The primary differences are size, quality and ease-of-use. MP3s are the most standard form for audio files and the size of their files dictates the quality. A 128 kbps file is smaller in size than a 256 kbps one, and lower in quality due to compression of the file.FLAC is a lossless format, meaning it will sound as good as any CD. FLAC files do require a plug-in for them to play on your computer and because of that, aren’t as easy to use as an MP3 file.

What is a FLAC File?

A file with the FLAC file extension is a Free Lossless Audio Codec file, an open source

audio compression format. It can be used to compress an audio file down to around half

of its original size.

Audio compressed via the Free Lossless Audio Codec is lossless, meaning that no

sound quality is lost during the compression. This is very much unlike other popular

audio compression formats that you've probably heard of, like MP3 or WMA.

A FLAC Fingerprint file is a plain text file normally called ffp.txt that's used to store the

filename and checksum information that pertains to a specific FLAC file. These are

sometimes generated along with a FLAC file.

How to Open a FLAC File

The best FLAC player is probably VLC because it supports not only FLAC but lots of

other common and uncommon audio and video formats that you might run into in the


However, nearly all popular media players should be able to play a FLAC file, they

might just require a plugin or extension to be installed. Windows Media Player, for

example, can open FLAC files with Xiph's OpenCodec plugin. The free Fluke tool can

be used on a Mac to play FLAC files in iTunes.

GoldWave, VUPlayer, aTunes, and JetAudio are some other FLAC players.

To listen to FLAC files on an iPhone or Android, install the VLC app from iTunes or via

Google Play. The JetAudio app is another FLAC player for Android.

The Free Lossless Audio Codec community hosts a website dedicated to the format and

keeps a well-maintained list of programs that support FLAC, as well a list of hardware

devices that support the FLAC format.

How to Convert a FLAC File

The fastest way to convert just one or two FLAC files is to use a free file converter that

runs in your browser so you don't have to download any software. Zamzar, Online-, and are just a few examples that can convert a FLAC to WAV, AC3, M4R, OGG, and other similar formats.

If your FLAC file is large and would take too long to upload, or you have several of them

that you want to convert in bulk, there are a handful of completely free audio converters

you can install to your computer that convert to and from the FLAC format.

Free Studio and Switch Sound File Converter are two programs that can convert FLAC

to MP3, AAC, WMA, M4A, and other common audio formats. To convert FLAC to ALAC (ALAC Encoded Audio), you can use MediaHuman Audio Converter.

*Information from

The Down The Road Wherever concert FLAC files were output from 24/48 WAV files using the HOFA CD mastering platform as a 48K FLAC.