This tutorial will walk you through the steps to convert .flac files to .mp3 on your Mac, using completely free (open source) software.
This tutorial was first published in 2006. I have updated it (2020) so that it’s current and uses the easiest, most straight forward process possible (and of course, free software). If you’re looking for the Windows version of this guide, check this step-by-step tutorial.
- Once you’ve downloaded Max, double-click the file to extract it.
- Drag Max.app to your Applications folder to install it.
- Launch Max from your Applications folder. No “window” will open, but you’ll notice the Menu Bar now lists Max as the active Application. Select Max and then Preferences…
- Select the Formats tab.
- Select MP3 from the Available output formats:, and click the small plus (+) button.
- Now select MP3 from the Configured output formats: list by clicking on it once, and then click the Encoder Settings button.
- From here you can determine the quality of the MP3s that Max will output.
- I prefer higher quality MP3s, so from the Encoder quality: drop-down menu, I selected Best. Click OK when you’ve determined the quality of the outputted MP3s.
- Now place a check in the box labeled MP3.
- Select the Output tab from the top menu. In the Locations section, click the Output files: menu.
- Change it to Same as source file. This means that your converted MP3s will be created inside the same folder that the originating FLAC files reside it. It makes them very easy to find once the conversions have completed.
- Close the Preferences window, select File from the Menu Bar, and then Convert Files…
- Navigate to the folder with your FLAC file(s), select them, and click the Open button.
- The File Conversion window will pop up, with all of the FLAC files you selected in the previous step. Click the Convert button from the top menu.
- Sit back and watch your FLAC files convert to MP3. This process can take quite a while, depending on the number of FLAC files you’re converting and the speed of your Mac.
- Once the conversion has completed, navigate to the folder that contained your FLAC files. You’ll notice that for each one, there’s now a corresponding MP3 file. You can sort the MP3s from here, add them to iTunes or the Music app if you’re using macOS Catalina etc.
- Going forward, you’ll only need to open Max and start at step #13 when you want to convert more FLAC files to MP3 on your Mac. All done!