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CONVERTING FLAC FILES FOR ITUNES

CONVERTING FLAC FILES FOR ITUNES

What if I Buy and Download FLAC Files?

FLAC is used by many download sites to distribute CD quality and high resolution (e.g. 24bit/96kHz) audio files. FLAC is used because it is open source, lossless and requires less bandwidth for downloading than AIFF or WAV. It is also a modern “container” that supports a wide range of embedded metadata (e.g. artist and song info, artwork, lyrics. etc.). However, FLAC is not natively playable from iTunes. Therefore, FLAC files must first be converted to Apple Lossless (ALAC) or AIFF files before they can be added to and played from iTunes.

Once you have downloaded a song or album in FLAC format, you should follow these steps:

  • Store the original FLAC files in a safe place (e.g. a backup hard drive,
    a separate folder, or a CD or DVD-ROM)
  • Convert the FLAC files to ALAC or AIFF files using XLD
  • Once the ALAC or AIFF files have been created, drag and drop them
    into the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder, as discussed here

XLD (available here) does a great job of converting FLAC files to ALAC or AIFF.  There are other tools available, but XLD is our preferred method. For detailed instructions on how to use XLD, please follow the link at left.