Apple chose to develop ALAC to maintain both lossy and lossless filetypes within the mp4 container. If you're dealing with millions of music files it helps if you can manage metadata between filetypes without any conversion. That and after the initial investment ALAC was kept closed in case Apple decided to sell lossless DRM music.
Couple the fact that Apple could also give less of a fig about the open source movement and the end user's non-itunes-managed files.
Yeah they don't seem to care too much about open source... they like to keep stuff as closed as possible.
I would just think that by now they would at least have a FLAC converter for when you put songs into an ipod. I would have bought one if that was the case, because they are well built and very nice PMPs, but I instead went with another brand.
Ah that makes sense.
My PMP has 100+ hours of battery life so that's no big deal for me. Although if it runs out of batteries it can die for good due to ****ty engineering....