2 Useful Ways to Convert FLAC to ALAC [High Quality & Super Fast]

Emily Zeng
Updated on June 07, 2024 Preview 22.0K Preview 1
share it facebook share it Twitter

Both FLAC and ALAC files are premium formats that use lossless compression. But FLAC doesn't play on iTunes, later Apple music app, and iOS 10 or lower, whereas ALAC is a lossless alternative to the Apple-designed FLAC. In this case, you can convert FLAC to Apple Lossless. Read the article to learn how to convert FLAC to ALAC on Mac and Windows easily.


What is FLAC?

FLAC (hi-res), standing for Free Lossless Audio Codec, is an open source compression format of digital audio. It supports for metadata tags, album covers, and quick lookups. The original audio information won't be destroyed, making it possible to restore the sound quality of music CDs.

What is ALAC?

ALAC (hi-res), a.k.a Apple Lossless Audio Codec, is an audio coding format similar to FLAC. It can compress digital music without losing sound quality. The file extension for ALAC is .m4a, the same as the default AAC. Therefore, be aware that some software supports the M4A format, but not necessarily the ALAC encoding. It may only support AAC.

To find out whether a file is encoded in ALAC or AAC, enable the “Kind” column in iTunes or Apple Music. Choose “View” > “Hide View Options” in the menu. In the box that appears, check the option that says "Kind".

show kind column

FLAC VS ALAC and Why Convert FLAC to ALAC

Bit depth 4 to 32 16, 20, 24, and 32
Sample Rate 10 to 655kHz (10Hz increments) Maximum 384kHz
Channels of audio 8 8
File size About 60% smaller than AIFF and WAV About 5–12% smaller than FLAC
Compatibility Supports many devices and apps except Apple iTunes, Music app, and iDevices Works on all Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, Apple Music, Airplay, etc.

Is ALAC as good as FLAC? The sound quality of FLAC is slightly better than that of ALAC, so the file is also larger. But the difference between the FLAC and ALAC is not that obvious. In fact, most people can’t detect the difference. The root reason to convert FLAC to Apple Lossless is compatibility. You can't open FLAC files on Apple systems, except on iOS 11+ devices, which support FLAC playback natively via the File app.


Convert FLAC to ALAC Audio with Software – Batch, High Quality

The first two apps listed below are both compatible with Mac and Windows PC, and there are few differences between the two platforms when it comes to their operation steps.

The third app is limited to converting FLAC to Apple Lossless only on Windows, whereas the Mac version can only play FLAC, ALAC, and other music formats.

Use #1 Cisdem Video Converter

An all-in-one media file converter

Cisdem Video Converter is a versatile FLAC to ALAC converter, packing with simple interface and powerful functions. Besides converting FLAC to Apple Lossless on Mac and Windows, it can also convert FLAC to MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG, WMA, AC3, etc. Anyway, the app will help you play audio on iPod classic, iPod touch, Zune, iTunes, Android phones, and all kinds of other MP3 players.

More standout features:

  • Convert among 300+ media file formats
  • Rip audio and video files from DVDs, copy-protected ones included
  • Extract FLAC, ALAC, etc. audio from video
  • Edit, enhance and customize your added files
  • Download high-quality music from YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, HearThis.at, Mixcloud, Bandcamp, and so on
  • Also download videos from over 1000 sites by pasting links
  • Merge all FLAC files and convert them to one large ALAC

Free Download macOS 10.12 or later Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7

How to convert FLAC to ALAC on Mac (or Windows) in bulk with Cisdem:

Step 1. Load your FLAC files

Open up Cisdem FLAC to Apple Lossless converter on Mac.

convert interface

Drag-n-drop FLAC files to the converting interface.

upload flac files

Step 2. Pick M4A as the export format

Select an output for a single FLAC: Click the “format” icon to drop down a list with a wealth of output formats. Choose "M4A Audio" from "Apple Software" > "iTunes" category.

For all FLAC files: Go to bottom left corner and select an output from "Convert all tasks to".

choose m4a as the output format

Step 3. Change the audio codec to ALAC

The default M4A decoder of Cisdem Video Converter is AAC. You can change it.

Next to the "M4A Audio" option, there is a gear icon. Click it to call up the “Advanced Settings” panel, in which you can have control of output parameters.

Move your mouse cursor to audio codec, hit the down arrow, and choose "alac".

choose alac codec

Step 4. Mass convert FLAC to ALAC on Mac (or Windows)

Simply press the “convert” button at the bottom right side of the interface, and let the FLAC to Apple Lossless conversion take place on your device.


When performing audio conversion, there is a difference between the Mac version and the Windows version in the interface, that is, to select the storage location.

On Mac: Head to “File” > “Save Convert Folder to” to make the setting.

choose mac saving path

On Windows: Move to the bottom of the interface and simple choose a folder.

choose win saving path

If you prefer, you can use the default destination path. For quick access to the resulting ALAC audio, click the blue check mark icon once the conversion is complete.

locate converted audio


Use #2 MediaHuman Audio Converter

A dedicated audio file converter

Audiophiles highly acclaim MediaHuman Audio Converter, a popular FLAC to Apple Lossless converter that preserves music metadata and ID3 tags such as title, artist, album name, cover, etc. It’s also compatible with Mac and Windows platforms.

While the audio conversion is free, certain advanced features like Normalization (loudness/peak), Fade in/Fade out, Trim the silence, file naming by tags, and more come with a price.

Note: On my macOS Monterey, if I leave the software interface idle for more than 3 minutes, it crashes and I have to restart it.

Main features:

  • Import audio files from an entire folder or iTunes/Apple Music in one go
  • Split a large FLAC into tracks into individual tracks with .cue
  • Retain the original music structure and layout
  • Support approximately 11 audio output formats
  • One-click cleanup of incorrectly added files or files that have completed conversion

How to use MediaHuman to convert FLAC to ALAC:

  1. Install MediaHuman Audio Converter on your computer and launch it.
  2. Add FLAC files from your local or iTunes/Apple Music program.
  3. If there is a CUE file(s) containing in your FLAC, choose whether to split them.
  4. Open the format list and select ALAC from the dropdown.
  5. Custom audio channel, sample rate, and bits per sample.
  6. In the toolbar, hit “Start conversion” to transcode FLAC to M4A (ALAC) on Mac or Windows.


Use #3 foobar2000

Only allow audio conversion on Windows

Foobar2000 is a lightweight yet advanced audio player and converter for desktop. It’s able to convert FLAC to ALAC, AAC, AIFF, Musepark, Wave64, WavPack, AU/SND, etc. for free. Although it can directly convert one audio format to another, to convert to ALAC, you need to install a plugin called Foobar2000 Free Encoder Pack.

The app is also available on iOS and Android. It does not carry a conversion option on mobile versions and only supports playing FLAC, ALAC music.

Key features:

  • Support several audio formats
  • Play (playback queue available), crop, cut, tag, convert, etc. audio files
  • Show audio metadata, details, replaygain, and artwork
  • Select output bit depth and dither
  • Open component architecture

How to mass convert FLAC to Apple Lossless on Windows:

  1. Install foobar2000 and Free Encoder Pack: encoder binaries for the Converter component to your computer.
  2. Launch the FLAC converter for Windows. Configure the appearance.
  3. Drag and drop FLAC files into the software.
  4. Hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and choose all FLAC you want to convert.
  5. Right-click the audio, then navigate to “Convert” > “Quick convert” to open the panel.
  6. Choose the output format – Apple Lossless.
  7. Click “Convert” to start encoding FLAC file to ALAC on Windows.


Convert FLAC to ALAC Online with No Software – Free, Size Limit

Try #1 FreeConvert.com

FreeConvert.com is a multi-purpose file conversion service. It allows you to convert audio tracks, videos, images, documents and eBooks. This online FLAC to Apple Lossless converter offers 10 file conversions per day. Once exceeded, your conversion will be rejected. Meanwhile, it’s incapable of converting over 5 files at the same time, and fails to upload videos more than 500MB.

Steps to Convert FLAC to ALAC online with FreeConvert.com:

  1. Visit https://www.freeconvert.com/flac-to-alac/ website.
  2. Drop FLAC audio into the workspace. Else click on the “Choose Files” button to browser and select the FLAC from your devices.
  3. (Optional) Hit the “gearwheel” icon to open the “Audio Options” window, and adjust audio parameters.
  4. Click “Convert”.
  5. Waiting for uploading and converting, then download file in M4A format.

    Or, put the mouse on the drop-down icon next to "Download", choose to scan the QR code with your mobile phone to save the ALAC-encoded M4A to iPhone or Android.


Try #2 OnlineConverter.com

OnlineConverter.com is another free FLAC to ALAC converter online that has been around since 2015. It's very similar to freeconvert.com owing to its multipurpose nature.

This online converter supports an array of formats but can't convert in batches. Plus, the maximum file size of OnlineConverter.com is merely 200MB, which is not friendly to videos.

Steps to convert FLAC to Apple Lossless via OnlineConverter.com:

  1. Visit https://www.onlineconverter.com/flac-to-alac in your web browser.
  2. Click “Choose File” and then add FLAC audio from your local folder.
  3. Hit “Convert” to upload. The progress is a little slow.
  4. Once done, click anchor text – “Download Now” to get the converted file.



Are desktop FLAC to ALAC converters better than online ones?

Yes! FLAC file to ALAC converter software is more secure and the conversion effect is also better. But online tools are limited in terms of upload size, number of conversions per day, and number of simultaneous conversions.

Can VLC convert FLAC to ALAC on Mac and Windows?

No! The audio codec supported by VLC includes MPEG audio, MP3, AAC, A52/AC-3, Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, WAV, and WMA2. You can’t find ALAC audio to choose from.

Can convert FLAC to Apple Lossless via command line?

Yes, you can install PowerShell Core and FFMPEG to convert FLAC files to ALAC. Both of them work on Mac and Windows. But it’s not recommended:

  1. The process of installing and using PowerShell Core and FFMPEG is complicated. You may not be able to understand the code among them unless you are a technician.
  2. PowerShell Core only had the Windows version before, and the Mac version was developed later, so the compatibility is not very good. Furthermore, FFMPEG requires the Homebrew package manager to be installed for mass audio conversion. But Homebrew was not available on macOS High Sierra or before.


Conclusive Thoughts

Mentioned earlier, not all FLAC to M4A converter enables you to convert FLAC to ALAC on Mac and Windows. Before using the app or online tool, make sure whether it supports ALAC output format. In addition, the FLAC to Apple Lossless converter software is more superior, as it results in higher quality and efficiency.

Emily Zeng
share it facebook share it Twitter

Emily is a girl who loves to review various multimedia software. She enjoys exploring cutting edge technology and writing how-to guides. Hopefully her articles will help you solve your audio, video, DVD and Blu-ray issues.

share it facebook share it Twitter
Comments (1) Leave a Reply

Name *

Comment *

  • Andrew McNaughton

    FLAC and ALAC should produce audio which is identical if the source was identical and the bit and sample rates kept the same. One can't be better than the other. That's why the L in ALAC stands for lossless. So, what plays out of the same playback system should be identical.

    1 years ago commonReply

    Name *

    Comment *

Hot Articles

How to Convert WebM to MP4 on Mac and Windows (incl. 4K) 3 Ways to Rip Movie DVD to iPad on Mac and Windows 4 Ways to Convert WMA to MP3 on Mac Flawlessly 2024
Home > 2 Useful Ways to Convert FLAC to ALAC [High Quality & Super Fast]