Audiophiles prefer the FLAC losless format over mp3 when it comes to listening to music. That's fine if you have enough storage space to store the larger FLAC files, but not so much if you do not have enough storage space to store files that take up five times as much space as mp3 files.
Many users like to keep FLAC files on their desktop computer and mp3 files of the same songs on their portable mp3 player or mobile phone. And if you want to burn music to CD, you will discover quite often that only mp3 and wav are supported as input formats, but not flac.
But how can you convert FLAC to mp3? Lets find out.
There are a lot of tools out there that promise free conversions but do not keep up to the promise. Some convert only 50% of the files while others nag you into buying the full version before they let you convert flac files to mp3.
Others still bombard you with adware offers, toolbars and such, during installation, and if you are not careful, you end up with unwanted software on your software and often also with changed search providers and a different browser homepage.
A free solution is Koyotesoft's Free Mp3 Wma Converter which supports the FLAC format among others. It does come with adware offers though, so pay attention to those during installation.
You need to pay attention to the program's setup though as it tries to install additional programs that you may not need. This includes a CD Ripper or a trial version of a shareware program. Additionally, it tries to install the Dealio toolbar and change the default search engine to Yahoo. All of those options can be disabled during installation.
Update: Offers may vary depending on data and time of your download.
You can drag and drop Flac files to the program interface or use the plus icon to add songs from the local hard drive.
Make sure mp3 is selected as the output format. You can change the default quality setting of 128 Kbps up to 320 Kbps there as well. A click on convert converts the FLAC files to mp3.
The program saves the converted files into the same directory by default. You can change that by unchecking "save in the file's directory" and selecting a different destination directory for the converted files. If you want, you can also have it remove the original files after the procedure.
Please note that you can select a different output format, supported are for instance ogg or wav as well (but not aac). The program uses Lame to encode the music into different formats. A click on the settings button opens the options window with many different settings.
You can add as many FLAC files as you want from the local hard drive, and all of them will be batch converted once you hit the convert button. File names will be retained, only the file extension changes to the selected format.
You can download the program from the developer homepage.
Other solutions you can try:
The Windows program that I have reviewed above is just one of the programs you can use for the conversion of flac to mp3 files.
The following list points to other services and programs that you can use for that purpose.
A free open source audio converter that can convert flac audio files to mp3 or ogg format files. Just point it to the Flac directory, select an output directory, select mp3 or ogg as the output format, and hit the encode button.
Comes without adware in the installer, and works really well.
A free program that ships with adware in the installer. Pay attention to what is being offered to you in the installer, and make sure you select custom installation and uncheck any of the options made available to you.
The program itself is a universal audio converter that supports flac, mp3 and a variety of other audio formats. Just select add files, an output format and quality, and hit the convert button to start the conversion.
A software for Apple Macintosh systems. It can convert selected audio formats to Mp3. Supports a huge variety of audio formats, and should be your first choice if you are using a Macintosh computer.
This online converted can come in handy if you need to convert Flac but cannot install software on your system. You can upload files that have a total size of up to 100 Megabytes.
The process itself is not as comfortable as running a software locally, as you may have to run the process multiple times due to the size limitation and also have to wait longer and hand over an email address of yours that is used for notifications, but if you cannot run software locally, it is better than not converting the files in first place.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.