MP3 is one of the terms known to anyone who has used the computer at least once in his life. There are children who have not yet learned to read or write but have heard of MP3. The most popular audio format, released in 1993, remains in the top preferences of PC and laptop users, but also in the top preferences of audio equipment manufacturers.
But during its 27 years of existence, the MP3 encoding algorithm has not had any improvements, instead more advanced formats have appeared that offer superior audio quality to MP3s. These are called "lossless audio formats" and the best known of these is FLAC. The lossless audio formats are a delight for audiophiles, but you need to convert FLAC to MP3 when you have no alternatives in terms of storage space.
In this article the following topics will be covered:
MP3 is short for MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) Layer 3. MP3 is a codec for audio recording and storage that uses a compression to reduce the overall file size. It is the most common format for music. It is not hi-res but it is near CD quality audio. For example, if some sounds are barely perceptible on a high-fidelity recording (like an audio CD), they will be removed in an MP3, or altered to take up less space on a disc. Thus, the same song will occupy about 9% compared to its version on compact disc at a compression rate of 128 kilobits per second. An MP3 file can be over 10 times smaller when compared to a raw source file. The reasons behind the popularity of MP3 are many and we have to admit ... we got used to this format.
FLAC it`s more sophisticated and it is mostly used by people for which the sound quality is crucial. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It is similar to MP3, but it is compressed without losing the quality of the original sound. This lossless compressed format supports hi-res sampling rates, takes up about half of WAV space and stores metadata. With more information about the file you want to play, hi-res audio tends to sound more detailed and textured, approaching the original performance – if your audio system can handle. So, this is the best lossless audio format for an audiophile's ears. The loss of sound quality inherent in MP3s is a major problem for many artists. As a result, several artists are starting to release their albums in FLAC format.
The battle MP3 vs FLAC is a subtle one when listening to a song in one of these formats – it all comes down to a subjective issue especially regarding to the average listeners and not specialists or people who have developed their golden ear. Also, in terms of storing, MP3 will remain our friend. We can say that the MP3 is here to stay and it will be a long time before we see it out of trend. Of course, there are plenty players that can play any lossless audio formats.
There are many reasons when you need to convert FLAC to MP3. If necessary, it is also the go-to format to embed in other files such as PDF or PowerPoint presentations. Or maybe, you don’t have a big storage size. For this section, we will convert FLAC to MP3 and you will see the whole process. I used DVDFab Toolkit and at the end of this topic, you will get another alternative to this free FLAC to MP3 converter. With this program, converting FLAC to MP3 is a child’s play.
See next for the specific steps to convert FLAC to MP3 with DVDFab Toolkit.
Step 1: download the DVDFab Toolkit, install it and launch this free FLAC to MP3 converter.
Step 2: select the “Converter” option, from “Audio Tools” in order to convert FLAC to MP3, like in the image bellow.
Step 3: After you selected this option, you can load the FLAC files you want to convert to MP3. You can drag and drop your file, or you can choose it manually.
Step 4: In this example, I will convert an existing FLAC file from my computer with the free FLAC to MP3 converter. As you can see, you have many output audio options. Here, I choose the MP3 format. Then, all I have to do is to click on the “start” button, located at the bottom right of the interface. Of course, you have a range of options besides audio formats, like codecs, bit rate, sample rate and channels (mono, stereo etc.)
Step 5 – The file is being converted. The process bar is displayed in percentages and when it reaches 100%, you have successfully converted your FLAC to MP3. From now on, you can easily convert any FLAC to MP3. Good luck with that!
Note: This program could also work as a great free MP3 to FLAC converter as you would get a 30-day free trial period before you sign up for a premium plan.
Another way to convert FLAC to MP3 is online-audio-converter.com but it doesn't have all the features that DVDFab Toolkit has, but it could help you convert FLAC to MP3 free online. Unfortunately, on this website, the maximum bitrate is 320 kbps, while with the DVDFab Tookit you can reach 512 kbps.
In this part I would talk about the way to rip CD to FLAC. I am sure that there are many good tools to rip FLAC files from CD, but here I recommend FreeRIP. This program has the role of ripping an audio CD and copying it to your computer. FreeRIP is very easy to use, benefiting from a simple and concise interface.
Step 1: Download and Install FreeRIP
Step 2: Run the program
Access the free FreeRIP and insert the CD you want to rip. The program will recognize instantly the FLAC files from CD. Continue to select the songs you want to rip and save them to your personal computer.
Step 3: RIP FLAC Files from CD
From the cascade menu, select the Ripping Options and as you can see, you can choose to rip FLAC files from CD to MP3 format or you can keep this best lossless audio format.
Step 4: Wait for the process to rip FLAC files from CD and saving FLAC files to your computer to complete successfully. FLAC files will be saved by the FreeRIP program on your desktop.
Step 5: At the end of the conversion process, a window will automatically open to access the directory created by the audio converter. Close the window from Audio CD to FLAC by pressing the “Dismiss” button.
These were all the necessary steps to rip FLAC files from CD.
If you're making your own or buying songs in a lossless audio formats, you'll need something to listen to them in. Here are my favorites and I am pretty sure that you have your own. If not, then you can choose something that suits you from this list.
VLC Media Player. This player is free and supports any type of format including the lossless audio format, FLAC. The interface is not a high-end one but it fulfills its purpose.
PURE Music 3. This player is dedicated for Macs and this version is a paid upgrade from previous versions. This lossless audio format player can dock with iTunes, which it uses as a database and playlist organizer.
DVDFab Player 6. This player is all inclusive. Dedicated to both Windows and Mac, you can play all the multimedia files on your local hard drives with this lossless audio format player. Also, the navigation menu support DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, even if they are in discs, ripped ISO or folders. You can create, organize and manage a local music library and once the music starts to play, you will be delighted with a rich visualization effect. DVDFab Player 6 is perfect to get your groove on.
Voila! As we talked about the way to convert FLAC to MP3, rip CD to FLAC, as well as some of the best lossless audio format players. Now, you can use free programs in order to play lossless audio formats but paid programs offer more comfort functions, which can be useful especially when converting larger collections.
If you think that FLAC files are more suitable for your needs and you don’t need to convert FLAC to MP3, then these players are perfect for your needs. In this case, we must consider that HDDs are getting cheaper and are a much better storage solution than CDs/DVDs or even on your computer. For some of us, we cannot run away once we've tried to listen to songs in lossless audio formats. For audiophiles, it's impossible to go back.
And now…let`s listen to some music.