If everyone needs to just hear me say that WMA-L will kick your dog and run off with your daughter, I can do that too.
Well, I just converted a FLAC album to WMA lossless, and confirmed that it will indeed play on a Cowon player....never would have guessed that one. I guess you learn something every day!
I see from that chart that there is no ReplayGain support though.....that's no good.
Cowons seem to have great compatibility with everything. The only thing I had trouble on it with was an album in some kind of funky DRM laced ALAC file.
WMA-L is still closed source? Ouch... No wonder it's so hard to find something that plays it on a Linux platform.
I don't recall it working on Rhythmbox which was my media player of choice for Linux. I remember having trouble with a couple of others too but I can't remember what they are.
But the ffmpeg and libav support is relatively new(as of last year) so that has probably changed. It's only for 16 bit though(not that I care, but some crazy people do).
It doesn't do tags, yes, but if you make your own play lists and rip your CDs to have the file "artist - album - track number - song title" it wouldn't be that big of a problem. And, everything supports WAV.
I didn't say I liked it. The title of the thread is "What's The BEST Universal Lossless Codec Would You Suggest?". I picked WAV because 1.) It's lossless 2. ) Every media player, software or hardware based, supports it. FLAC is my personal codec of choice, but, out of the box, Apple don't conveniently support it. So, there's a strike against it, for the purpose of this thread.
Calling wav lossless is a bit of a misnomer. Lossless refers to lossless compression and it's not compressed.
But yeah everything does support it. It wouldn't make sense for a device not to support it, it's just PCM data with a wrapper. So for those that have some combination of devices that no lossless codec is fully compatible, it's really the only option without turning to lossy files. But I'd personally take 320kbps MP3s over uncompressed files with no tags. I need my tags.