Apple's new Lossless Encoding feature in iTunes 4.5 wins a huge audiophiles thumbs-up this morning from The Post-Standard.

"I'd been disappointed for months with the sound quality of the music I've added to my iTunes collection from most of my audiophile CDs," the report says.

Apple's new Lossless Encoding feature, however, lets users reduce the size of CD audio tracks by 60-70 per cent "with no corresponding loss of sound quality". The review calls this "simply amazing".

The report contrasts Apple's technology for this with another lossless audio compression method available for multiple platforms called FLAC – Free Lossless Audio Codec. This codec is apparently "often used by bands who want to release music online but don't want to compromise on audio quality."

The reviewer tested Apple Lossless Encoding using several of his highest-quality CD recordings. "I heard absolutely no difference in the sound", he writes. He observes that to his audiophile ears a bit-rate of at least 256kps is required to ensure sufficient quality using MP3 or AAC encoding.

He also observes that the Lossless encoder "handled the wide dynamic range very well".