative, Linux was it. Nowadays, an Apple Mac is undoubtedly the alternative and, with its resurgence and its Intel base, a very viable one.'"

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