How To Convert a FLAC File to MP3
You know that feeling you get when you’re listening to your favorite song and it sounds just right. The highs and lows of the instruments are perfect, and the vocals are crisp and clear. That type of sound quality is what music fans look for in digital audio, including FLAC files.
But how do you get the perfect sound of a FLAC file in a smaller file size? MP3 is the answer.
Converting FLAC to MP3 files is easy with the right software. In this tutorial, we’ll show you several simple and effective tools for converting your entire library of FLAC albums into convenient and great-sounding MP3s. We’ll also talk about what the switch to MP3s means in terms of quality and storage volume.
FLAC vs. MP3: What’s the Difference?
A long-standing debate in the music industry is about which file format is better for listening to music: FLAC or MP3. Here’s what you need to know.
FLAC stands for “Free Lossless Audio Codec” file format. Because it’s a lossless audio format, the encoding process does not affect the quality of the recording. On the other hand, MP3 (MPEG-1, Audio Layer III) is a proprietary digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression. The MP3 algorithm compresses sound data to 1/10th of its original size (or smaller).
That said, FLAC files are of higher quality than MP3s because they use less data compression to store sound information in audio-CD-quality resolution (44100 Hz). This results in a more accurate reproduction of the original recordings. However, this also means that FLAC files take up much more storage space on your device. FLACs can be up to five times as large as their equivalent MP3 version.
The main drawback of an MP3 is that it can’t reproduce soundwaves with as much detail as FLAC, which means your listening experience will be less enhanced. If you listen to a FLAC file and its MP3 equivalent, there will be a noticeable difference in crispness and clarity. However, depending on the listener, what’s lost may not ruin the experience.
How to Convert FLAC to MP3
Tools used to convert FLAC files to MP3 fall under two main categories: downloadable tools and web-based options. Let’s now see how our best picks in each category work.
(a) MediaHuman Audio Converter App
MediaHuman Audio Converter presents one of the simplest ways to build your MP3 collection from your FLAC playlist. Whether converting FLAC to MP3 or other audio formats, it keeps the original sound quality with no added artifacts. The program interface features a tabbed layout that can be navigated with ease. It’s also 100% free.
To convert FLC files to MP3:
- Download MediaHuman Audio Converter.
- Open the converter and click on the “Add file(s)” icon at the window’s top corner.
- Choose a FLAC track or folder that needs to be converted from your hard disk.
- Select an output format (MP3).
- Specify a destination folder for saving all converted files.
- Start converting by clicking the “Convert” button.
There are a couple of features that distinguish MediaHuman Audio Converter from other converters. Notably, it supports batch processing with multiple file formats in the same conversion step. This means you can convert your favorite track from FLAC to MP3 while at the same time converting another file from MP4 to WAV. You also have the option of changing audio quality up to 320 kbps.
Audacity is both an audio editor and a digital audio workstation. As an audio editor, it lets you edit audio using cut/copy/paste techniques. As a digital audio workstation, it lets you convert audio files between various formats. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and other operating systems.
Here’s how you can use the program to convert FLAC to MP3:
- Download and install the program on your computer.
- Select “File” from the toolbar and then select “Open” from the dropdown menu.
- Navigate to the file you’d like to convert and then click on “Open.”
- Click on “File” once again and select “Export” from the dropdown menu.
- Select “Export as MP3” from the Export submenu.
- Type a name for the file you’re about to create, and then click on “Save.”
With Audacity, you can edit the newly converted MP3 file even more extensively, for instance, by cutting out certain parts without compromising quality.
2. Web-Based Tools
Docspal turns your favorite media files into the desired format and enables you to make the change on the fly. It supports all audio formats, including FLAC, MP4, MP3, WAV, AU, WMA, and ALAC.
To convert your favorite FLAC music track to MP3 using Docspal:
- Visit the Docspal website and upload the file you’d like to convert.
- Select the file’s original format (FLAC) from a dropdown list.
- Select the destination format (MP3) from the list of options in the left pane.
- Click on “Convert.” You can also enter your email address to receive a download link in your inbox.
Docspal excels in three areas. First, it has a clean interface that’s easy and straightforward. Even if you have little computer experience, you’ll easily use the program. Second, it can handle almost any conversion request without requiring you to install extra codecs or other programs on your computer. Finally, it works well across various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
CloudConvert is a handy web application that will take the hassle out of converting files from one format to another. It allows you to convert anything from MP3s, AACs, WAVs, and many more formats so you can share your favorite files on any device with a cloud storage service. That includes Dropbox, Google Drive, and email.
To convert FLAC to MP3 using CloudConvert:
- Navigate to the CloudConvert website and upload the file you’d like to convert.
- Click on “Open.”
- Select “MP3” as the final format in the left pane. You can also set your preferred output setting by clicking on the wrench icon.
- Click on “Convert.”
Unlike some of the options on this list, CloudConvert is a free service.
Zamzar is one of the few conversion resources on the internet that gives subscription-based platforms a run for their money. It’s a wonderful service that converts files to various formats for free and provides awesome customer support if you run into problems. In addition, their conversion process is highly reliable, fast, and easy.
Here’s how you can convert FLAC to MP3 using Zamzar:
- Visit Zamzar’s official platform and click on “FLAC Converter.”
- Upload the file you’d like to convert and click on “Open.”
- Select “MP3” as the destination format.
- Click on “Convert Now.”
Can I convert FLAC files to MP3 in Windows Media Player?
Windows Media Player is suitable for many things, but it can’t convert FLAC music files – at least not directly. To do that, you’ll need to burn the file onto a CD first and then use Windows Media Player to rip the CD to an MP3 format:
1. Start by inserting a blank CD into the DVD drive of your PC.
2. Open Windows Media Player.
3. Click on “Files” and then select “Open.”
4. Add the FLAC audio files you’d like to convert.
5. Click on “Burn.”
6. After burning the CD, click on “Organize” and then select “Options.”
7. Select “Rip Music.”
8. Set the destination folder and select “MP3” as the desired format.
9. Click on “Ok.”
Can I Use VLC to Convert FLAC to MP3?
Yes, you can. Here’s how:
1. Launch VLC Media Player.
2. Click on “Media” and then select “Convert/Save” from the resulting dropdown list. This will launch the “Open Media” window.
3. Click on “Add.”
4. Add the FLAC audio files you’d like to convert.
5. Click on “Convert/Save”
6. Select “MP3” from the options in the “Convert” box.
7. Set the destination folder.
8. Click on “Start.”
Embrace MP3s and Expand Your Collection
If you’re a music enthusiast, your ears have probably been spoiled by the high-quality sound of FLAC files. But converting these to MP3 will become increasingly necessary as your playlist grows and as you embrace more portable devices such as smartphones or tablets with limited storage space. Converting FLAC to MP3 is not just an easy task but also a useful one that can save you from having to delete all the songs you’ve spent hours assembling on your device. And thanks to this article, you now know the tools to use.
Have you tried to convert any of your FLAC files to MP3? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below.