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FLAC support has been added to the Rio Receiver and Dell Digital Audio Receiver; see here for more.

The finishing touches are under way for FLAC 1.0.4; expect a beta release early in September.

If you use FLAC and have suggestions or patches, please join the mailing list or developers group. Bugs can be filed here, but make sure to check the known bugs section first.

what is FLAC?

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless. The FLAC project consists of:

  • the stream format
  • libFLAC, a library of reference encoders and decoders, and a metadata interface
  • libFLAC++, an object wrapper around libFLAC
  • libOggFLAC and libOggFLAC++, which wrap the encoders and decoders of libFLAC and libFLAC++, respectively, to allow access to FLAC streams in an Ogg container
  • flac, a command-line wrapper around libFLAC to encode and decode FLAC files
  • metaflac, a command-line metadata editor for .flac files
  • input plugins for various music players (Winamp, XMMS, and more in the works)

"Free" means that the specification of the stream format is in the public domain (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 patent. It also means that the sources for the libraries are available under the LGPL and the sources for flac, metaflac, and the plugins are available under the GPL.

FLAC compiles on many platforms: most Unixes (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, OS X), Windows, BeOS, and OS/2. There are build systems for autoconf/automake, MSVC, Watcom C, and Project Builder.

See the features page, documentation page, or FLAC format page for more info, the comparison page to see how the reference encoder measures up, or the goals page for what the FLAC project hopes to achieve.


Visit the download page for links to the source code or pre-built binaries, or go directly to the source on SourceForge.


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.

22-Aug-2002 :
  FLAC support for Rio Receiver
03-Jul-2002 :
  Version 1.0.3 released
13-Feb-2002 :
  FLAC goes hardware
03-Dec-2001 :
  Version 1.0.2 released
14-Nov-2001 :
  Version 1.0.1 released
20-Jul-2001 :
  FLAC 1.0 is here!

SourceForge project page
Freshmeat page
First Principles
Hardware supporting FLAC:
PhatNoise car audio system: Phatbox + FLAC
Rio Reciever and Dell Digital Audio Receiver via RioPlay client
Software supporting FLAC:
Patch for abcde (A Better CD Encoder)
EasyTAG versatile tagger
FLAC frontend (Windows GUI)
GStreamer streaming media framework
JReceiver servlet-based audio server
MacFLAC Mac OS X FLAC distribution
MediaXW includes FLAC DirectShow filter
rawrec/rawplay recording/playback tools
rip command-line ripper/encoder
SDL_sound audio add-on to SDL
Soepkip TNG music playing daemon + web interface
sonice FLAC to Vorbis transcoder
Split_wav WAV+CUE splitter
Tag comprehensive tagger (frontend available)

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 Copyright (c) 2000,2001,2002 Josh Coalson