June 11, 2005

FLAC – Free Lossless Audio Codex

Filed under: Audio — Robert Pope @ 3:41 am

Another great open source audio compression utility is FLAC. It can typically compress a WAV file down to about 60% of the original file size. Then, because it is a “lossless” compression algorithm, you can restore the FLAC file back to the original WAV format. Now, you might be wondering why you’d need this. The two most common uses are to save disk space and bandwidth when transfering to another computer. If you are recording podcasts, you might want to use it to archive your original recordings in FLAC format instead of WAV, in order to conserve disk space. Decompress to WAV, and you’re ready to encode to any format and bit rate you want.

Using the command line version of FLAC, you can convert a FLAC file to WAV format. Then encode to MP3 with LAME.

For example:

Decode FLAC to WAV…

> flac -d yourfile.flac yourfile.wav

Encode WAV to 128-bit MP3…

> lame -b 128 yourfile.wav yourfile.mp3

FLAC Home Page
LAME Home Page