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What Is FLAC?

FLAC, or Free Lossless Audio Codec, is a type of compression method that allows for the preservation of the original quality of the audio recording while at the same time also reducing the total file size of the finished, compressed file. FLAC is an open-source and royalty-free format. Because of the number of advantages it gives when it comes to reproducing digital audio, FLAC has become widely accepted.

Compression involves manipulating a large file (for example, a wave or .wave file) and then through mathematical algorithms, reduce the data bits of the original file while also ensuring that the audio quality of the file is preserved as much as possible. MP3 is a popular audio compression for audio files because it reduces the extremely large compact disk files (.cda files) to just a small fraction of the original size. This makes MP3s a popular audio format for portable audio devices.

FLAC, on the other hand, has a huge advantage over MP3 files in the form of far superior audio quality. FLAC is able to save the original soundscape of the audio recording in pristine detail. What’s more, it is able to do this with a reduced file size. FLAC is about 30 to 60 percent smaller than .CDA files with no discernible loss of audio quality. This is the reason why FLAC is called a lossless format. This is marked contrast to audio files like MP3, which is considered a lossy format because it loses the high audio quality of the recording when it is being converted.

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