Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gimme some FLAC!

FLAC is a file format for audio compression. Since it is a lossless audio format, it doesn't remove information from the audio data stream and diminish the sound like all MP3s do. FLAC is the closest you can come to CD quality and is the format of choice for those wishing to preserve their audio collections. It can handle PCM bit resolution from 4 to 32 bits per sample and go as far down as 1Hz(oh yeah) to 1,048,570Hz with up to eight unique channels. Stereo or 7.1 surround sound if you'd like.

So why don't more people use FLAC files instead of MP3s? Well don't expect FLAC to play easily in mainstream players like iTunes or Windows Media Player. The format itself is DRM free, unencumbered by patents, has an open-source reference implementation and even includes an API. Sounds a lot like Linux, eh?

With the rise of digital music downloads, the increase in personal storage space and the demand for better audio...expect to see more FLAC in the near future.

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