What is FLAC Audio Format and What it is Good For?

FLAC is an acronym for free lossless audio codec. It delivers decent small audio files after compressing it without affecting the sound quality. A unique technique is used by this format to compress and reproduce the file. It is very good for cloud storage such as streaming servers and works wonders for physical storage like hard and flash drives.

The audio quality of FLAC is its main benefit. So far, if a file is in FLAC format, you won’t find it ever distorting instrument sounds or blurring voices. FLAC is an ideal format to choose from if you are looking for an excellent way to compress your audio files.


How great is the FLAC format?


  • Audio data incurs no loss of information as the integrity of audio data is further insured by storing an MDS signature in the file header.
  • FLAC is asymmetric, and it requires integer arithmetic, which is less compute-intensive than most perceptual codecs.
  • Dozens of consumer electronic devices are compatible with FLAC, from simple players to stereo equipment.
  • FLAC supports tags, tables, cover art, and cue sheets. It allows the implementation of new metadata without breaking older streams.
  • FLAC files are suitable for use in editing applications, and it supports fast sample-accurate seeking.
  • FLAC has enough data for decoding frames by using sync codes and CRCs, which allows decoders to pick up in the middle of a stream with a minimum of delay.
  • In the FLAC file, the cue sheet can be exported to burn an exact copy of the original CD is damaged.


1. Differences between FLAC and WAV and what they are?

WAV is an acronym for waveform audio file format. It is a totally uncompressed form of an audio file. It stores audio in PCs. When this format is compared to other formats, it consumes a lot of space. However, its advantage comes from an untouched quality. FLAC occupies less space, whereas WAV occupies much space. FLAC files are usually half the size of WAV files when you compare the same audio files in both formats. The audio quality of FLAC won’t be lost when it is compressed and decreased. It occupies half the space compared to WAV when it comes to storage capacity. It takes a longer time to transfer, download, or upload WAV files because of their high storage.

These two formats can be converted back and forth and still get the same exact audio file. Several applications can help with converting WAV to FLAC or vice versa.


2. Difference between FLAC and MP3

Basically, you need to understand the difference between lossy and lossless files to truly understand the difference between FLAC and MP3. For instance, the images displayed on the internet come in a compressed format. Some parts of the images are cropped and removed before displayed on the internet. On the other side, the cropped part is forever lost and can never be gotten back. MP3 files have the same nature as the explained scenario. Therefore, converting a FLAC file to MP3 may result in the loss of some parts of the file, which will forever be lost.

To compress mp3 files, part of the files are shaved off from them. Therefore, MP3 generally requires a smaller storage need, as some of its parts are removed. MP3 files need smaller storage capacities when compared to FLAC files. Because FLAC files barely lose their contents, they are quite bulky.

In order to reduce the size, MP3 shave off part of the audio by using psychoacoustics to remove overlapping sounds. Generally, the most affected part of MP3 files during the compression process are the reverbs, cymbals, and guitar.

The audio quality is retained in FLAC because it doesn’t have auditory problems like the mp3 files. In the past, the only way to get a lossless file was through WAV, CDA, or CD format. Although FLAC files are space-efficient compared to any of them.

3. How Is FLAC Better Than MP3?

The main advantage of the FLAC file is for the upgrade in sound quality. You can experience the file in its purest form, just how it was created and intended to be played. FLAC comes with none of the compression that can cause MP3 files to sound distorted.

Another advantage of FLAC is that it is not limited to 16-bit CD quality. It can be up to 24-bit or better than CD quality. Formats such as WAV and CDA offer true CD-quality just like FLAC, but none are anywhere near as space-efficient as FLAC. FLAC files are usually half the size of a direct CD rip.

In summary, FLAC can do nothing but help to improve your listening experience. It is time to stop shortchanging your ears with MP3 because long behind us are the days of Napster!

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