Convert FLAC audio files to MP3 on a Mac?
I have a CD that a musician friend of mine sent and I am eager to listen to it, but it's all in some weird format that my iMac can't understand: "FLAC". What is FLAC format and how do I convert it to a format that iTunes (and my iPod) will understand?
For reasons that aren't entirely obvious, there are a remarkable number of different audio file formats available for computers, and even "MP3" isn't entirely consistent, with different compression rates, sampling rates, etc. You don't usually have to worry about any of it, but for some audio purists, they don't like the idea that a file has been reduced in size by compressing the content. They want "every bit" of digital music.
Enter FLAC, or "Free Lossless Audio Codec", a format that is designed to retain all of the original music data and, even better, is license and restriction free (the MP3 format requires a license to use, though it's obviously widely licensed). If you're developing softare and want to just do your thing and not worry about licenses, FLAC is a good audio file format.
Except it doesn't work with iTunes, which prefers two formats; Apple's AAC format, and the ubiquitous MP3 format. No FLAC. So what you're left with is having to convert the audio files your friend sent you from FLAC format to MP3 format.
There are a bunch of tools that can perform this task, but one of my new favorites is a simple, fast app called ALL2MP3. It offers a nice front-end to some scripts that do the work, but you don't have to worry about that. You can download it through CNET: Download ALL2MP3.
Once downloaded, launch the app, and make sure you can see your FLAC audio file and the app window both:
Now just select the files you want to convert and drag them all onto the app window:
When you release the button, the app will absorb all the files and change its appearance to show what's about to be converted:
See that "Trash files after conversion" on the lower right? I suggest you check the box and then it really will be magic as the .flac files turn into .mp3 files with exactly the same names.
When you're ready to go just click on "Convert" and it'll start the conversion process:
When it's done, go back and look at your original folder full of ".flac" files and they'll all have been replaced with their MP3 equivalents:
Now to add them to your ITunes library, you can just drag them en-masse to the iTunes window:
That's it. Nice and straightforward. And better yet, ALL2MP3 is freeware too.
More Useful Mac OS X Help Articles:
✔ Audacity can't find LAME library, I can't save Mp3?
Hey Dave. I read your article Audacity can't save mp3 audio files and am still puzzled because I downloaded the LAME Mp3 converter...✔ How to remove Dashboard as a "space" in Mac OS X Spaces?
I'm a big fan of the Spaces utility in Mac OS X that lets me have multiple virtual screens [see Set Up Mac...✔ Best place to buy a cheap MacBook laptop?
Hi Dave. I am looking for two gently used MacBook laptops for my teen daughters. Personal computers would greatly facilitate their studies as...✔ File too big error copying to USB flash drive on my Mac?
I'm baffled. I have a 16GB Kingston USB flash drive that I use on my Mac system and I'm trying to copy a...✔ Stealth image capture photo from webcam on my Mac?
Someone sneaks into my cubicle while I'm at lunch and takes candy out of my desk. Petty, but stupid too. I want to...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+