How to convert .flac files to .mp3 using Windows

Update: As of late fall 2019 this tutorial is once again current. The software used in this step by step guide is still completely free (Open Source) and will have your .FLAC files converted to MP3 in no time at all.

note: the OS X version of this tutorial can be found here.

  1. In order to convert your FLAC (.flac) files to MP3 (.mp3) you’ll to download and install a small, free (Open Source in fact!) “no frills” audio converter. Head over to the fre:ac download page and download the latest version. This app works in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

    Double-click the file to install it, and literally click Next until the last step – then click Finish. The installation is that straight forward.

  2. Now launch it from the newly created Desktop shortcut.
  3. The first time you run fre:ac the “Tip of the day” window will appear. Remove the x from the box labeled Show tips on startup. Then click OK.
  4. When prompted if you’d like for the app to check for updates on startup, click Yes.
  5. Ta-da! The main fre:ac window. Not fancy, no frills – but powerful and fast.

  6. click to enlarge

  7. Click the small “down arrow” next to the Add audio files button (see screenshot below). Then select From folder…
  8. Click the Browse button
  9. Navigate to the folder that contains the .flac files that you want to convert to .mp3. Select that folder, and then click OK
  10. Click OK again.
  11. Now the main fre:ac window will have all of the .flac files loaded.

  12. click to enlarge

  13. Click the “down arrow” next to the Start encoding button, and select LAME MP3 Encoder from the list of options.
  14. Now just sit back and watch fre:ac do its thing. fre:ac makes the best use of your hardware in order to complete the conversion as quickly as possible. You can watch the progress of each file and/or overall progress in the section at the bottom of the main fre:ac window (see screenshot below).

  15. click to enlarge

  16. Once the process has completed, open your Music folder (which is the default “Save” location for all of the files you convert). There they are – ready to load onto your MP3 player of choice.

    If the files didn’t have the track information embedded in them, and you need to name all of the songs and add the album information etc, check out the guide How to Edit MP3/FLAC “Metadata” – which will take you step by step through that process. Otherwise, all done!

  17. click to enlarge

778 thoughts on “How to convert .flac files to .mp3 using Windows”

  1. I’m having trouble with winamp, everthing you say is written perfectly, but when i follow th einstructions winamp doesn’t convert the files to wav, they open into winamp, but its like the program is waiting for something.

  2. Brenna,

    Did you click “play” in Winamp after you added the files? Winamp won’t actually “play” the files, but they’ll decode to .wav (pretty quickly). If you only loaded one song, and did click play, check the directory you set (see step 3 at the top) – the file might be there (and you may not have noticed it decode since it happened so quickly). Hope this helps –


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  4. Just wanted to say thanks. Just spent 20 minutes trying to find a free trial with a converter program that would do more than 1 or 2 minutes.

    This was really simple and easy to follow. Thank you.

  5. This was easy to follow & understand. Clear, concise, coherent. Thank you so much for writing this so that I could understand it & not making me feel like a fool at the same time. :)

  6. Thank goodness for you (whoever figured this out and wrote it in such easy-to-follow directions)!

    After trying out several cryptic programs and websites i finally found this one and I’m all set!

    Thanks again

  7. Yours was the clearest info I found.
    Screen shots were reassuring. Worked well. End result just as I wanted ..a John Cale concert moved from downloaded FLAC format onto portable MP3 player (using 320 bitrate in deference to original quality)

  8. Thank you so much. I, like others, was searching for a while to find a freeware application that could do this, and here was a simple procedure waiting in the wings. Your instructions were extremely clear and worked like a charm. Thanks again!

  9. Just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to help out the computer challenged. I found some really great live recordings online, and being able to share those sounds with friends and family is such a treasure!!

  10. Thanks for the guide but I have a problem towards the end. I successfully converted the FLAC files to WAV format, but iTunes would not recognize the WAV files when I tried to import them. Does anybody know why that happens and possibly any solutions? Any response would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Thanks So much for the easy and simple instructions….After first Googleing FLAC to Mp3 I thought I was going to have to install yet another converter (GREAT), but thanks to you no way, I already had what I needed. You help was very much appreciated !!!!

  12. Thanks a lot. Great way to convert. You helped me solve my problem in an easy-to-comprehend way. Wish everybody were this clear when explaning things.

  13. Thanks for this, it’s a great and easy way to convert flac files without having to install a bunch of crappy programs that take up unnecessary space.
    Although I used LAME to convert into mp3’s but it’s all the same.

  14. Thanks for this, worded really well and easy to follow. Although if you do not want to use itunes to convert the .wav’s to mp3, Exact Audio Copy with Lame mp3 plug in works well to.

  15. I don’t really know what I’m doing wrong. I installed Winamp and the flac plug-in, but whenever I got to convert it into .wav file, the Nullsoft Disk Writer plug-in isn’t there. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong, because I can’t seem to figure it out. I would really appreciate it.

  16. Great HowTo :)
    To skip the wav step, you can simply install the “out lame” plugin ( in winamp.

    Start winamp, Ctrl+P (i.e. Preferences), go to the “Plug-ins->Output”, select “Lame MP3 Writer plugin” and click on “Configure”… the configuration is pretty straight forward. I personally like VBR (Variable Bit Rate) min 128, max 192…

    Enjoy :)

  17. When I press open after selecting flac files in step 5 I get a FLAC PLUG IN ERROR saying there was an error processing metadata(FLAC_FILE_DECODER_SEEKABLE_STREAM_DECODER_ERROR)

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  19. Thank you !) for this tutorial. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the .flac files on my ipod!

  20. i forgot to change the settings in winamp back and accidentaly changed an avi file to wav. can i change the file back?

  21. Great work on the guide, but I have a different approach that will work with more OS’s (and is – dare I say – simpler?)

    One time setup:
    1. Download and install Audacity.
    2. Run Audacity and go to Edit; Preferences; File Formats
    3. In the MP3 box, click “Find Library” and find the lame-enc.dll file on your computer. (Go to this page for instructions on downloading it if you don’t already have one.)

    To convert file:
    1. Open the .flac file with Audacity.
    2. File; Export as; MP3

  22. WOW! WOW!

    This works perfectly! Its even easier to do that downloading a crappy trial flac-to-mp3 and having it not work, and then trying other software. I already had itunes, because I have an ipod, then I download the minimum version of winamp, and did it all. It took me about 3 minutes. REALLY, REALLY easy and it does not cost ANYTHING!! Thanks so much for putting this info up

  23. Thanks alot worked a treat and was easy to do. I spent ages looking for a converter as mine didn’t support FLAC files. Glad I found this site and didn’t waste my money on one that did.

    Thanks again

  24. cheers mate
    the instructions were clear, concise and to the point
    and more importantly, it works
    thanks a lot
    you are a star

  25. Excellent! You are amazing, you are a saviour! Was about to resort to downloading one of those damn freewares which would be the worst thing to do for a simple task like that.. You rock!

  26. Thanks for the detailed instructions. Excellent details and pictures.

    I easily completed the task. Great work!

  27. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!! Ive never done that before and it was SO easy!! :D Not daunting at all. Thank you so much, it was very clear.

  28. This is absolutely great.

    The writer not only explains step by step simply how to do it, but it also provides the tools needed.

    Simply superb as many said.

    Cheers from Argentina.

  29. Omg, Thanks alot! It worked, I had downloaded these files that no music player could play and now I can listen to them in Mp3 form ^^.
    Three thumbs up.

  30. Currently the stable build of Audacity won’t import FLAC in Windows, but the 1.3 beta release will. Using the method described by PeterE in comment 38 will now work perfectly. The only drawback is you can’t do batch processing, at least as far as I have been able to figure out.

  31. Thanks a lot man. For almost a year now I’ve been wondering as to haw to convert some Bonnaroo 2006 shows into .mp3 format for my player. Now when I go to the fest this year even when people aren’t performing, I can have my own little show for my friends at my car. Thanks again.

  32. i love this tutorial, however i dont use itunes, but i do use winamp.
    i found that all i had to do was use winamp, and then convert my files to mp3 or mpr with nero, really easy! thanks again

  33. thanks.. worked well.
    just a quick question, how do i now get winamp back to playing music..?
    it now starts converting everything.. elp!

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  37. I never leave comments at these pages, but I feel obligated here, because this is the most elegant set of instructions I have ever seen. Thanks so much, you saved me so much time.

  38. I had a problem with winamp, in the output section, I don’t have the Nullsoft Disk Writer option. I installed the plug-in that you recommende to Ximena, but it only plays the files, it doesn’t convert them. Can somebody please help?

  39. Thank you very much
    You are very clear and concise, Nice screen shots!
    You cut out all the crap of looking for a “converter” which is now unnecessary.

    I hope that you have written more help files on things i may need in the future! :-)

  40. everything worked out except that when i played the newly converted songs, it was really slow…the song kinda sounded like it was in “slow motion,” for lack of better words…any help would be greatly appreciated

  41. i didn’t understand how to convert from wav. to mp3, so if anyone could give further instructions I would greatly appreciate it

  42. BRILLIANT!!!!! Thank you so much. I have been searching for software to enable me to do this, for ages. So easy to follow guide, what more can I say BRILLIANT!!!!!

  43. will thank you very much, i was searching for converter but your way is so easy, i used jetaduio to convert flac fils to wav format then i used another program to convert to mp3
    your idea was helpful
    thank you again


  44. Thank you very much for these clear directions! I searched for a converter for FLAC files, and couldn’t find anything useful until I stumbled upon this. Thank you again for writing these for the non-knowin’s of the internet.

  45. REALLY good method, thanks a laod.
    I forgot to download winamp patch but it worked after doing so.

    Cheers! ^_^

  46. I have to say this is by far the best and easiest guide to convert Flac to mp3. I would also like to add that if you go into the Itunes preferences and navigate to the advanced tab, then click on Importing, and then select the drop down “setting”. You can change the Bit rate to 320 kbps. Hope this helps all you music junkies out there! :-)

  47. Great tutorial. But I am trying to burn Audiobook files and had 2 problems:

    1. Unfortunately, I have Vista. So everything worked including the conversion, until I went to ‘Check to make sure all of the .wav files were created’ – I can’t see file extensions. Even so, I followed all instructions and burned a CD. But it doesn’t play in my CD player, even though I selected ‘Mastered’ version. Is there something else I do to ensure my burned CD will play on my CD player?

    2. So as an alternative, I tried saving to iTunes. But when I tried to ‘Add Folder to Library’ in iTunes, I can’t see my files anywhere. Is there another way to get them into iTunes? Thanks!

  48. Just wanted to say thanks for this as Ive been trying to figure out how to do this for ages now.

    The easy step by steps are also a great help…. thanks loads my friend.

    Steve O

  49. WOW. I just had to leave a comment. I never leave comments but your step by step was amazing.

    It worked! Thanks so much!!

    (And yes, flac SUCKS!)

  50. i used the suggested winamp plugin and it worked fine. i originally tried converting using itunes only but itunes didn’t recognize the file format. i didn’t know winamp is the solution until i stumbled upon this how to article.

    thanks! =)

  51. Thanks a ton for putting this online. Was going nuts looking at other websites. Simple and easy to follow directions. Worked flawlessly.

  52. well I found this easy enough, read everyone’s comments, sounded easy so I downloaded and installed winamp and flac with library support from the links here, but the next step – configuring the nullsoft disk writer – was my first stumbling block – it wasn’t in the list. repeated the steps, same results, please advise…. thx

  53. Albert Hartmann

    Excellent! Easy and clear tutorial. Afterwards, I converted from .wav to .mp3 using dBpower AMP Music Converter.

  54. Awesome help. That was the easiest and most straightforward way of converting flac files to mp3 that I could have hoped for. Excellent. All the other converters that are free only convert 4 or so files at a time unless you purchase them so this was the best advice for flac conversion. GOOD WORK!

  55. What a good walkthru…I have been wanting to change an album in flac format to a WAV or mp3 for a while and was expecting to pay a small fortune to do it…this is so simple, free, and effective! Well done…nice one! :D

  56. Great man!
    A quick and easy way to do it yourself, I don’t think you could’ve explained it better xD
    Thanks for making us all save time, (money, for some ppl =p), and all that stress in searching through crap software ;)

  57. Regarding this comment:

    “Check out The 4th post down talks about a Transcoder plug-in for Winamp that makes it even easier. Just used it myself and it worked flawlessly. Thanks for your walkthrough though. I used your method and it worked fine for me, this is just faster and easier… no offense”

    It looks like you need Winamp Pro to do this – not the free version that the author of this page’s technique uses.

    Thanks for sharing! Just downloaded a great Keller Williams set!

  58. check out all the positive feedback, heres another, 1 album converted in under 2 minutes, and it saved me having to move files. Sweet thank you

  59. This is fantastic,it’s so cool to provide help like this,its really excellent,thanks a thousand times for your kindness.

  60. So when I highlight the .flac files and click open to try to convert them to .wav it just gives me an error report and closes winamp. anybody know whats up with that? I tried uninstalling then reinstalling and it still does the same thing..


    After clicking Directory, I needed to find the Flac file folder, unfortunately I was unable to find it, as I looked in the wrong place, and I decided to save into what I thought to be an empty folder titled New Folder, it turned out to hold a regular music file. Now Winamp won’t play any files! Clearly my error was to click on the wrong folder! I would surly appreciate your advice.

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  63. Thank you..This tutorial is awesome…. this is the best advice for flac conversion can you say SIMPLE…CHEERS

  64. Works great! Just a word of warning, however: Make sure your play settings aren’t set to ‘Repeat’ or it will try to encode the same files over and over again!

    Trust me on that one…

  65. I did all the steps and Winamp starts ddecoding the files then I get a pop up after a few songs already went through saying, Flac-File plug-in error, then error stopping decoding thread and when I check where I put the wav. files their not there.

  66. Why not use the actual Flac tools for windows (Flac frontend) to convert to wav, then use dbpoweramp to convert to mp3. Everything is free.

  67. Just had to say thank you. I’ve had a billion flac files on my computer for months now that I couldn’t listen to because I had no idea how to convert them!!!! This site is a life saver and soooo easy to follow!!

  68. I’ve follwed your instructions to the T and found the same instructions elsewhere but everytime I try to convert this way winamp encounters an error and has to shut down. Any ideas???

  69. I’ve followed you instructions and found the same on other sites but every time I try this Winamp encounters an unknown error and shuts down. Any ideas???

  70. Thanks a huge lot!!!!! You made it sooooo simple compared to the rest that was offering downloading extra programs for doing it. It went smoothly from .flac to .wav with Winamp and from there on, Nero did the rest.

  71. Wow, Awesome program and instructions I followed everything exactly as you stated and I added a few minor comments to my printed sheet in order to allow anyone who works with my system to figure out the specific paths next time…now if you can just figure out a way to get this in our hands when we first start looking (1 yr since the awesome Pearl Jam Gorge WA show that I downloaded in .flac instaed of the mp3 version since it “looked” better)you will be on your way to retirement sooner!

  72. Bah, not good enough for me to be honest… though thanks anyway. dbPowerAMP is a better solution for me since I’m always trying to convert some kind of format rather than downloading WinAMP and iTunes which I never ever use.

  73. everything worked out for me except now that I have converted the flac files to mp3, I have them all in my itunes playlist, I cant burn them to an audio cd. I followed the instructions here, clicked on burning clicked audio cd then hit okay and it didnt do anything. Any help is appreciated…

  74. thanks ross, I figured it out, I had to take the files from my library and create an actual playlist on itunes, and then it lets me burn the actual disc. Im all good! thanks for this site, I followed the directions to a T and it couldnt have been any easier…especially for someone as computer challenged as myself! thanks again!

  75. Ya this was awesome came up on google search right away and i was converting my flac files that i had never seen before to wav so i can play them in the car THANKS!!!!!!!!

  76. The testimonials say it all……

    solving peoples headaches for over a year with a simply perfect solution.

    Many thanks, Ross

    Best regards


  77. Oh God. 100 testimonials and I can’t seem to get it working!! I already feel stupid, but have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I went to Preferences, chose to configure the Lame mp3 writer plugin, I choose the folder where I want the files to go, I load the flac files onto winamp, hit the play button and…nothing….It skips through the tracks (plays nothing) and there are no mp3 files in my chosen folder…..HELP pleeease…

  78. Hmm for some reason, when i get to step 6 of decoding (I don’t even get time to press play, I just click on open) winamp stops working and vista finds the need to shut it down >_> Any ideas?

  79. It’s been said before, but we all like a “thank you” when it’s due!

    I also tried looking for a freebie converter and couldn’t find anything anywhere near as easy as this method. Clear, concise insrtuctions. Thank you so much for saving me so much time! :)

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  81. I can’t thank you enough. I did as you instructed and after the songs were converted I found it neccessary to create a new folder to place all the songs of the album. Then I was able to import into ITunes. The folder transfer would not work for me. Practice will make perfect. Thx again. Jon

  82. To Bigal once the tunes are reformatted you don’t need ITunes just open the songs using Windows Media. Then if all ok just add to Windows Media library and burn away. subrosa

  83. thanks dude that helped me so much just about to play new 50 album… it was heavy nearly 600mb in wmv but now in mp3 ~320 vbr should be less.

  84. I had installed and used this with an older version of Winamp which mistakenly was uninstalled. I downloaded the current version 5.5 and after following all of your instructions again, the Writer is not an option in output.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank You for your time,

  85. stephen mccutcheon

    You can also use audacity to directly convert flac to mp3 but it can take time. Just each flac file and then export it as an mp3. You’ll need the lame.dll encoder file off the internet first to decode to mp3. Just download the .dll file, extract and ‘find’ through audicity options.

  86. What a legend! Thank you very much for this; I’ve spent hours going through search engine lists for information and freeware to convert these files.
    Again, thanks for the info – the step by step is spot on and the entire process has taken me less than 20 minutes, including downloading and installing the needed applications!

  87. Hey Ross,
    Amazingly lucid instructions and very neatly ordered.Thanks a lot for the time you took and introducing us to this conversion technique which is commonly available yet unknown to many.
    I suggest you have a troubleshooting space of your own on the web.If you do already,kindly paste the link here.

  88. Absolutely flawless, incredibly easy conversion. I’d expected it to be so much more difficult, but little did I know, I already had all the tools I needed. Thanks so much, Ross, and now I shall no longer fear FLAC torrents.

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  90. EXTREMELY HELPFUL, thanks alot for all the help, this made everything so much easier. Appreciate the help.

    Peace love and chicken grease

  91. far too easy to believe
    i’m able to burn audio cd’s after conversion
    i shall never be fearfull of downloading FLAC files ever
    just like the man and the fish story
    thx ross

  92. Thank you so much. I can finally listen to the flac files I downloaded on my ipod. :) The instructions were so clear and simple. Cheers.

  93. Eric!
    I am having the same problem… Whatg did you do??? My converted WAV files are not showing up in iTunes even though it shows that it is “Getting ” them… thanks.

  94. Thank you, thank you. Wish everyone could explain stuff this clearly.
    Worked great, except for some reason Winamp changed the track numbers at the beginning of my file names. E.g. 01_Track1name.flac was converted to 02_Track1name.wav . Last track always got 01_LastTrackname.wav . Happened for 3 albums. Not a big deal, I just renamed the wav files before importing them to iTunes.

  95. Thank you so much, you made something that I have been trying to figure out an easy way to do VERY easy!! I am bowing at your awesomeness!!

  96. Cripes you got a lot of props for this little garden path matie!

    Well done, it’s a nice little trick.

    Arrggghhhh me heartie.

  97. Thank you very much for the info. This was the first time I had ever heard about .flac files!? Apparently I was not alone my Windows XP Pro was too.. ;-)
    So I googled it and got here. The instructions you give are fool proof a very novice person can also follow and get resultsGerat Job!

  98. Meh, skip all the nonesense, download cdex, configure the directory you want the mp3 to go to and just drag and drop the flacs to the cdex window. best of all, cdex is opensource (free)

  99. Hi~

    Ok, it seems that there are instructions on how to convert FLAC files to MP3, but can I please explain how to convert MP3 files to FLAC so that I can compress my audio library.

    P.S.this would be from my iTunes library and of course, am on a mac. :-P


  100. Mp3s are a lossy format in that they are compressed from wavs and once they are compressed you can never get back what is lost in the compression process. and flac is a lossless format so you would not want to convert mp3s to flacs. It would be a waste of space. In other words Mp3s are already compressed. If you did convert the mp3s to wav and compress with flac the files would be much larger than mp3. So it would not make sense to convert from mp3 to flac. But if you want to further compress mp3s you could use winrar or some similar compression software.

  101. Thanks very much for the instructions. I did use RealPlayer plus however to do the final mp3 conversion but otherwise your instructions were spot on. Thanks again!

  102. T R A D E R ‘ S L I T T L E H E L P E R


    Traders of lossless compressed audio files (e.g. ape, flac, mkw, or shn files) have to handle a lot of different applications to decode, encode, create/verify checksums, fix sector boundary errors, or create torrent files. Moreover most of the tools used are command-line programs requiring a deeper knowledge of how to use various parameters. Trader’s Little Helper bundles the most important features of those applications in one single easy-to-use frontend.


    – Encoding of wav files to ape, flac, shn, and mp3 format
    – Re-encoding of flac files
    – Decoding of ape, flac, mkw, shn, and mp3 files to wav format
    – Direct conversion of ape, flac, mkw, and shn files to flac or mp3 format
    – Test of audio files encoded in ape, flac, shn, and mkw format
    – Verification of cfp, ffp, md5, sfv, and st5 checksum files
    – Creation of cfp, ffp, md5, sfv, and st5 checksum files
    – Display of audio file properties (ape, flac, shn, mkw, and wav files)
    – Fixing of sector boundary errors that come with ape, flac, shn, mkw, wav, and mp3 files
    – Creation of skt files for non-seekable shn files
    – Test of wav files for mp3 source
    – Creation of torrent files
    – Display of the information encoded in torrent files
    – Hashing of torrent files against local filesets or files
    – Drag & Drop functionality for all supported file types
    – Integration into Windows Explorer
    – Check for update function

    System requirements:

    Windows 98/NT/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista


    FREEware for non-commercial use


    Robert Hoffmann

  103. Yeah, it work flawlessly. Takes a few the first time, but should take no more than 10 minutes to convert and have the files on your Ipod. Took me a while cause it was my first time and I sat there and redid all of the ID tags so it’s easier to find in my library.

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  105. This is well written and easy to follow.
    It saved me the time of having to look for a program and figuring it out.

    Thanks for your help.
    I will recommend this website to anyone with the same issue.

  106. Very good guide, I have Winamp Pro, so I totally skipped using the iCrap product, however I found that Trader’s Little Helper made the process that much more faster. Thanks @ Kid Forbin and you too Mr. Simple Help.

  107. That is the best tip I’ve read yet. Downloaded the plug, perfect! Simply add the files i want to convert to the playlist, turn off random/repeat and wala. Instant conversion and it filled out the ID3 tags for me.

  108. If you have Vista, be sure to set your output directory to something besides c:\

    It’s a security thing, you need to be elevated to write to that directory. Just set it to c:\temp or something.

  109. Ross,

    Does winamp add the .flac Id tags to the .wav file when you convert from .flac to .wav? Normally .wav files don’t have ID tags, so how does iTunes get the tags from the .wav file when it converts to .mp3?


  110. You are a LIFESAVER. I am so grateful that you posted and that your instructions were so easy to follow, succinct, and yet at the same time not issued in a way as to make me feel like the world’s biggest idiot.

  111. OMG OMG Wat else can I say. U my good sir are a life saver. stupid flac y oh y cant they jus go with a normal format

  112. thank you for the nice tip!

    also, a helpful suggestion from me, please TURN OFF the repeat function in order to avoid Winamp doing needless infinite loop. Hope that helps :)

  113. I tried this once, and it worked perfectly! However, each time I’ve tried it since, as soon as I try to ‘Play File’ in Winamp, it gives an error message and says Winamp has to close(it’ll convert the first track, but that’s it). I have tried restarting the computer and so forth, but it still does it. Any troubleshooting ideas?

  114. I just wanted to thank you for your extremely clear instructions. I buzzed right through the whole process without a hitch, and now have a lot of great new music that I can finally play on my MP3 player!

  115. In the current version of winamp (Feb. 2008), once you have selected the files to convert, you can also choose the format you want to convert to (on the right), select Mpeg-Layer 3, and it does it all for you. No need to convert again in iTunes! just follow other steps to add to Folder once in iTunes.

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  118. this was amazing: clear, concise, and easy to follow. it really helped after a long long time of searching for a free converter and downloading a lot of useless programs… who knew it was actually so simple? :)

    thank you so much!

  119. Im having trouble finding the SHN files after they have downloaded. In Winamp when I click File->Play and go to the folder where the SHN files have been downloaded to, the files do not show up.

  120. thanks for posting this because it was so easy to follow and will save me so much hassle converting files from now on. thanks.

  121. wow thanks for the blog post maaan!!

    really helped with converting crazy FLACs and M4As to WAV

    so thanks very much!!!

  122. Many thanks. Crystal clear instructions that I found simple to follow- which work!

    I adore webpages like this.

  123. Right On Target. Man thanks for taking the time. I was sweating how to convert these “Flac”in files :)

  124. I have never posted one of these responses, but I do have to say this was the clearest most helpful, free way of accomplishing this seemingly annoying task. This actually gives me a great deal of faith in humanity. I have mad a terrible past few days with money-grubbing people and this is a refreshingly kind thing someone has done. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  125. Hi,

    I’m really grateful for your instructions. However, I noticed that after step 2, once the ‘Nullsoft … Configuration’ window comes up, it’s possible to choose to convert directly into MP3 format. This saves the trouble of going via the WAV format. To do so:

    After Step 3 of your instructions:
    3a. on the right, tick the ‘Convert to format’ box.
    3b. hit the big button just below that and choose ‘Format:’ and then choose the desired bit rate in ‘Attributes’.
    3c. Hit ‘OK’ in both windows and resume at step 4.

    Note: I had to have several goes at this, because WinAmp stubbornly reverted back to its original PCM format. But I got there in the end and so can you!

    There is then no need to perform the section “Encoding .wav files with iTunes” apart from adding the music to your media player of choice.

    Also, I did not have to get the ‘Flac with library support plug-in’ – having installed WinAmp, I just followe the (modified) instructions and everything worked fine.

    Hope this helps!!!

  126. @JaGo:

    Interesting – which version of WinAMP are you using? This tutorial references an older one, it sounds like they’ve added some more ‘built-in’ stuff. Thanks for the heads up!


  127. this tutorial is awesome! thank you for posting this… i can now listen to les miserables TAC in my iPod… :)

    i was on the brink of downloading one of “those” freeware… :)

    thanks again! :)

  128. hey there,

    i downloaded some music and there are two huge flac files, about 80 minutes and more than 500 mbs each. Can I seperate these files into songs? If yes, how?

    thanks in advance

    p.s. i’m gonna burn in hell

  129. Thanks very much for this – didn’t know that winamp would do this – I used dbpoweramp to convert from wav to mp3 as I dislike itunes


  130. Hi I recently downloaded a musics album in .flac and I already converted it into MP# successfully. Only one trouble is the guy who upload the album online put all the tracks together into one big file. So do anyone here know who to split that big file into individual track? Thanks

  131. Pingback: Note to Self… » iPhone Ringtones

  132. Thanks!!
    I was trying to find a free program which would do this, couldnt find any though. Then you came and saved my day!
    Thanks to VERY VERY MUCH!!;D:D
    Halfdan – Know my name is weird;P Norwegians….

  133. Hi and thanks for this fool proof guide. I’ve been playing with mp3’s since the days of taking a night to encode a whole cd in dos using l3enc.exe. I’ve only recently come across FLAC files. BTW I use Music Match to convert wav’s to mp3’s @ 320kbps CBR. I’ve used many programs over the years and find it simple, even more so if you want to use them on a small capacity mp3 player, because it will convert mp3’s down to an average 112kbps VBR without much noticible loose of quality.

  134. Pingback: FLAC file

  135. I’m having troubles.
    I follow all the procedures you said, but when i put the files in winanmp it pops an error saying: “Error while processing metadata FLAC_FILE_DECODER_SEEKABLE_STREAM DECODER_ERROR).
    I really would apreciate if u help me out here, i have lots of files in flac wich i want to convert to mp3.
    Please help!!! :)

  136. Hi Ross! Thanks for the info on converting flac files to mp3. I did have a problem with converting to wav because all the song/album info got lost. Fortunately, I found a fix in some of the comments above on using LAME mp3 out. The procedure is much simpler and faster since the flac files are converted directly by LAME in Winamp. One-step only instead of the two-step procedure you outlined above. Plus, all the song/album info is still there! I guess you have to come out with an updated procedure for converting flac to mp3…

  137. Halleluia! Merci, merci, merci! Greatly appreciated, scary easy to follow, efficient and… dear god, it works! Long life to you!

  138. GrandMarxMaster

    Thanks for a great tut on how to do this…I got bad info that iTunes readily accepted .flac files. Been itchin’ to play a CD I got that’s encrypted in .flac (so the CD proudly states).
    Thanks again!

  139. Figured out to how to get it right?

    What I do is convert track-2 to track-last (so that track-2 to track-last-minus-1 all get the rigkt track numbers) and then convert track-1 individually at the end and rename only track-1 and tract-last. Saves time.
    Or do you have a way to changes names of multiple files at teh same time? I never found that in Windows…

  140. I found a file with FLAC files of an album I had thought I would never find again… this was easy and worked great!!!! Now I’m listening to songs I hadn’t heard in 30 years! Thank you!!!!

  141. Didn’t try yet, but what is puzzling – nobody brings the question of multi-tracks in one flac album. Does this method account for this? Will the result be a single mp3 file or can it be splitted to tracks according to .cue automatically?

  142. Pingback: Knowledge is Power Audio & Video Info Drops. Drop em here - Page 6 - Assata Speaks - Hands Off Assata - Let's Get Free - Revolutionary - Pan-Africanism - Black On Purpose - Liberation - Forum

  143. dude with computardation

    thanks so much man. just started on torrents and i accidentally got flac files, this helped so much.

  144. Pingback: » PS3 don’t know FLAC

  145. My hat goes off to you! Thanks for the valued, precise and coherent input. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou.

  146. I am having a problem getting itunes to recognize the .wav files. I am probably just doing something wrong, but does anyone have any ideas?

  147. thank you so much I have no idea how you figured that all out but it worked! I thought i was good with this kind of stuff but I hit a wall on this one thank you so much!

  148. i cannot get past step 2 all i get is “direct sound output settings” nothing else works what am i doing wrong ?

  149. Easy to follow instructions! I’m so thankfull to have found this site! I’d have been lost without your help! Thanks so much!

  150. Pingback: How to play and convert .flac files | Campodiez V2

  151. Nullsoft Disk Writer v2.14 &Vista

    I was required to:
    In the Configuration screen CHECK OFF the “Output to directory Containing Source files”

    Then i followed the steps as presented and successfully converted the .flac files to .wav

    Thanks for your help


  152. My mistake – i was to quick to ‘correct’ Originally, I did not check the correct ‘output’ folder – The instructions as originally presented worked perfectly.



  153. I’m having troubles.
    I follow all the procedures you said, but when i put the files in winanmp it pops an error saying: “Error while processing metadata FLAC_FILE_DECODER_SEEKABLE_STREAM DECODER_ERROR).
    I really would apreciate if u help me out here, i have lots of files in flac wich i want to convert to mp3.

  154. Thank you. I have used this dozens of times. FLAC is a dead format in my opinion as it has no advantages over WAV. Yet everyone seems to use it. There’s barely even an advantage over 128kbps AAC (.m4a). But anyway this is by far the easiest way to convert them, so thanks again.

  155. Thanks so very much that was too simple! So long not using flac because I could not find an easy convert & then you come along. “I am not worthy.”
    BTW – if you have a lot of files to do at once in different folders (like I did), I do it folder by folder & just CNTL-A, right click & select PLAY in WINAMP – that’s in WINXP Media Player 11

  156. Awesome walkthrough, thanks so much! Had a bunch of files I was dying to put on my iPod and now I can!!

  157. The Rogue Cellist

    Thanks a ton, your guide was quite simple to follow and worked like a charm. I now have the vinyl version of the White Stripes album Icky Thump on my iPod (the vinyl version, of course, is of superior quality). Impeccable work.

  158. Wow, thanks for the instructions! They were very easy to understand and now I can remember this for the future. Thanks again. ^_^

  159. I’d been using this tutorial successfully until recently when I realized it could be done more simply. Maybe this is a recent addition with iTunes updates, but when I have .flac files I just add them by going to iTunes, clicking “file” and “add folder”, and selecting the folder with .flac files. Then I go into “recently added music” and highlight all the .flac files, right click and select “convert to mp3.” Cake.

  160. thanks so much for the tut! i just downloaded some classical music written in Flac and I had no idea how to play it, until i read this. Thanks again! Cheerios!

  161. Thanks a bunch for this tutorial! It was super clear and easy to follow and didn’t require me downloading any additional programs!! Now any Flac files I DL can easily be put onto my iPod, thanks again for the help!!!

  162. very easy method but i met the same problem as brenna. after loading the flac files in the winamp playlist and clicking the play button nothing happened-i mean that there was no wav file appearing in the folder where it should be created. it seems that winamp did something because after clicking play it went trough all the flac files that were in the playlist. and about step 3; there are a lot of options/settings in that window. all we have to do is to clik the directory button? many thanks.

  163. I had done this once before but had to reinstall my OS since then. I had used a different method before than involved a small utility program to which you drag and drop the flac files onto an icon on the desktop. I could not for the life of me remember what that utility was called and decided to check out this link of yours. Great job. Easy to follow. I use winamp for its amazing visualizations but need iTunes to load my iPod. A great help for hundreds more than have taken the time to comment!

  164. Everything has been smooth sailing, but now I’m in iTunes and when I go to right click and convert to mp3, I don’t have the option. Help? Anyone?

  165. It works perfectly. Never thought to use winamp again (now i use iTunes).

    I recommend using the Lame plugin since it keeps id3 tags during convertion (if FLAC had id3 tags).

    Thank you very much. Fantastic job.

  166. Hi … thanks for sharing this ! Helpful and works but …….. i have a rar file containing a big file flac and also in it there is a .cue file.
    This tutorial only makes a big wav of it with all the Elvis song I am desperately trying to separate.
    Suggestions ? :)
    Thanks anyway !

  167. Thanks mate, this helped me a lot. But I’m just wondering, is it OK for me to delete my downloaded FLAC and then the transfered WAP files from my C drive? I’m guessing I can but you didn’t say anything about it, all you said was to delete the WAP files from itunes, but even then they’re still on my computer.


  168. This is a great explanation, but my winamp is taking at least 20 minutes on each song, maybe longer. I have a brand new computer… could this be a vista problem?

  169. This is an excellent tutorial, great visuals and very clear to understand and simple. Well done. But wouldn’t it be in better interest to erase the .flac files instead of the .wav? Or even both since mp3 is more versatile?

  170. Some observations

    I have some 170 flac files, all but 3 were single tracks. I tried converting them to mp3 with winamp and audacity. Bith did the job, but with some differences.

    I set winamp to output to lame, I then imported all the single tracks into a laylist and played the lot. I had first set sensible file names and the embedded artist/rackname info was a little flaky. I left the machine to it, and a couple of hours later it had converted the lot. As someone mentioned there was no option (even after making sure I was using a know copy of lame rather than the default one) to increase recording quality. Most tracks sounded OK but there were a few that had drop-out that wasn’t there in the flac.

    I ten did the same in audacity, using the same version of lame. I was able to set it to high quality. This time, I dragged all the tracks into Audacity; that took a LONG time. I set output to lame, and exported all tracks. Yes I got my mp3 files, but that took a LONGER time. Namely overnight and some more.

    When I compared, Audacity mp3s were approx 50% the size of the flacs with no discernable loss in quality. The winamp mp3 files were 25% or less the size of the flac and a lot of the high pitch detail had gone, and as I said there was some drop-out as well in a few tracks.

    I then took my three flacs which were multiple track (in fact each was a CD recorded as one file). Audacity has a ‘detect silence’ option which did a pretty good job of detecting the starts of the various tracks. I had to change a few, remove some spurious ones, and add one right at the start in two cases. I then told audacity to export, splitting at markers. I now have individual tracks in mp3 format.

    I then used mp3tag to look at all the resulting tracks – and a pile of mp3 files I had as well. It presented me with a tabular list of tracks and allowed me to change tags so my recordings had correct composers track names and album titles. Neat.

    What do I think of flac? It’s nice to have a zero loss format, and it’s nice that a few products like VLC support it. However I’m using streaming to deliver tracks round my home – and the number of formats that will successfully stream is low. Mp3 is still IMO the most ‘compatible’ way of recording music – even Microsoft’s streaming server supports it!

    I will continue to use CDEX even though it’s no longer being developed, to record from CD direct to mp3. Its easy and again you can set Mp3 quality as you like.

    Winamp comes into its own when playing things back. Its ability to organise playlists or present just the info you want from its catalogue is superb.

    Conclusion: if time is not pressing, use Audacity to change from flac format. You’ll get better results. Record new stuff using CDEX straight to mp3. Tidy things up using mp3tag. Play using winamp.

    No animals were harmed during these experiments.

  171. Whoever wrote this did a really great job. One of the best written how-to’s I’ve found. Would love to chat with this guy sometime.

  172. Thanks for posting this….since the post the FLAC plug-in has been upgraded and you can now convert directly to MP3 saving you the extra step of WAV.


  173. Thank you so much! Made the whole converting process so easy without downloading any unnecessary trial program. Worked like a charm!

  174. i’m having trouble doing this. lots of trouble. i keep getting decoding errors, script errors, etc. i can’t even open the flac files in the player. any suggestions?

  175. Hey, I did the instructions as they were put up at the top. Works great. The only problem I have is in step 6.

    Step 6 –
    “Once Winamp is done decoding the files, make sure to set the Plug-ins -> Output back to DirectSound output.”

    How do I do this, other than re-installing Winamp?

  176. Very easy-t0-follow instructions. It was worth using your guide, and I thank you for that.

    For Simon, step 6 means you will have to reassign the settings of the plugin back to nullsoft directsound instead of it set to nullsoft disk writer

  177. Oh, really thanks!!! I could hug you! Thanks to you a big failure on the new Suga Shikao’s album turned into a victory!!! You’re so clear and it’s easy! I tought i’d to download some converter but the key was already in my computer, Arigatou!!!!

  178. I get the same error as LEE.

    LEE 03.12.07 at 1:46 am

    When I press open after selecting flac files in step 5 I get a FLAC PLUG IN ERROR saying there was an error processing metadata(FLAC_FILE_DECODER_SEEKABLE_STREAM_DECODER_ERROR)

  179. I followed the directions and everything worked out for me. It was fast and easy. WinAmp is one of the best file converter and I will be using it in the future.

  180. I have followed all your instructions to convert a flac file to MP3, but as soon as I get to ‘play file’ right at the end, I get a window saying winamp has to close.. sorry for inconvenience, etc. How can I overcome this please?
    Thanx Viv

  181. Just wanted to say thanks! I’ve been using much more complicated methods in the past, with somewhat shady ‘trial’ software sometimes, this guide is great :)

  182. I did everything but when I went to do the importing part on iTunes, I couldn’t find my importing folder like it said. I checked all the individual tabs in that section and I still couldn’t find it. Where would it be?

  183. Pingback: How to convert .ra to mp3?

  184. Thank you for the tutorial. However, having Itums 8, I found impossible to follow that part of the instructions, and thus had to resort to download a converter. Is there a step I am missing, or is the new Itunes without that function?

  185. dave matthews lover

    I just wanted to thank you so very much for putting this up. I had so many flac files from all the dave concerts that I have gone to and had no way of putting them on my ipod until now. You have no idea how much this made my year ha.thanks this is awesome. I will be sure using this again in the future :)

  186. Very Helpful
    but I found there was no need to convert the files on Itunes at all
    Just dragged from location straight into my playlist then located it through the file not found process…thanks for an excellent solution to a frustrating and time consuming problem
    well done

  187. Pingback: Flac - Tutorial Ninjas

  188. So, I did everything correctly except when I try to change the settings in the first steps of the iTunes part, I don’t see the same thing as the screen shot above.

    What happened?

  189. Excellent tutorial,

    usually there is some magic step missing that we have to try to figure out for ourselves but in this case I found none.

    Thanks a lot.

  190. Hey i was wondering if the .Flac files could lose quality when being converted to .Wav files, liek how you can adjust the conversion quality in the Itunes Mp3 part of the tutorial.. im worried about it because the music im trying to convert has subliminal messages and its very complex

  191. So, I did everything correctly except when I try to change the settings in the first steps of the iTunes part, I don’t see the same thing as the screen shot above. what do i do????

  192. hey thanks a million for this post like many of the other user i found your instructions easy to use, thanks again clive

  193. Could you update the iTunes steps for the latest version? Clicking on the advanced tab does not bring up a tab called “Import”. It must be located elsewhere, but I sure can’t find it – thanks!

  194. Regarding “Step 2” of “Encoding .wav files with iTunes”:

    It says “Select the Advanced tab”, and then the Importing tab.

    I’ve selected “Advanced” like it says but there is no “Importing” option, therefore I cannot select “MP3 Encoder” from the “Import Using” list.

    I have installed the latest version of iTunes whereas the original post was posted 2 and a half years ago, hence it was probably a different version.

    Can somebody put me back on the right path please as everything up to this stage went okay.



  195. Thank you!! didn’t know that it was this simple:) better than all those stupid trial programms, that only convert 30 % of a song!
    verry nice, should be at the top of hits on google.

  196. Wow Ross,

    Thanks so much for this. I downloaded some .flac files and was breaking my brain trying to find converters or methods to convert them, especially for free. I had to download winamp and the .flac addon and install the newest version of iTunes but converter the .flacs to mp3 files worked perfectly. Great instructions! As my payment I did the survey at the end, the least I can do.

    Thanks again, so much!


  197. I just saved over a gigabyte of space by converting some huge .flac concerts to .mp3. The only problem I had was iTunes clipping names of the final mp3s but everything else worked out great.

  198. I followed the steps detailed above and was able to convert from flac to mp3 successfully but unfortunetly all my file names have been changed by winamp to 03_Track 2, 04_Track 8 etc., does anyone how I can preserve my file names when I do the conversion


  199. Audacity is the way to go with this. It will do a whole load of other things as well. I was wondering about converting FLAC files, then remembered that I already had a copy of Audacity and decided to try it. It was easy.

    Just imported the FLAC file and exported it as MP3. It even asked you to add the tags (title, artist, etc) when you save it. Brilliant.

  200. I have to admit that I don’t know if it’s any good for a lot of files in one go. Easy just for one or two though…

  201. Thanks a lot pal…
    I was going to buy some stupid software to get the job done… really saved me. The tutorial was very helpful(Not to mention simple and very eay to understand)

  202. Thank you so much for these instructions. They worked great. I was really frustated trying to figure out how to use a converter until I tried this and it worked right away. Thanks again

  203. Hey, I can’t set it back to direct sound output. I don’t know how to do that. When I open the output tap in preferences, direct sound is highlighted, but whenever I try to play a song, it decodes it and won’t play it. wtf.

  204. Since this was written there are a few other progs that accomplish the same thing such as Magical Jelly Bean SHN Shortener, but I just tried this one and it still works very well but not so simple.

  205. Gosh…. thanks a million, I never thought It’d work this great and easy I’ ve spent hours trying to convert and now, within minutes It was easily done.

    Thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

  206. Thank You so much for the effort and time you put into making this tutorial happen. It helped me out a bunch and saved me a load of time without having the crappy music converter programs clogging my space. The instructions were clear and concise. Amazing job pal and keep up the great work!! :)

  207. thanks a lot very useful.

    One comment: before you convert, disable the “playback” feature of winamp, otherwise it’ll go on converting your files forever, asking you each time if you wish to overwrite the previous job. If you do this accidentally, you can of course kill the process with CTRL+ALT+DEL

  208. Instructions all worked fine and ive imported the flac files into winamp, but they aren’t saved anywhere as wav files now…. not sure what im doing wrong!?

  209. many thanks, big big help. The step by step instruction guide me through. Never thought that winamp is the solution. so simple, no sweat. Brilliant! Thanks a lot.

  210. Simple, fantastic, economical, helpful, clear and effective.

    In short, everything that help should be.


  211. When trying to decode the files I get:

    Error While Processing Frame

    After this I can play about 5 seconds of the wav files and then it stops and then it repeats the same error message as above.


  212. After looking through the tutorial here and started to follow it when I realised something in the configure window in Step 2.

    Winamp version 5.5 and higher can directly convert flac files to mp3 without having to decode to wave then re-encode to mp3. The quality is almost the same but considering your are converting to mp3 there is a little bit of loss quality.

    When you do step 2, ( clicking on the Configure button), in the configuration window on the right side middle is a Conversion section. Check the Convert to Format box and then click on the large button under that and change Format to Lame MP3 and Attributes to 48000 Hz, 320 kps CBR, Stereo 39 kb/sec (This is the highest quality available for winamp). Then click on the ok button. Click on ok button on next screen as well. Click close button to close the preferences window. Now Simply Enqueue your flac file(s) into winamp and click on Play. Winamp will now convert the flac to mp3 in the folder you set and your all done.


  213. i have made all of the flacs into wavs without any trouble and they are saved in the same folder. when i select that folder in itunes under add a folder to library, nothing happens. i cant get the wavs imported into itunes even after selecting mp3 encoder on the preferences page. please help! thanks!

  214. Pingback: .flac to Mp3 - Community Forums

  215. Why do simple if we can do it complicated…
    There is a simple and fast way, using only iTunes (for the wma to mp3 conversion) and Movie Maker (for the flac to wma conversion)…
    Write me if you want me to do a tutorial!

  216. Fred: your post implies your doing it the complicated way still. winamp does the conversion in 1 step anyways so its still the easiest way.

  217. So everything goes great for the first part. Using Winamp is all good.
    When I get to iTunes I change all the right setting, but when I go to add the folder, the top of the iTunes window (where it normally shows the progress of downloads/music playing/ etc) has a brief flash, and then nothing happens.
    Any ideas? =/

  218. Pingback: FLAC to WAV software.

  219. Pingback: anyone got a good flac to mp3 converter please recommend - AnimeOSTs DJ Society

  220. I installed the plug-in, but it is listed as an input for winamp, and so I cannot rewrite the .flac files. Can anyone help me with this?

  221. Thanks, if you were here right now I would buy you a beer. Granted it is only 8:45 in the morning but what the hell.

  222. Pingback: Malcolm’s Tech Tips » Blog Archive » How to convert .flac files to .mp3 in Ubuntu

  223. Thank you very much! This guide is the best, very simple and easy to follow…thanks again! //KingPin of Sweden

  224. Can someone please help me? The winamp plug-in is becoming an input, instead of being in the output folder. How can I make this into an output so that I can write out the file, instead of just playing it?

  225. Pingback: flac files - Board67

  226. You genius! Finally, a way of converting flac to mp3 without those dodgy programs online. Thank you so much!

  227. Pingback: Conversion of Flac file -

  228. airmanchairman

    Great tutorial.

    You made me realise what a great contribution Winamp is making to the online sound and video generating world (FLAC & Ogg Support, SHOUTCAST streaming protocol etc), so much so that I paid for and downloaded the full Winamp Pro application. They are well worthy of support.

    Keep ’em great tutorials coming, bro’.

  229. I would like to add another kudos! First time I encountered the .flac extension file and this is the first site I opened up to get info on how to handle the file. Things work perfectly and fast! Thanks!

  230. Hi,

    having problems here despite clear instructions. Conversion goes wrong when Winamp converts to WAV. It takes a 26Mgb audio file and outputs a 44bit file which of course is not right. retried many times but, as the saying goes, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a sign of madness.
    any guidance appreciated. thx

  231. Thankyou so much for this, it helped me convert those pesky FLACs without having to download anything I didn’t already have, unlike some other websites recommended!

  232. Thank you so much for this easy-to-follow instruction.
    The only problem I have, is that I can’t find the files, so dont want to delete the .wav files til I’m sure the music is backed up. They are safely in my iTunes Library but don’t figure anywhere else!!
    Any help would be appreciated

  233. Thanks for the help, but I can’t seem to get the files to play on Itunes. They play on Winamp, but I don’t know how to move them over to my Itunes. It won’t let me drag from the file I keep them in.

  234. BRILLIANT. by following the guide picture by picture it works without even the smallest scratching ones head and wondering if one should just forget it and stick to downloading MP3 only. FLAC is a far better quality and this simple method which does take a bit of time, bookmark the page and go slowly through it, mostly you may have left winamp on the wrong options if this doesn’t work perfectly and seamlessly… Well done, this really does give it step by step, believe me I know next to nothing of these things and get few right, brilliant, thank you and well done, a cudos to the submitter of this guide. For Mac users, use FLUKE