Lossless audio on your computer.
MP3′s are great, they allow you to carry huge music collections around with you on smartphones and media players, and they allow you to store all of your music in one place so that you can stream it around your home network.
The problem is that MP3′s are a lossy format, which can mean that your music doesn’t sound as good as the original CD. The good news is that there are digital formats that maintain almost all of the clarity of CDs, and will still playback on any Mac or PC, plus a whole bunch of portable devices.
FLAC promises a compressed audio file on your computer without any loss in sound fidelity from the original CD. The FLAC files that are created do tend to be bigger than an equivalent MP3, but with hard disk space being readily available this shouldn’t be too much of a concern, even for larger music libraries.
In this guide I’m going to use MediaMonkey to rip CDs in to lossless FLAC audio files. The first step is to download the free version of the software from the MediaMonkey website. Install the software using the default options, which should include FLAC support as a selectable option.
Once the software is installed, open it up and insert a CD. MediaMonkey should automatically search an online database for artist, album and track names. You’ll then be presented with a pop-up window asking what naming convention you’d like to use for the FLAC files and which tracks you’d like to rip.
Once you’ve made your selections, click OK and the CD will be ripped to FLAC files on your hard disk. From there you can organise them in to any folder structure you’d like and share them among devices.
It’s worth pointing out that although there is excellent support for FLAC on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android, the files won’t play back on iOS (at least not using the built in music app). You’ll also get compatibility with any number of HiFi separates, such as this Denon unit.