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FLAC 1.1.2 is available. New in this release are small decoding speedups for all platforms, small encoding speedups in fast (non-LPC) mode, streaming support in the XMMS plugin, and several bug fixes. For developers there are also a few additions and changes to the metadata API to make working with tags easier. See the changelog entry for complete details. This release actually wasn't supposed to happen so soon, but needed to be made to fix library naming and build problems in FLAC 1.1.1 that caused trouble for package maintainers, so unless you are having trouble with one of the particular bugs that got fixed in 1.1.2 then there is not much of a need to upgrade.

Another handful of devices that support FLAC are out or announced: the Zensonic Z500 Networked DVD Media Player, Escient's new FireBall E2-40, E2-160, and DVDM-300, the M300A Digital Music Player from Digital Techniques (see manual), Meda Systems' Bravo servers (more info), and the MS300 Music Server by McIntosh Laboratory.

We just found out that SkipJam's line of networked audio/video components supports FLAC. (Even though it's not mentioned on their site, I'm assured that's just because the site hasn't been updated yet.)

Escient has a new home stereo component that supports FLAC, the FireBall E2-300.

Mindawn, a new online music service offering FLAC and Ogg Vorbis, is now open. They also have a multi-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) CD ripper/encoder and are finishing up a multi-platform player.

Illiminable has updated his excellent Directshow filters to support native FLAC (in addition to Ogg FLAC/Vorbis/Speex/Theora).

last updated 2005-Feb-05

what is FLAC?
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file.

FLAC is freely available and supported on most operating systems, including Windows, "unix" (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, OS X, IRIX), BeOS, OS/2, and Amiga. There are build systems for autotools, MSVC, Watcom C, and Project Builder.

See the features page for a complete list of features, or the comparison page to see how FLAC compares with other lossless codecs.

The FLAC project consists of:

  • the stream format
  • reference encoders and decoders in library form
  • flac, a command-line program to encode and decode FLAC files
  • metaflac, a command-line metadata editor for FLAC files
  • input plugins for various music players

When we say that FLAC is "Free" it means more than just that it is available at no cost. It means that the specification of the format is fully open to the public to be used for any purpose (the FLAC project reserves the right to set the FLAC specification and certify compliance), and that neither the FLAC format nor any of the implemented encoding/decoding methods are covered by any known patent. It also means that all the source code is available under open-source licenses. It is the first truly open and free lossless audio format. (For more information, see the license page.)

Visit the download page for links to the source code or pre-built binaries.

The documentation is available online as well as in the distributions. The general installation and usage documentation for flac and the plugins is here. For a detailed description of the FLAC format and reference encoder see the FLAC format page.

id registration
If you have an application that uses FLAC and would like it to be able to tag FLAC files with custom metadata, visit the registration page to register an ID for your application.
05-Feb-2005 :
Version 1.1.2 released

17-Jan-2005 :
Several new devices support FLAC

12-Nov-2004 :
Escient's new FireBall E2-300 supports FLAC

02-Nov-2004 :
New Mindawn music store offers FLAC and Vorbis

01-Oct-2004 :
Version 1.1.1 released

27-Jul-2004 :
The Furthur network now supports FLAC

21-Jun-2004 :
Bonnaroo soundboard recordings available in FLAC

03-Mar-2004 :
Metallica offers live shows in FLAC

03-Feb-2004 :
Charlie Hunter makes select albums available in FLAC

19-Nov-2003 :
PhatNoise's new Home Digital Media Player supports FLAC

18-Nov-2003 :
Slim's new 'Squeezebox' supports FLAC

11-Nov-2003 :
Primus offers live shows in FLAC

13-Oct-2003 :
Magnatune catalog available in FLAC

11-Aug-2003 :
New Rio Karma supports FLAC

23-Jun-2003 :
livephish.com offers FLAC shows

09-Feb-2003 :
ReQuest adds FLAC support

29-Jan-2003 :
FLAC joins Xiph.org!

26-Jan-2003 :
Version 1.1.0 released

(all news)

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