How To Convert FLAC To MP3 To Make Your Music Portable

Ads by Google

convert flac to mp3Sometimes you don’t have to be the best to be number one in the industry. You only have to be the first one to “get it right”, and let the world follow you. Then later on, even though there might be others who come up with something better, it would be very difficult (or even too late) for them to catch up with you.

There are many examples of such cases in the technology world. Let’s take MP3 for example. This digital audio compression format is already adopted by everybody that it’s difficult for other formats to replace it. One of these rather unfortunate formats is FLAC.

Why (Not) FLAC?

convert flac to mp3FLAC is the format that offers a nice compromise between the “large size but excellent quality” of uncompressed music files and “small but less than excellent” compressed MP3 or AAC files.

Some audiophiles claim that FLAC will give you the near audio CD sound quality while compressing the file size to more than 50%, making it the “almost perfect” sound compression algorithm available today. If you hang around people with golden ears, you will likely stumble into FLAC a lot.

Here’s the explanation of FLAC, quoted from Wikipedia:

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is an audio compression codec primarily authored by Josh Coalson and Ed Whitney. FLAC employs a lossless data compression algorithm; a digital audio recording compressed by FLAC can be decompressed into an identical copy of the original audio data. Audio sources encoded to FLAC are typically reduced to 50″“60% of their original size.

Ads by Google

FLAC is an open and royalty-free format with a free software implementation made available. FLAC has support for tagging, cover art, and fast seeking.

But as flawless as it might be, FLAC playback support in portable audio devices and dedicated audio systems is limited compared to MP3. All the portable multimedia players that I know support MP3, but I have personally never encountered one that supports FLAC.

To make your digital music portable, you definitely should convert FLAC to MP3. Here are two tools that can help you with that.

Windows: Convert FLAC To MP3

If you are using Windows, you can use a free application called FLAC To MP3. Despite the name, this app is an all round audio converter which can convert many audio formats into MP3 and other kinds of common audio format. The app interface is pretty straightforward. There’s the large “Drag & Drop” area in the middle, the settings on the right, and the basic tools on the toolbar above.

flac to mp3

To start, drag and drop FLAC files – or any other audio formats – into the drop zone. You can also use the “+” button on the toolbar above to add files. The app is also able to extract audio out from some video files.

flac to mp3

Then choose the output format,

flac to mp3

Do some other customization, choose where to save the results, and click the “Start Converting Now” button.

flac to mp3 converter

The conversion process is displayed in the progress bar. The process could take a while depending on the number of files that you are converting and the power of your system.

flac to mp3 converter

Mac: All2MP3

A similar tool is also available for the Mac. It’s called All2MP3, and as the name suggests, this app will help you convert everything – FLAC, other audio formats, and video – to MP3.  Similar to FLAC To MP3, you can drag and drop the files to the drop zone and they will be automatically converted.

flac to mp3 converter

You can adjust the quality of the results by sliding the pointer to the desired position; from Less, to Middle, Good, and finally Super. You can’t choose where to save the files. By default, the converted files will be saved in the location of the original files. Click the “Convert” button to start.

convert flac to mp3

Then all that’s left for you to do is wait. The conversion progress is shown on the progress bars.

convert flac to mp3

After you’ve got the newly-made MP3s, you can then put them into any kind of portable media player and take them along with you.

The two applications discussed above are surely not the only options to convert FLAC to MP3. If you use or know of others, please share the links using the comments below.

Ads by Google

20 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Josh Gunderson

Regardless that I use Rockbox (which supports FLAC) on my iPod, I use ALL2LAME to convert FLAC to V0 MP3s.
Switches: -V 0 –vbr-new –add-id3v2 –ignore-tag-errors

Reply

Bill

You must not have actually looked for portable players that support FLAC. I use FLAC exclusively in my portable players (two Cowon devices and a Droid X). Archos and SanDisk also support the format.

Anonymous

Hi Bill, thanks for the input.

Ryo

For your home: Many Logitech devices, such as internet radio receivers with PC access, are supporting FLAC perfectly.

Reply

Matt

I’ve been using Trader’s Little Helper for doing this type of conversion for years. It also has other utilities for working with compressed audio formats, such as verifying MD5 and FLAC signature files.

Aibek

thanks for the input, here is the link in case anyone wants to check it out

http://tlh.easytree.org/

Reply

Josh Gunderson

Regardless that I use Rockbox (which supports FLAC) on my iPod, I use ALL2LAME to convert FLAC to V0 MP3s.
Switches: -V 0 –vbr-new –add-id3v2 –ignore-tag-errors

Reply

Luis

On my Mac I use XLD which is a terrific little app for converting file to numerous formats. It’s fast and efficient.

Reply

Juglesh

you say flac is ‘near audio CD sound quality’ and ‘almost perfect’. Please read the wiki entry that you posted: “FLAC employs a lossless data compression algorithm; a digital audio recording compressed by FLAC can be decompressed into an identical copy of the original audio data” IOW, a Flac has the same quality as the original CD.

Reply

Aibek

thanks for the input, here is the link in case anyone wants to check it out

http://tlh.easytree.org/

Reply

j paul armstrong

Trying to be kind, the post is disingenuous at best. Anyone who converts a lossless file to a lossy format should be flogged with a wet noodle for eternity. Moreover flac is a ubiquitous standard that presents no barrier , but for sake of the straw man argument presented here eg, “mp3s are easier to use” consider converting FLAC to a standard wave file. Trader’s little helper will encode decode and convert, is open source, and very efficient.

Reply

Ryo

What is mp3 :) ? I use Ogg vorbis ~300kbit/s. Works on all of my players (that I chose wisely) and saves memory. At home, everything is coded in FLAC, which is EXACT quality as the input (CD e.g.) because it’s lossless.

Reply

Flacster

Why MP3? If you’re dealing with FLAC, that means that you actually care about quality. Let’s face it, most people have an iPod of sorts (not using that term generically). Why not keep the lossless quality and convert it to Apple Lossless? Or if you have a Zune or any other portable media player, Windows Media Lossless? The point is, it’s 2011, we should be getting AWAY from the whole compressed lossy files and trying to get our sound quality better. Stop fueling the fire by using a format that should be outdated.

Reply

Pierre

Consider Media Monkey freeware edition.
It should satisfy everyone’s needs … and more …

It will rip CDs to flac (or any other format) … and then offer you conversion from any format to any other format of your choice.
But it is much more than a converter …
It will also manage your music library, get your CD cover pictures, edit the tags …
It will sync to your Ipod or other devices …
Great MP3 player also …

It is working great for me, for many years now.

P.S: I use MP3 with 320 kbps on my Ipod and cannot ear the difference with the flac format.

Reply

Pierre

Consider Media Monkey freeware edition.
It should satisfy everyone’s needs … and more …

It will rip CDs to flac (or any other format) … and then offer you conversion from any format to any other format of your choice.
But it is much more than a converter …
It will also manage your music library, get your CD cover pictures, edit the tags …
It will sync to your Ipod or other devices …
Great MP3 player also …

It is working great for me, for many years now.

P.S: I use MP3 with 320 kbps on my Ipod and cannot ear the difference with the flac format.

Reply

Mikel

Cowon America offers a lot of devices (music and video players) which support not only FLAC but a bunch of others CODECS, Lossy & Lossless. They offer a excelent WMPlayer alternative named Jetaudio VX which is far more useful as it support a lot of music and video formats just out of the box (no need to search codecs), conversion,ripping and burnig options clear and eassy. Jetaudio VX full is free with their devices and a standard version is available also for free (Windows only).
http://www.jetaudio.com/
The best conversion (IMHO) utility is dBPoweramp (The Swiss Knife of converters)
it’s not free but it’s worth the few bucks it costs.

Reply

Mikel

Cowon America offers a lot of devices (music and video players) which support not only FLAC but a bunch of others CODECS, Lossy & Lossless. They offer a excelent WMPlayer alternative named Jetaudio VX which is far more useful as it support a lot of music and video formats just out of the box (no need to search codecs), conversion,ripping and burnig options clear and eassy. Jetaudio VX full is free with their devices and a standard version is available also for free (Windows only).
http://www.jetaudio.com/
The best conversion (IMHO) utility is dBPoweramp (The Swiss Knife of converters)
it’s not free but it’s worth the few bucks it costs.

Reply

baby lagoon

You could convert your flac files to mp3 at flacmp3converter.com.

Reply

baby lagoon

You could convert your flac files to mp3 at flacmp3converter.com.

Reply

DevonSowell

FLAC to MP3 is not free. Until you purchase it, it only converts 50% of each file.

Your comment