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FLAC file format

File extension
.flac
File category
Description

FLAC (free lossless audio codec) is a binary audio file format used to reduce the size of audio files without losing quality. It is basically a lossless audio compression format.

FLAC files use bit-perfect CD copies but offer half the size, so they are much smaller than CDC and WAV files. However, FLAC files are still larger than MP3 (up to 16 times larger). The file extension became popular because of its sound quality. Unlike MP3 which is a lossy format, FLAC is lossless so no part of the audio is shaved off to reduce the size. All the elements, including reverbs, transients and guitar sounds aren’t lost through compression.

Technical details

How to create and how to open an FLAC file

There are two recommended ways to create a FLAC audio file. The first involves ripping from a CD while the other is downloading from a store with FLAC files. However, you can always use online audio converting platforms and downloadable converters to create FLAC versions of your MP3 files. Some applications, such as DAWs (digital audio workstations) allow users to save FLAC files.

Opening FLAC files should be effortless as most Windows and Mac players support the format. You can open FLAC audio files using VLC, Audacity, Adobe Audition CC, Roxio Creator NXT Pro, File Viewer Plus, MPlayer, aTunes, jetAudio and many more. Mobile users can also open FLAC files using VLC for mobile and other smartphone players.

Which other formats FLAC can be converted into and why

Like most audio files, FLAC can be converted to a wide variety of proprietary formats. You can also convert other file formats to FLAC. The easiest conversions include:

  1. 1. MP3
  2. 2. WAV
  3. 3. AIFF
  4. 4. ALAC

Most people convert FLAC to MP3 and vice versa but there are many conversions you can achieve, depending on what you want. The main advantage of FLAC files is sound quality. FLAC formats are lossless like WAV and CDC so they provide much better quality compared to MP3. However, they are up to 16 times bigger than MP3, so you might want to revert to MP3 for uploading and streaming.

Although FLAC files are larger than MP3, they are significantly smaller than WAV files. Users who want compressed versions of WAV and CDC can convert to FLAC which reduced the size by up to 60%. The format is also compatible with most players and DAWs. FLAC files are perfect when you don’t want to sacrifice quality of the original sound for size.

Programs
СomboPlayer
VLC media player
Winamp
Foobar2000
Cog
MacAmp Lite X
aTunes
Developer
Josh Coalson, Xiph.Org Foundation
MIME type
audio/flac