If you store digital music as FLAC files but your portable player doesn't play them, you'll need a tool like PolySoft's Free FLAC to MP3 Converter. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It's a free, open source standard for compressing audio files. It's popular because it's lossless: Storing your tunes as FLAC files preserves their quality better than more "lossy" standards, including MP3s. While many media players handle FLAC files, plenty of portable devices don't. It's totally simple to use.
Free FLAC to MP3 Converter's user interface is small and simple, with no other controls, options, or settings beyond those immediately accessible. We could drag and drop files into the main window or click Add and browse to our FLAC files, or click Remove to delete them from the list. We tried both methods. The next step after adding our files was to select an output folder by changing the selection from Same, which saves converted files to the same folder as the source file, to Other, and then browsing to a new destination folder. Then it was a simple matter of pressing Convert to MP3 to process our batch. That's about all there is to the program's interface and functionality.
Free FLAC to MP3 Converter did the job quickly enough, though of course your system's resources will bear on the conversion speed. Our converted MP3s played normally in our usual media player. Did we notice a difference in the sound quality? Not really; at least, not an obvious or dramatic one. But then, going from FLAC to MP3 isn't a huge step: both are high-compression formats, not high-fidelity, and are designed to maximize storage space, not sound quality. But it's hard to imagine a simpler solution to the task at hand than Free FLAC to MP3 Converter. Stripped-down? Maybe, but we like simple software for simple tasks: Too many tools take longer to set up than to do their jobs. With Free FLAC to MP3 Converter, you're in and out while the other guy is still reading the signs.
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From PolySoft Solutions:
Free FLAC to MP3 Converter offers an easy way to convert all your FLAC audio files to MP3. The program's interface is very simple. Just add the files you want to convert to the list (you can drag and drop them directly from Windows Explorer), select the output folder, and then click the Convert button.
The bitrate of the MP3s this program makes is so bad I'd rather put 500MB of FLACs on my phone than listen to the horse crap this program spits out.
Unless you feel like paying $9.95 for the premium version that has an option to change your bitrate, you're gonna want to go searching for an application that isn't worse than McDonald's customer service.