FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a lossless audio compression format. It’s often used to digitally store and transfer music without any loss in quality. The files tend to be rather large though – for example, 3 minutes of audio could take up around 18 Mb.
On the other hand, MP3 is a lossy compression format that is supported by pretty much any audio player (plus the files tend to be smaller). Sometimes you need to convert FLAC to MP3, e.g. to be able to play it on your iPod. In this post I’ll describe how you can do that.
I tried out several free FLAC to MP3 converters prior to writing this tutorial. According to my testing, dBpoweramp seems to be the best choice. So that’s what I’ll use here. However, if this converter doesn’t work for you, there are certainly other viable alternatives, e.g. Foobar2000.
Okay, on with the tutorial 🙂 Here’s the step-by-step guide for converting FLAC to MP3.
- Install dBpoweramp Music Converter. You can download it here.
- Install the FLAC codec for dBpoweramp.
- Start up the dBpoweramp Batch Converter. Usually you can find the converter here : Programs -> dBpoweramp Music Converter -> dBpoweramp Batch Converter
- Locate the FLAC files you want to convert using the built-in navigator and tick their checkboxes. You can also select an entire folder (or several) by clicking the boxes near them. Click “Convert”.
- A conversion settings window will pop up. There’s a lot of options here, but don’t worry – in most cases you will only need a few of them. First, select “MP3 (Lame)” from the Converting To dropdown. Then set the quality and bitrate according to your preferences. And finally, choose where you want the MP3 files to be placed. Then click “Convert >>”.
- dBpoweramp will then convert the FLAC files to the MP3 format. Depending on how many files you’re converting, and the quality settings, this could take a few minutes.
- Congratulations! Now you can put the converted MP3’s on your iPod, or whatever 😉