free lossless audio codec (FLAC)
Free Lossless AudioCodec (FLAC) is a lossless audio compression, comparable to OptimFrog and APE by Monkeys Audio, whose files can be played on a wide variety of music players. The FLAC file format offers itself as an alternative to the WAV file format and Apple Lossless Audio Codec( ALAC).
In terms of file size, FLAC files are smaller than Waveform Audio Files (WAV) because they are losslessly compressed with an algorithm during encoding. They can be converted back to WAV format at any time without loss. The compression ratio of FLAC files is about 56%.
The FLAC project consists of the stream format, the library for the coders and decoders, a command line for encoding and decoding FLAC files, a metafile editor and the input plug-ins for various music players. It supports up to eight audio channels.
The freely available FLAC, whose specifications and formats are published, is supported by most operating systems, such as Windows, Unix, Linux, Solaris, OS/2 and Amiga.