In the age of streaming apps like Spotify, owning your own music file archive is nowhere near as it was a decade ago. Nevertheless, improvements in storage technology meant that FLAC music libraries are nowhere near as taxable as they once were in the days of P2P file sharing and pirated MP3 downloads.
FLAC vs MP3 Debate is in a very different place than it was many years ago. Audiophiles often pledge the benefits of FLAC, while the main draw for MP3 has always been its overall adoption rate and managerial file size.
If you are still someone who keeps your music collection locally rather than just streaming, now is the best time to consider converting your music collection to FLAC.
What is FLAC?
FLAC, which stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, is for music files that is for TIFF image files – a bit-perfect file format for lossless music quality at half the size of a true CD rip.
FLAC has compatibility with new generation iPhones, such as iOS 11, and macOS, using QuickTime. These files can be played by downloading one of the many third-party applications on Android and Windows that support it (found further down this article).
In recent years, audiophiles and tech enthusiasts have pushed FLAC into the mainstream. Like MP3, FLAC lacks any form of DRM (digital rights management), making it the preferred file format for pirates. Practically every record label releases the music of its artists in this lossless format.
If you have a favorite mainstream artist, and even if your favorite artist is indie, there is a very good chance that you can legally purchase their music as FLACs at the same price as you would MP3 .
In the days of P2P file-sharing applications, such as Napster and LimeWire, FLAC was nowhere near as popular as MP3, due to its large file size. Today, when you can find a 128 GB flash drive for less than $ 10, file size is hardly a concern. However, to truly experience and appreciate the quality of FLAC, you will need a great set of speakers or headphones. For the untrained ear, the difference may not be very noticeable.
FLAC vs MP3: How is FLAC better than MP3?
The main reason for converting your music collection to FLAC is the upgrade in sound quality. Lossless file formats mean that you are able to experience them in the purest form, the way they were created and the way they should be played. MP3 is a lossy file format, and comes with FLAC compression that can cause some MP3 files to become distorted.
FLAC is also not limited to 16-bit CD quality. These files can be up to 24-bit / 192 kHz or “better-than-CD quality”. Uncompressed CD formats, such as CDA and WAV, provide the same true CD quality as FLAC, but neither are anywhere near as space-efficient. Although FLAC files are often about six times larger than MP3 files, they are half the size of a direct CD rip.
So, summarize: Do you have high-quality audio gear? Is storage space not a problem for you? If you answered both of those questions, then FLAC can do nothing but improve your listening experience. There’s no reason to shorten your ears with MP3s – Napster’s days are behind us!
How to play flac files
If you are running iOS 11 or above on iPhone, your device has full native support for FLAC files. Any iOS version prior to 11 must download a FLAC player from the App Store, such as VLC for Mobile, Flacbox, or VOX.
If you are running macOS, FLAC is supported natively through QuickTime Player.
Android does not currently support FLAC files as playable through any of its system apps, so third-party applications such as Android, AIMP or Pi Music Player are required.
Windows users will also need to download a third-party application to play FLAC files. We recommend VLC media player, 5KPayer, or tried and true Winamp.
How to convert FLAC files
With the recent boom in web applications, standalone Windows applications are no longer a requirement. This has led to the development of multipurpose web converters such as Zamzar — however, FLAC is one of the few common files supported by this popular service.
To convert MP3, WAV, M4A, OGG, MP2 and AMR files to FLAC, and vice versa, we have found the best solution to be an online audio converter.
To get started all you have to do is click the Open File button to open a file and locate your system for a file, or you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, or You can click on the URL link.
Next, you can convert which quality settings from 64, 128, 192, or 320 kbps.