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If you have obtained an APE file, this is a Monkey's Audio file. Monkey's Audio is a lossless audio compression codec . Since it is lossless, there is no quality loss from the source audio once it is compressed. It achieves a compression rate of about 40%. It's main advantage over lossy compression formats such as MP3 is obvious, the quality of MP3 is not near as good. However, the files are much larger than simple MP3 files which is why MP3 files would be more available online than APE files.
To find out the best methods to play back APE files, please check out our How to play APE files article for full information that you will find useful.
Also if you are interested in burning these files to CD as Audio CDs, you can do that if you download a plugin for Nero Burning Rom from here.