FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is an audio compression codec which uses a lossless data compression algorithm. This means that the original quality of the recording is preserved (ie CD quality audio). The file extension .flac is associated with FLAC. Unlike MP3s, the FLAC file would give a much higher quality audio sound. The ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) is the Apple version of the FLAC. The problem with FLAC files is that iTunes would not be able to play them. Thus, you would have to convert them to ALAC files first before importing it into your iTunes. This tutorial will show you how to convert your FLAC file to an ALAC file so that it can be played on your iPod or iPhone.
First, you would have to download dBpoweramp. Do a Google search for this and download and install the program. On their website, download the Audio Conversion program. Note that there is a 21 day free trial for this program. Once the trial period ends just uninstall and reinstall the program. You might have to delete the registry file if you choose to do this.
After installing, open the Music Converter and you would be prompted to select the flac file that you want to convert. You can select multiple items if you wish. After that, select the format that you want to convert the file to (in this case, Apple Lossless). This option is located in a drop down menu on the top of the program. Choose the output location of the converted file and click convert. The process would take some time, depending on your computer speed and the size of the files. Using this program, the tags on the audio file would be preserved.
There you have it, your quality lossless music can be added into iTunes and you can enjoy listening to it on your iPod or iPhone . Converting from FLAC to ALAC would not result in a loss of audio quality as both formats are lossless formats. Of course you can convert the FLAC files into MP3s if you wish, but it would result in a significant loss of audio quality. Note that lossless files are quite large and would take up more space in your music player.
If your FLAC file has all the tracks combined together, you would have to first split it using a cue splitter. A program which you could use is the Medieval Cue Splitter. Split your file into tracks first before running them through dBpoweramp.
There are a few other programs which do the same thing such as iTunes encode and East CD-DA Extractor. However, I personally prefer dBpoweramp as it has a simpler user interface making conversion a breeze. It also supports many other formats such as AAC, MP3, WAV and many more.