home  |   faq  |   news  |   download  |   features  |   goals  |   format  |   id  |   comparison  |   documentation  |   changelog  |   links  |   developers  
  english  |   russian  

The Furthur Network, a legal-live music sharing P2P network, now supports FLAC.

Several sets from the Bonnaroo Music Festival are available in FLAC, including Dave Matthews & Friends and String Cheese Incident, with more to follow as the soundboard recordings are approved by the bands.

DigitalSoundboard.net has begun offering 24-bit recordings in FLAC format.

We've just discovered that the Roku Soundbridge now supports FLAC.

A Java native FLAC decoder is now available through the jFLAC project.

Metallica is offering soundboard recordings of live shows in FLAC format.

last updated 2004-Jul-29

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.

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)

SourceForge Logo


 Copyright (c) 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004 Josh Coalson