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Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)

Definition - What does Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) mean?

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is an open-source codec that is used for compressing audio data without any loss in audio quality. Similar to the MP3 audio format, it is specifically designed for audio and supports album art and audio tags, and is suitable for listening, archiving and recording.

Techopedia explains Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)

Free Lossless Audio Codec is supported by a number of hardware devices. It is totally lossless as the encoding of the audio data has no loss and decoded data is identical to the encoder input. The format uses an MD5-based signature to ensure the integrity of the audio data. Free Lossless Audio Codec supports fast sample-accurate seeking. This makes the format favorable for editing applications, along with playback options. The metadata of the format is flexible, supporting a variety of seek tables, cover art and tags. The FLAC format is suited for archiving and is also highly convenient for CD archiving. The framing technique used in FLAC ensures the format is error resistant.

There are many advantages in using the FLAC format. Since it is open source, there is no need to obtain a license. It has a large hardware support and can be ported to many platforms and systems. It supports streaming, and the decoding is fast, independent of the compression ratio. Another benefit of using the format is in the ability to partially restore corrupted files.

However, the compression ratio used in the format is less efficient compared to that used by other encoders.

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