FLAC: What it is. Why you want it. How to use it.
We want you to know about FLAC files because it’s a relatively new way of downloading excellent sounding music. Sounds better than MP3, sounds as good as a CD, uses no packaging or shipping products, has all the artwork embedded. Greenleaf Music’s owner, Dave Douglas, went through this process reluctantly and came out the other side a convinced FLAC user. Now you can, too!
Downloading a Greenleaf FLAC is the same as downloading an MP3, they’re just larger files because they are uncompressed and therefore sound better. After downloading the FLAC track, here are a couple options of how to get going:
If you use iTunes, the only way to play FLACs is by using Fluke. It’s a free software available here. Right-clicking on the FLAC file and choosing Open With > Fluke will import the FLAC into your iTunes where you can then play it with no problem.
You can also convert the FLAC file using a program called Max. WAVs and AIFs are the formats used to press CDs and are supported in iTunes without any software add-on. Simply select what format you’d like to convert to in the Max > Preferences > Formats window. Then drag the file(s) into the Max window and click Convert. Those files can be added directly to your iTunes or burned to a CD that will match the sound quality of a CD you’d receive from us. (Update: Using a PC? Check out dBpoweramp for converting)
For folks not tied to iTunes, you can use a number of FLAC players out there. We recommend the recently discovered Songbird (thanks to Gary, one of our new subscribers). Songbird looks and feels like iTunes, so it’s easy to get set up.
Internet speeds are getting faster, and hard drive space is getting larger and cheaper with every second. Lossless files like FLACs are here to stay and great for folks like me who are not audiophiles but enjoy listening to quality music in the best way they can. These suggestions and directions are a good place to start. And I’ll be around to answer any questions you have as best I can.
Everyone has their own method for organizing their digital files — feel free to pass on yours in the Comments Section.