File Extension APE
File extension APE is most commonly associated with sound or music files compressed with Monkey's Audio, a lossless audio compression algorithm. Though less common, the APE file extension is also used by Advanced Visualization Studio (AVS), a third-party Winamp visual plugin.
Unlike most audio compression algorithms, Monkey's Audio is lossless, meaning that files using the format retain all the quality of the original. Aside from the advantage of high-quality audio at smaller file sizes, APE files can also be converted back to their original format without any loss. Like other compressed audio formats, APE files also support error detection and tagging, which means that information such as artist and song title can be attached to the file. Monkey?s Audio encoder is freely available, meaning that any software developer can produce software which outputs APE audio files.
The majority of popular audio compression formats such as File extension MP3, File extension WMA and File extension OGG Vorbis are known as lossy. This means that during the conversion process, information is discarded in order to reduce file size using a technique known as perceptual coding. The theory behind perceptual coding is that not all sounds are perceived by the human ear, and as this information is not needed to produce a faithful reproduction of the original audio track, it can therefore be discarded in order to reduce the size of the resultant file. Whilst this does not adversely affect sound quality, this information is lost forever and so cannot be restored should the file be converted back to the original format.
Monkey's Audio can be used to both open and convert APE files. Many other media players can also be used to open APE files with the appropriate codec, such as Winamp, JMAC, Media Monkey and Windows Media Player with the addition of a codec pack such as K-Lite or Combined Community Codec Pack.
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