Every computer user at least once in his life came across an audio file in FLAC format (* .flac).

Maybe it was downloaded from somewhere in the Internet, or you received a link by mail to an audio file in this format. Anyway, you have repeatedly had the need to open this file and play it. As a rule, using the basic tools of the operating system, all attempts to play these files are unsuccessful. There are several options for playing and convert FLAC audio format on a Mac, however, iTunes music player (like QuickTime player) is not one of them.

What is Audio Flac Format?

For those unfamiliar with this audio format, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a lossless audio compression format. Free Lossless Audio Codec is a compression standard originally developed by the non-profit foundation Xiph.org that supports digital audio files that are acoustically identical to the source material. FLAC encoded files use the open-source model (open source).

In fact, the FLAC file is an exact copy (replica) of the original uncompressed high-quality audio file, but having compression or, more simply, data compression. On the one hand, it is compressed (file size takes up less storage space), and on the other hand, it is compressed without loss and the sound quality is the same as that of the original. Averaged – a FLAC music file is about half the size of an uncompressed original recorded, for example, on a CD (usually the compression ratio varies from 30 to 50 percent).

Read more: Fix Audio & Sound Issues on your Mac

Typically, FLAC files are used by music enthusiasts (audiophiles), music producers, sound editors, and sound engineers — all those who use special applications that are almost always associated with recording, editing, or listening to an absolutely high-quality audio version of a song or soundtrack.

FLAC to ALAC

Since iTunes does not support playback of FLAC audio files, you can convert FLAC to mp3 and play these files in iTunes, although the sound quality will be partially lost. On the other hand, you can convert FLAC to lossless audio format compatible with iTunes, for example, Apple Lossless. Apple Lossless is Apple’s audio codec, which was introduced in 2004. The Apple Lossless (ALAC) format provides exactly the same quality as FLAC, but the audio files are understandable for macOS and iOS. In October 2011, the Apple Lossless source code was opened, so that since that time, everyone can safely use this codec in their programs or hardware. Regarding the Flac to ALAC converter programs, XLD (X Loseeless Decoder) is, in our opinion, the best audio file transcoder.

Convert FLAC to MP3

Instructions for converting FLAC to MP3 using macOS:

  • Find FLAC files on Mac;
  • Download the free utility “All2MP3”;
  • Run “All2MP3”;
  • Drag FLAC files to the All2MP3 program window (or click the Add button);
  • Adjust the sound bit-rate with the slider. (By default, the maximum quality is set to 320 Kbps);
  • Click “Convert”.

All2MP3 will do all the work of converting your files. The time spent depends on the processing power of your Mac, but for ordinary audio standards, the procedure takes very little time. After the conversion, MP3s will be copied to the original directory with the FLAC files.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide as simple and useful as the program that I recommended to you. After all, nothing complicated, right?

It’s the best time to ask questions and give us your feedback in comments.

Author

Hi there! My Name is Vincent Lago! My goal is to share insightful reviews, guides, and manuals for people looking to know more about current solutions for Apple hardware and OS. I have years of technological background knowledge including owning a custom iMacs & PCs which was using for different types of business. And now, I want to share my experience with you.

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