In conjunction with Wednesday's release of iTunes 4.5, Apple has also posted an update to QuickTime, the company's core audio and video media handling technology for both Mac OS and Windows. The new release, QuickTime 6.5.1, adds the QuickTime Lossless Encoder and improves AAC encoding. It's available for download from the Web site now.
The QuickTime Lossless Encoder enables users to rip uncompressed CD audio without reducing that audio's quality. Apple said that the Lossless Encoder requires only about half the storage space as the original files. Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) encoding has also been improved in this release - Apple said that the changes result in high-quality sound over a full range of audio frequencies. The new release also enhances support for iTunes and other Quicktime-based applications.
QuickTime 6.5.1 Player is free download and use; a "Pro" version used for media authoring is available to purchase for $29.99 (around £17).