lossless compression - Computer Definition
A compression technique that decompresses data back to its original form without any loss. The decompressed file and the original are identical. All compression methods used to compress text, databases and other business data are lossless. For example, the ZIP archiving technology (PKZIP, WinZip, etc.) is the most widely used lossless method (see ZIP file). Lossless Audio Although compression methods used for audio and video are generally "lossy" and discard bits deemed unnecessary, there are lossless methods used to compress digital music files. FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC) and WMA Lossless are examples of lossless compression music formats. For example, they compress a music CD to less than its original size, but the resulting file is nowhere near as small as MP3 and AAC. However, no bits (no frequencies) are discarded. See lossy compression, high-resolution audio, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, FLAC and codec examples.