This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process to burn an audio CD from FLAC files in macOS, using completely free software.
Creating an audio CD from .FLAC files in macOS is done in two parts. The first is to convert the .flac files to .wav (with absolutely no loss in sound quality). The second is to then burn those .wav files as an audio disc. Neither step takes a particularly long time. If you’re trying to burn an audio CD from .SHN files, the process outlined below is identical.
Note: the Windows version of this guide can be found here.
Convert FLAC files to WAV
- Start by downloading and installing xACT and Burn. The installation for each App is very straight forward. Both are free, have been around for a very long time, and work in macOS Catalina (and earlier).
- Launch xACT and select the decode tab. Click the add button in the bottom-left corner of the app.
- Navigate to the .flac files you want to decode (convert to .wav), select them all, and then click the Add Files button.
- Select WAV from the Output Format: options and then place a check in the box labelled Decode to source directory. Finally, click the Decode button.
- The decoding process only takes a couple of minutes at most.
- When it’s completed you’ll be back at the decode window, feel free to quit xACT.
Burn Converted FLAC Files to an Audio CD
- Now we’re going to take the wav files you just created with xACT, and use Burn to turn them into an audio CD. Start by launching Burn. Now is probably a good time to make sure you have a blank CD in your recordable drive. Select the Audio tab and then click the small “plus sign” ( + ) button in the bottom-left corner of the app.
- Navigate to the .wav files that you created with xACT – they’ll be in the same folder as the .flac files. Select them in the order you want them to play on your audio CD (hold down the Apple Key to select multiple files). Click Open to add those files.
- Note: If you’re recording a concert, you’ll probably want to make the CD gapless (no ‘pauses’ between each track). To do so, select Burn from the Apple Menu and click Preferences…. Select Audio from the top menu and switch the Pregap: to 0 (zero) seconds. If you do want a pause between each song, leave the number 2 as it is. Now you can close out of the Preferences.
- When you’re ready, click Burn.
- Click Burn again…
- Sit back and watch. Or grab a cup of coffee because it’s actually pretty boring. Burn will eject the CD once the recording is complete, and notify you with an audio “ding”. When the recording is done, give the CD a listen to make sure everything worked out, and then feel free to delete those .wav files.
That’s it – you’ve successfully recorded an audio CD from .FLAC files on your Mac!