What is FLAC?
FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a file format which offers CD quality audio. FLAC compresses standard audio files (WAV or AIFF) to half their normal size with no loss in sound quality. This is different from MP3 which is a lossy compression format. With MP3s some of the data of the original audio file is lost when the MP3 is encoded. FLAC files are generally very large. A full CD of music (~650 megabytes) will average about 300 megabytes worth of FLAC files. For this reason we recommend that only users with broadband connections to the internet (Cable modem, DSL, LAN) purchase and download FLAC files. Downloading a FLAC purchase with a conventional 56kbps modem could take 75 hours. FLAC files can be played using a handful of free audio players. Generally, it is necessary to de-compress a FLAC file to the standard WAV or AIFF format before playing or burning to a CD.
Windows Instructions for decoding FLAC files
1. Download and install the FLAC software2. Once you've installed the FLAC software there will be an item on your desktop called "FLAC Frontend". Double-click the "FLAC Frontend" icon to open the program. 3. Click the "Add Files" button in the upper-left corner of the FLAC Frontend window 4. Select the FLAC files you wish to decode 5. Click the "Decode" button to decode to WAV files in the same folder as the original FLAC files 6. You're done! You can now listen to the WAV files in an audio player of your choice or burn them to CD for playing in your home stereo system.nb: On Windows you can listend to FLAC files without decoding them using the free version of WinAmp and the FLAC plug-in.
Mac OS X Instructions for decoding FLAC files
1. Download and install the xACT software2. Open xACT from your Applications folder. For convenience you may want to drag the application to your Dock 3. Click on the "decode" tab in the window 4. Click on the "add" button to add files you would like to decode 5. You're done! You can now listen to the AIFF files in an audio player of your choice or burn them to CD for playing in your home stereo system.
Listen to FLAC on Windows without decoding
1. Download and install WinAmp.2. Download and install the FLAC plug-in for WinAmp.3. Open your FLAC files in WinAmp and enjoy!
What is MP3?
MP3 is a popular file format for compressed audio. MP3s will play in all modern audio players for every computer platform. Most current CD players support MP3 CDs (compact discs with MP3 instead of standard audio files.) The MP3 format is the recommended purchase format for all users.
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