How to Convert FLAC to WAV on a Mac

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

The FLAC audio format, although providing a high-quality audio, is not compatible with the majority of audio programs running on computers. Converting a FLAC audio file into a WAV audio format makes for greater compatibility with audio programs, especially those running on Windows-based computers. You can use a number of programs on the Mac which will convert FLAC to the WAV format, none of which will negatively impact the original FLAC audio file.

Converting Audio With QuickTime Pro

1

Download the QuickTime Pro program to the desktop of the Mac (see the link in "Resources" section). Double-click on the program’s icon once it has downloaded. Follow the prompts to install the program into the Mac’s operating system.

2

Download a free WAV addition program to the desktop of the Mac, for example, the Flip4Mac program (see the link in "Resources" section). Double-click on the program’s icon once it has downloaded. Follow the prompts to install the program into the Mac’s operating system. Restart the Mac once done.

3

Double-click on the QuickTime Pro program’s icon to launch it. Drag the FLAC audio file onto the icon of the QuickTime Player--the icon is in the Dock to the left or at the bottom of the screen. Wait as the FLAC audio file loads into the QuickTime Player and displays as a window on the screen.

4

Go to “File” and select “Export” from the drop-down menu. Name the WAV file that is about to be made in the “Name”column at the top of the window that appears.

5

Click on the “Browse” button and navigate in the new window that appears to the desktop. Click on “OK” to close the window.

6

Select “Sound to WAV: from the drop-down menu next to “Export.” Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the window to close the window. Quit QuickTime Pro once the WAV audio file has been saved to the desktop.

Convert FLAC With FLAC to WAV Conversion Program

1

Download a free FLAC to WAV conversion program to the desktop of the Mac, for example, the xACT program (see the link in "Resources" section). Double-click on the program’s icon once it has downloaded. Follow the prompts to install the program onto the Mac’s hard drive.

2

Double-click on the FLAC to WAV conversion program’s icon to launch it. Drag the FLAC audio file onto the icon of the FLAC to WAV conversion program--the icon is in the Dock to the left or at the bottom of the screen.

3

Wait as the FLAC audio file loads into the FLAC to WAV conversion program and displays as a window on the screen.

4

Go to “File” and select “Save As” from the drop-down menu. Name the WAV file that is about to be made in the “Name”column at the top of the window that appears.

5

Click on the “Browse” button and navigate in the new window that appears to the desktop. Click on “OK” to close the window.

6

Select “Sound to WAV: from the drop down menu below the “Format” tab. Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the window to close the window. Quit the FLAC to WAV conversion program once the WAV audio file has been saved to the desktop.

Convert FLAC to WAV Using Terminal

1

Download a free WAV addition program to the desktop of the Mac, for example, the Flip4Mac program (see the link in "Resources" section). Double-click on the program’s icon once it has downloaded. Follow the prompts to install the program into the Mac’s operating system. Restart the Mac once done.

2

Drag the FLAC file from wherever it is on the hard drive to the Mac’s desktop. Click once on the icon of the FLAC file to highlight its name. Type “FF” without the quotes to rename the FLAC file to “FF.”

3

Double-click on the hard drive to open its window. Scroll down to the ‘Utilities” folder. Double-click on the “Utilities” folder to open its window.

4

Scroll down to the “Terminal” program that is included with the Mac’s operating system. Double-click on the icon of the Terminal program to launch it.

5

Enter the following, but without the quotes, into the command line in the window of the Terminal program that is now on the desktop: “for i in FF.flac ; do a=${i%.*}.wav ; ffmpeg -i "$i" "$a" ; done”

6

Press the “Return” key on the keyboard.

7

Wait as the Terminal program converts the FLAC audio file into a WAV audio file.

8

Type “Exit” but without the quotes into the command line of the Terminal program. Press the return” key on the keyboard to quit the Terminal program.

Tip

  • check Use a duplicate of the FLAC file when doing the conversion to give you a backup should there be a problem.

Warning

  • close Mistyping the commands in the Terminal program can cause the FLAC file to be corrupted.

Items you will need

About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images