FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format 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 stands out as the fastest and most widely supported lossless audio codec, and the only one that at once is non-proprietary, is unencumbered by patents, has an open-source reference implementation, has a well documented format and API, and has several other independent implementations.
See About FLAC for more, or Using FLAC for how to play FLAC files, rip CDs to FLAC, etc.
FLAC 1.2.1 released New in this release is support for all RIFF/AIFF metadata, including Broadcast Wave Format (BWF). There are many other small improvements and bug fixes; see the changelog entry for complete details.
The new Denon AVR-4308DAB receiver supports FLAC.
Sound Forge 9.0b supports FLAC, for both reading and writing.
An installer for flac-1.1.4 on OS X is now available. This includes universal binaries that will work on both Intel and PowerPC machines. A 1.2.0 update will be available soon.
Czech Radio has released complete recordings of Bach's Brandenburg concertos in FLAC format, free to download.
A handful of new devices support FLAC: for home stereo, there are Denon's upcoming tabletop players SE-32 and SE-52 and Escient's FireBall SE500; for portables, the Blast from OPPO, Hyundai's NH-260, the Zarva MV209, this generically-named Portable Media Player, and the Gemei X-750.
last updated 2007-Sep-17
FLAC 1.2.1 released
Sound Forge 9.0b supports FLAC
Czech Radio releases free FLAC recordings
FLAC 1.2.0 released
FLAC 1.1.4 released
FLAC 1.1.3 released
Winamp 5.31 ships with FLAC support
Volvo's Digital Jukebox plays FLAC
Live2496 now records directly to FLAC
Olive's new Symphony component supports FLAC
YME supports FLAC and Vorbis
PONTIS' MS330 supports FLAC and Vorbis
Sonos now supports FLAC and Vorbis
iAUDIO X5 portable supports FLAC and Vorbis
Squeezebox2 supports FLAC on the box
Version 1.1.2 released