I always knew some day I’d have a reason to blog about something I could relate to the insurance duck (don’t seek an answer why).

In my travels last week, a friend I stayed with shared some (well a lot) of concert audio files, all in .flac format– which I had maybe heard of before, but now know it is a lossless audio file format. My ears are not near discriminating enough to know, but that is way besides the point.

Of course I expected to find a free audio converter as something I could use to bring in the music to iTunes and onto the phone/pod (you can open them in Audacity and convert but that would be a one by one manual op. I first went to a reliable source of Mac apps, VersionTracker and searched for “flac”– scanned a few (I peek at the reviews as well), and gave ALL2MP3 a try.

It worked for a batch of movies, basic enough, and converted a set to MP3. But when I tried to run the app again, it would not respond at all. I decided to go back to the wider well and searched Google on mac os x flac converter and came to a blog post about someone having good luck with XLD. From here I was at the developer site, which roaming past the command line junkie stuff, there was a link for the GUI version… The link works now, but when I did it I got a Japanese 404 page (I am guessing the developer was uploading a new file at my bad luck timing), so I return to Google, searched on XLD, and found a mirror site.

This is a long way (I am not even sure why I am outlining except to hint that searching takes a multi-pronged approach) to get at that this is a very cool converter tool, and is very quick at batch converting- I used the settings to go to m4a format for itunes.

So if you need to do a flac, not Aflac, dont squawk.

Actually the larger lesson is that more and more (and I guess its the new Chrome way) that finding information is not looking in web site directory catalogs (the old Yahoo way), but wide open search. Knowing search is a key, and I continue to refine the approach every time I engage in the act.

Quack.

I said it.

The post "Finding a .flac Tool, Ducks Optional" was originally pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2008/09/flac/) on September 4, 2008.

10 Comments

  • I rip all of my audio CD’s to flac, then convert them to ogg vorbis for local playback on my PC, then burn the flac albums to DVD for backup. One DVD will hold several CD’s worth of music. For me, with kids (and OK, I myself have been known to ruin a CD in the car), it’s worth it to back up a lossless copy this way.

    You should also check out the flac download page for software. Check out the “extras” section where you’ll find front-ends for Mac. I generally do all my multimedia stuff on a linux box and transfer to a mac, but when I toyed with the idea of converting on the mac I thought Max was decent.

  • D'Arcy Norman darcynorman.net

    http://www.simplehelp.net/2008/06/12/how-to-play-flac-files-in-itunes/

    looks like iTunes can play them natively, with a little nudge.

  • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

    @D’Arcy Norman: Good find; I should have expected this. Downsides are (1) the flac files are pretty big; and (2) it looks like w/o a format conversion they wont make it to the iPod/iPhone

  • D'Arcy Norman darcynorman.net

    Once they’re into iTunes you should be able to get it to convert to your preferred format – AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless (which will play on iPod/iPhone, but will suck up gobs of storage)

  • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

    @D’Arcy Norman: Oh yeah, of course. However, then U end up with dupes of songs in iTunes, so then I delete the flacs. It seems 6 vs half dozen- convert from flac outside and add to iTunes or import to flac to iTunes and convert. It’s all good, and my lousy ears would not know lossless from toothless.

  • jay

    hi alan
    just stumbled upon your feed2js website and am stoked to have found it
    i wanted to use it to pull recent posts from our blog and display on admin page of a site

    my question is this…

    the page is on a https:// connection so now when i include the js it makes a warning pop up saying page isnt secure, due to the jx being http:// not https:
    it tried cahnging to https:// but didnt work…you dont haev a ssl installed hey?

    is there a way to fix this without having to install it on my host (im a bit of a code newbie) as i love the simplicity of just including a js line

    if you could write me back with any clues, whenever you get a moment

    and thanks again for this great tool!

  • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

    @jay: I’m glad you like feed2js but there’s not much I can do; the site it is hosted on is provided for free to me and I cannot/ do not know how enable SSL on it nor am I sure that would even fix your situation. Sorry, but IMHO, you ought to see if the site can either be mirrored off of SSL or run the code yourself.

  • pumpkin

    Does the utility need to be mac-based, or can you do the conversion on (ick)win and then transfer the m4a files over?

  • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

    @pumpkin: m4a is m4a — The converter I found worked great, and there are a few others in the flac website- they all are front ends, it seems to the flac software at sourceforge.

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