FLAC

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File Format
Name FLAC
Ontology
Extension(s) .flac
MIME Type(s) audio/x-flac,audio/flac
PRONOM fmt/279

FLAC is a Free Lossless Audio Codec. It can encode audio with a PCM bit resolution up to 32 bits per sample and sampling rates up to 640 kHz. FLAC-encoded audio is usually found either in a native container (which has the extension .flac), or in an Ogg container (when it's known as OggFLAC).

The format is open and royalty-free. The reference implementation is cross-platform and dual-licensed, command-line utilities (e.g. encoder, decoder and metadata editor) use GNU GPL and code libraries use BSD.

FLAC is suitable for archiving for many reasons:

  • open format
  • support for metadata tagging
  • lossless (no generation loss if you need to convert to another format)
  • disk size effective (audio is typically reduced to 50-60% of original size)
  • data integrity
  • error resistant (bit faults are contained within a frame, typically a fraction of a second)

Contents

Playback

Hardware

Many home stereo and portable hardware music players support the FLAC format. See the FLAC links page for an up-to-date list.

Software

A number of popular audio players support the FLAC format, including:

FLAC is also natively supported by Mozilla's Firefox browser, starting from Firefox 51. For more software products which support FLAC, see the FLAC links page

Specifications

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