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FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file.

FLAC stands out as the fastest and most widely supported lossless audio codec, and the only one that at once is non-proprietary, is unencumbered by patents, has an open-source reference implementation, has a well documented format and API, and has several other independent implementations.

See About FLAC for more, or Using FLAC for how to play FLAC files, rip CDs to FLAC, etc.

The Beatles have released 14 re-mastered albums in 24-bit FLAC on a themed USB drive.

Paul McCartney's side project The Fireman has released its new album Electric Arguments as a digital download, and available in FLAC.

Songbird, a new open and customizable music player, is out and it supports FLAC natively. For Mac, Linux, and Windows.

The Squeezebox Boom is out: Slim Devices' latest home audio player weds their award-winning receiver with built-in speakers and as always has excellent FLAC support out of the box.

David Byrne and Brian Eno's new album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is also available in FLAC.

Pearl Jam is bringing back their "bootleg" program for their upcoming 2008 tour. Shows will be available for download in FLAC and MP3.

TrondheimSolistene has released its new album Divertimenti in an interesting array of formats, including both 5.1 and stereo 24bit/96kHz FLAC downloads.

HDtracks offers their large music catalog in FLAC, AIFF, and MP3, and plans to offer 96kHz/24-bit FLAC files soon.

A new site called indietorrent.org is up and running. indietorrent.org is a digital music store which "enables independent musicians to sell their own music while keeping all profits." FLAC is one of the available formats.

The new Opus No.4 and Melody No.2 digital audio players from Olive support FLAC streams up to 96kHz/24bit and embedded cover-art, and feature hi-res color touchscreens and up to 1TB storage. Stay tuned for a review here in May.

The T+A E-Series Music Player supports FLAC.

FLAC love has spread to the New York Times in this article on digital music in the home. The Squeezebox, Sonos, and McIntosh also get nods.

The Teclast M25 portable supports FLAC.

The H-QuAD project aims to create a FLAC decoder core implemented entirely in hardware.

The McIntosh MS750 music server supports FLAC.

A few new portables support FLAC: the Onda VX888, the Ainol U80SE, the Epoq EMP-TS30-4, and the WindTouch V80.

Ripfactory has announced the Ripserver, a sleek NAS with a slot-loading CD drive. Pop in a CD and it automatically rips to FLAC or MP3 and adds it to the media library. Ripserver can also run Slimserver and Twonkymedia for easy integration with Slim Devices, Sonos, and many other networked media players.

Merge Records just launched their online store where you can buy albums in FLAC format.

The Video Touch PMP from PlayTomato supports FLAC.

Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I-IV is on sale, with a FLAC download option.

Escient's Fireball S-E500i music server is their latest in a long line with FLAC support.

The Celrun TV, an interesting HD multimedia player, supports FLAC.

Gimell Records offers their catalog of The Tallis Scholars in FLAC format in three versions: "CD Quality" at 16-bit/44.1kHz, "Studio Master" at 16-bit/88.2kHz, and "Studio Master Pro" at 24-bit/88.2kHz.

Trent Reznor recently wrote about the sales numbers for Niggy Tardust, including that almost 20% of paying downloaders chose FLAC format.

The Eagles' latest album Long Road Out Of Eden has also been released in FLAC format (including the deluxe edition).

The European Broadcasting Union has adopted FLAC for distribution of audio over its Euroradio network.

last updated 2009-Dec-07
07-Dec-2009 :
14 Beatles re-masters available in 24-bit FLAC

10-Dec-2008 :
Electric Arguments available in FLAC

02-Sep-2008 :
Squeezebox Boom supports FLAC

19-Aug-2008 :
Byrne, Eno album available in FLAC

21-Apr-2008 :
New players from Olive support FLAC

03-Mar-2008 :
NIN: Ghosts I-IV available in FLAC

30-Jan-2008 :
The Tallis Scholars available in FLAC

13-Jan-2008 :
Eagles' album available in FLAC

(all news)