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Winamp 5.31 now includes Nullsoft FLAC plugins for encoding and decoding. The decoder is based on our reference decoder plugin. However the current encoder plugin is based on a pre-release of flake and we recommend to not use it for archival yet.

The new Helios X5000 HD network media player from Neodigits supports FLAC.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is making many recordings available in FLAC.

A whole new batch of devices and stores support FLAC: for portables there are the iAUDIO T2 and iAUDIO F2, TrekStor's Vibez, the Onda VX737, and the AP3000 from Green Apple. For the home stereo, Slim Devices' Transporter and Ziova's CS510 and CS505. For music in FLAC format check out digital-tunes for electronic and underground, or FestivaLink.net for live shows.

Bluedot's BMP-1430 portable supports FLAC.

AudioReQuest's new S.Series music servers support FLAC.

Cowon's A2 now supports FLAC with the latest firmware, and Olive's new Opus both plays and records to FLAC.

The new Iwod G10 portable supports FLAC.

Want some FLAC with your Volvo? Volvo's Digital Jukebox, developed with PhatNoise, is fully integrated with the car's audio system and available for the S60, V70, XC70, and S80. PhatNoise's PhatBox in 2002 was the first device to support FLAC natively and has gained a loyal following.

last updated 2006-Oct-25

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.

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.
25-Oct-2006 :
Winamp 5.31 ships with FLAC support

20-Dec-2005 :
Volvo's Digital Jukebox plays FLAC

21-Sep-2005 :
Live2496 now records directly to FLAC

10-Aug-2005 :
Olive's new Symphony component supports FLAC

11-May-2005 :
YME supports FLAC and Vorbis

10-May-2005 :
PONTIS' MS330 supports FLAC and Vorbis

02-May-2005 :
Sonos now supports FLAC and Vorbis

23-Apr-2005 :
iAUDIO X5 portable supports FLAC and Vorbis

09-Mar-2005 :
Squeezebox2 supports FLAC on the box

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)