How to Use FLAC in iTunes - the Free and Easy Way

By Theodora Pennypacker

Since FLAC is a highly specialized, uncompressed audio format, support for it is limited -- and not available in iTunes. Before you can play a FLAC file in iTunes, you will need to convert the media into a compatible format like MP3, M4A, AIFF or WAV. Audacity, iWisoft Free Video Converter and Freemake Audio Converter are some examples of freeware that you can use for this task. Once a FLAC file is properly re-formatted, you can import it into iTunes and upload it onto Apple devices like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Audacity

Step 1

Download and install Audacity from the SourceForge website.

Step 2

Launch Audacity. Click the “File” tab on the application menu and select “Open…” Locate the FLAC input file in the file browser window. Select the item and click “Open.”

Step 3

Click the “File” tab and select “Export…” Select a storage location for the iTunes-compatible output file in the file-saving window. Open the “Save as type” drop-down menu and choose from the MP3, M4A, AIFF and WAV options. Click “Save.”

Step 4

Add track information in the “Edit Metadata” window and click “OK.” Audacity displays the encoding progress in a status window. When the window closes, the audio is encoded.

Freemake Audio Converter

Step 1

Download and install Freemake Audio Converter.

Step 2

Launch Freemake Audio Converter. Click the “+ Audio” icon on the application menu and locate the FLAC input file in the file browser window. Select the item and click “Open.”

Step 3

Choose from the MP3, M4A, AIFF and WAV options and an “Output Parameters” window appears.

Step 4

Click the “Convert” button. Freemake Audio Converter shows a confirmation message when the file is encoded. Click the “Show in folder” link to retrieve the audio from its default storage location.

iWisoft Free Video Converter

Step 1

Download and install iWisoft Free Video Converter.

Step 2

Launch iWisoft Free Video Converter. Click the “Add” icon and locate the FLAC input file in the file browser window. Select the item and click “Open.”

Step 3

Open the “Profile” pull-down menu. Go to “Common Audio” and choose from the MP3, M4A, AIFF and WAV options.

Step 4

Click the “Start” button. iWisoft Free Video Converter deploys the default storage location for the file when it is encoded.

iTunes

Step 1

Launch iTunes. Click the “File” tab on the application menu and select “Add File to Library…” Locate the iTunes-compatible output file you created in the file browser window. Select the item and click “Open.”

Step 2

Click the “Music” tab under the “Library” menu. All of the audio tracks in your iTunes library load in the main window. Scroll down to the listing for the song you encoded from FLAC format.

Step 3

Select the song. Stream the audio with the playback commands on the application menu. The track information displays in the player window.

Step 4

Click the “File” tab and select “Exit.”

Tips & Warnings

  • Audacity, Freemake Audio Converter and iWisoft Free Video Converter are only compatible with Windows. If you use a Mac, you can utilize Fluke to stream FLAC files in iTunes. The free component is not a media converter, but rather a utility that uses scripting language to enable playback for the FLAC format in iTunes. But since Fluke does not actually convert FLAC files into an iTunes-compatible format, the audio tracks cannot be uploaded onto Apple devices during iTunes syncs.