What is a FLAC File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert FLAC Files

Picture of the FLAC file icon

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

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.

How To Open a FLAC File

The best FLAC player is probably VLC because it supports not only FLAC, but lots of other audio and video formats that you might run into in the future.

However, nearly all popular media player should be able to open a FLAC file, they may 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.

The Free Lossless Audio Codec community hosts a website dedicated to the format and keeps a well maintained list of programs that support FLAC: FLAC Download Page.

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-Convert.com, and media.io 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 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.