What? Well I finally took the plunge over the holidays and decided to convert my 1,000+ CD library into media accessible to my Sonos. I’ve had my Sonos, an incredibly versatile and powerful wireless audio streaming system since 2006. Since 2006, I’ve bought a large number of MP3s and have also enjoyed the extensive library of internet streaming services available on the Sonos. But I still had a large library of CDs which I didn’t have instantaneous access to.
So on to the FLACing. OK, FLACing isn’t really a word, but it does describe the process of converting music files on a CD to files more easily used with digital audio systems such as the Sonos. FLAC, then, is a digital music format, much like an MP3 is. The big difference between the FLAC and the MP3 is really the quality of the resulting product. MP3 loses information in the process of being converted from a CD – it is a lossy format. FLAC is a lossless format, so the process of converting the information from a CD to a FLAC involves only compression (making the resulting file smaller) but not losing any of the originally encoded information. FLAC files are substantially bigger than MP3s, but with the relative costs of disk today, the level of audio quality retained is worth it.
So, I’m FLACing my library. I figure it might take a good month or two of work to get through my 1,000+ CD collection.