FLAC files are great for audiophiles; however, they’re not very convenient. Because they are uncompressed, FLAC files are huge, meaning they chew up quite a bit of storage space. This can be a real pain if you’re trying to take your music collection on the go. This is particularly problematic if you have a device with limited storage space to begin with. If you don’t mind a bit of compression, you can easily convert your FLAC files to the more space-friendly MP3 format.
What Are FLAC Files?
FLAC is an audio-coding format for digital audio files. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec and employs a lossless compression algorithm. This means that the original audio data is perfectly captured and compressed when using the FLAC file format. By comparison, lossy compression (like MP3) is only an approximation of the original data. Simply put, FLAC files are significantly higher quality audio compared to “lossy” file types.
What Are MP3 Files?
Like FLAC, MP3 is a coding format for digital audio files. MP3 uses lossy data compression. This means the MP3 format discards portions of data when converting an audio source (like a CD) to a digital file. This allows for a substantial reduction in file size when compared to an uncompressed audio file. The combination of acceptable sound quality and small file sizes makes MP3 the most popular digital audio format.
MP3 compression works by minimizing or completely eliminating parts of sound that are considered to be beyond the hearing capabilities of most humans. Generally speaking, MP3 files are 75-95% smaller than uncompressed audio from a compact disc. This reduction in size comes at a cost: fidelity. That being said, many people cannot differentiate between the sound quality of a FLAC file and an MP3 (provided they are a higher bitrate). If you fall into this category, you may want to convert your existing FLAC files to MP3 to make them more storage friendly.
Online Audio Converter
This totally online audio conversion tool is easy to use and convenient. There is no need to download or install software, which will appeal to those looking for a quick solution to convert their FLAC files to MP3.
To get started, point your browser to Online Audio Converter. Once you arrive, click on the big blue button labelled “Open Files.” A File Explorer window will open, allowing you to select the FLAC file you want to convert.
Alternatively, you can use Dropbox or Google Drive if your files are stored there. Once you select a file, you will need to wait for it to be uploaded. Once the progress bar hits 100%, select “MP3” and use the slider to choose your audio quality.
Note: we recommend opting for at least 192 kbps, but you can go lower (such as 96 kbps or 128 kbps) if you really want to save space. Just be aware that MP3 encoding in lower bitrates will result in much lower audio fidelity.
Next, you can play around with the “Advanced Settings” or “Edit Track Info.” Once everything is to your liking, click on the “Convert” button. Once the conversion is complete, you’ll be able to download your new MP3 file.
Online Audio Converter deletes your uploaded files after a few hours and even supports batch conversion. However, having to upload your files first slows the process, which isn’t ideal if you need to convert large batches of FLAC files.
Windows: Freemake Free Audio Converter
If the idea of uploading files to the Internet doesn’t appeal to you, you’re gong to want to install software that can convert your FLAC files to MP3. If you have a Windows PC, you should definitely consider Free Audio Converter by Freemake. The software features an easy-to-navigate user interface. Simply import your FLAC files with the “+Audio” button and choose whatever format you want to convert it to. In this case, you’ll want MP3. Finally, tweak the audio profile settings and click “Convert” to change the format.
The Freemake Audio Converter can convert over 50 different audio formats, including MP3s up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can encode multiple tracks simultaneously. This makes Freemake Audio Converter perfect for users who want to convert large batches of FLAC files to MP3.
macOS: To MP3 Converter Free
If you’re a Mac user and want to convert FLAC files to MP3, the appropriately named To MP3 Converter is the app you want. This free software allows users to encode over 200 different audio and video files to MP3 with a single click. Simply drag the file you want to convert into the software and let it work its magic. To MP3 Converter can convert multiple files at the same time, and users can even queue entire folders for batch processing.
Additionally, To MP3 Converter analyzes bit rate, sample rate and channels of your original files. Doing so allows the software to automatically choose the optimal output settings for the converted MP3s. This makes ensuring the best sound quality for your MP3s a guarantee every time. That being said, you still have manual control of these parameters in the Preferences menu.
Linux: Sound Converter
For Linux users, Sound Converter will serve your needs to convert your music files from one format to another, in this case, FLAC to MP3.
Like all other applications, Sound converter is easy to use. Just drag-and-drop your FLAC files onto it and click the “Convert” button. There are tons of configuration options that you can customize to make sure your files are converted according to your liking.
Cross-Platforms: VLC Media Player
Once you’ve converted your FLAC files to MP3, make sure you add the correct metadata, including album cover art. Have you ever converted FLAC files to MP3? How did you do it? Let us know in the comments!
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