Do you have a large collection of FLAC files that you want to use in iTunes or on your iPod? If you do, you’re out of luck because Apple only supports their own lossless format. Of course you know that already which is probably why you are here.
I too have the same problem as you. I spent hours scouring the Internet for instructions on how to convert my FLAC and APE files into something I could bring into iTunes. I found some instructions for doing this in Windows, some plugins that I could hack into Quicktime. Each solution I found seemed to be rather convoluted.
After spending a few hours on searching for this, I was resigned to write some of my own Apple Script to perform this process. Just before I started, I came across a tool that could convert all of my lossless audio files to Apple formats or MP3s. Incredibly, this program was free.
XLD is an open source application Mac application that will convert audio file formats from one format to another. It’s really simple. It was written by a Japanese Mac developer so it was a bit of a challenge to find on the Internet.
Download XLD from this link and follow the instructions below.
When you do, you’ll see that not much has really changed. You need to first setup XLD to convert to the format you’re interested in. Select XLD then preferences from the menu bar. This will open the following dialog
The default output format is WAV. This is another lossless format originally for Windows. We want to change that to either MPEG-4 AAC or Apple Lossless. Click the Output dropdown menu and select the format you want to convert to.
I generally convert to MPEG-4 AAC. The default settings for this format are not that great so you may want to bump them up a bit. Select Option to the right of the output dropdown list and the make the following adjustments.
You also want to make sure that the track and title information or metadata is preserved when you convert the audio formats. This will ensure that the song titles show up in iTunes properly. Select the Metadata menu and make sure it is setup like the screen shot below.
The last step will load the files into iTunes when the encoding is finished. If you go back to the”General” tab there is a checkbox “Add encoded files to iTunes if possible.”
Now you’re ready to convert. Select Open from the XLD File menu, select the File or Files you want to convert, then sit back and relax. It’s that easy. It’s also really fast. You should be finished in a few minutes.
There you have it a super easy way to convert FLAC files to an iTunes compatible format. You didn’t even need to get your hands dirty.