FLAC is a lossless codec, meaning no audio quality is lost
whilst compressing (unlike lossy codecs such as mp3
which throw audio data away), audio compressed to a lossless codec will
be decoded identical to the source, think of it as zip for audio. All
lossless codecs compress around 2:1 or 4:1 at best, a 3 minute audio
track will be around 18 MB.
Supported by this Codec
- Encoding: Yes
- Multi-processor Encoding: Yes
(with dBpoweramp reference)
- Decoding: Yes
[.flac .fla (optional)]
- ID Tag Reading: Yes
[Vorbis Comments, id3v2, id3v1]
- ID Tag Writing: Yes
[Vorbis Comments (default), id3v2, id3v1]
- Unicode Tagging:
- Supports Album Art: Yes
- Gapless Encoding & Decoding: Yes
- Explorer Audio Popup Information:
- Explorer Columns: Yes
- Unicode Filenames: Yes
Windows 98 or newer, dBpoweramp
R12 or newer required.
Being a lossless codec there are not many
options to set when compressing to FLAC:
Compression affects how much
effort goes into compressing the audio, all compression modes give
the same decoded audio (it is lossless after all), the higher
will give a small % file size saving, but will require more time to
compress and decompress. Compression Level 0 requires the least compression
time, whilst Compression Level 8 the most.
After Encoding Verify Written
Audio once compression is complete the compressed audio will be
read and compared to the source, verifying the compression is
without error (hard disk, or very unlikely codec induced).
FLAC is a acronym for Free Lossless Audio Codec, and is a
popular open source cross-platform codec. FLAC falls under the Ogg banner
(Vorbis, Speex and FlAC). Primarily developed by Josh Coalson.
FLAC mainly supports Vorbis Comments,
id3v2 and id3v1 are supported for backwards compatibility:
Vorbis Comments these are
present at the beginning of the file and allow Unicode tagging.
Vorbis Comments are not limited to fixed fields, but a lack of
standardized extended tag values (such as album art, ratings, etc)
limit Vorbis Comments,
ID3v2 able to store
fields of any name and any length, Unicode compatible (but not all
decoders can read Unicode tags), ID3v2 can
store album art & ratings.
ID3v1 limited to fixed fields
of around 30 characters each: Artist, Album, Title, Comment and
special numerical fields: Track Number, Genre, Year. ID3v1 tags are
not Unicode compatible.
dBpoweramp Configuration offers advanced options for this
codec (dBpoweramp Configuration >> Codecs >> Advanced Options):
FLAC ID Tagging
Tag Creation sets the default tag
creation type, Vorbis Comments are best for FLAC.
Vorbis Comment Mapping, sadly
there are many programs which do not follow the official
guidelines for Vorbis Comment tagging (in Vorbis comments
'Label' tag should be stored as 'Organization'), to cater for
these programs, mappings can be switched off (so Label would be
saved as Label).
Corrupt FLAC File gives the option to ignore
any errors and continue to decode the file (errors will be shown as
information at the end).
Associate with .fla Files the extension .fla
is also used for Flash animation, so can be a conflict of file
types. If switching this option on re-run dBpoweramp
FLAC IDTag Padding as Vorbis Comments are
at the beginning of the file it is advantageous to insert
padding so if the ID Tags change then the whole file does not
need rewriting. When encoding a file dBpoweramps Flac encoder
will automatically set the padding to the expected ID Tag size,
saving rewriting the whole file.
dBpoweramp Reference allows compressions from the
command-line, commands specific to this codec:
set compression levels (0 worst, 8 best, 5 default)
verifies compressed audio (by reading back from hard disk)
write an audio file,
Decoding: uncompress, or read an audio file,
ID Tags: meta data such as artist & album are embedded
inside the audio file,
Lossless: compression without audio quality loss,
Lossy: audio quality is sacrificed (how much depends on
bitrate and codec used) to achieve smaller files,
Gapless: allows the decoder to decode audio stream
without gaps (silence),
Explorer Audio Popup: a dBpoweramp function, hold the
mouse over a supported audio file and details contained are
Explorer Columns: columns can be added to Explorer
Windows such as bitrate & ID Tag elements,
Multi-processor Encoding: for dual processor, or multi
core processors multiple files can be compressed at once fully using
both (or more) CPUs.
Command Line: text interface, where commands are typed
(start >> run >> cmd to get to the command line)
Complete Version Changes