FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. As the name would suggest, it is an audio file format that always retains the quality of the original audio data (e.g. a CD track). Unlike lossy formats that discard parts of the audio stream to produce smaller files, FLAC compressions doesn’t sacrifice sound quality and can still nearly halve the file size. In the past this codec was typically used for backing up CDs. However, with large capacity hard drives and fast Internet connections becoming more common, FLAC is now also used for everyday listening and online audio streaming.
Despite the advantages of the FLAC format, there are some situations where you’d want to convert it to another audio codec. For example, on mobile devices size still matters, and you can put nearly twice as many MP3 files as FLAC files on a portable music player. Also, while FLAC is well supported by most hardware and software players, in some cases you will have no choice but to use another popular codec like MP3 or WMA.
To convert a .flac file to another format you will need to download and install one of the available music converters. Here’s what to look for in an audio converter :
Usability. At the very least, there should be a GUI, and perhaps even drag & drop support. Easy to understand encoding settings are definite plus, because audio encoding can become quite an arcane art if you have to configure everything manually.
Speed. This obviously depends on the selected codec and encoding quality, but raw performance can be a major factor if you need to convert a large .flac collection to say, .mp3
Cost. Just one note here – you don’t need to buy anything. There are good freeware convert flac to mp3 you can use.
In conclusion, I recommend using either dbPowerAmp or SUPER to convert .flac files. The former is more user-friendly while the latter supports a mind-boggling number of audio (and video) formats. Both work just fine on most versions of Windows.