How to Convert FLAC to MP3 Using LAME

Converting to MP3 can help you store more music on a device.
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LAME is not an application in itself, but a set of libraries of information telling a computer how to create MP3 files. LAME is only distributed as source code. Several independent audio conversion applications can access the LAME code that you have downloaded to your computer. For licensing reasons, these applications will not have the LAME code built into them.

Visit the Arturo Busleiman website (see Resources), which hosts LAME code in a downloadable format for Windows. Click on the link underneath "For FFmpeg/LAME on Windows."

Open the file to begin the installation process. Make a note of the folder in which LAME is installed on your computer.

Download and install an application that can convert FLAC files to MP3 using the LAME code. Examples include Audacity, Foobar 2000 and EnLAMEr (see Resources).

Run the application, select your FLAC file, then select MP3 as the output format. Check the application's help option if you can't find how to do this procedure from the menu.

Enter the location of the folder where you installed the LAME code if the application prompts you to do so. Normally you'll only have to do this the first time you convert a file to MP3.

  • The LAME website also hosts code for LAME. However, it does so in a format different from the format available on the Artuto Busleiman site. The code on the LAME can't be used by independent audio conversion applications.
  • The Arturo Busleiman website, based in Argentina, does not look particularly authoritative or professional. However, it is recommended by both the official site for LAME itself and by software developer Audacity.

A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.