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Welcome to the fre:ac project Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 July 2010 14:00

fre:ac is a free audio converter and CD ripper with support for various popular formats and encoders. It converts freely between MP3, M4A/AAC, FLAC, WMA, Opus, Ogg Vorbis, Speex, Monkey's Audio (APE), WavPack, WAV and other formats.

With fre:ac you easily rip your audio CDs to MP3 or M4A files for use with your hardware player or convert files that do not play with other audio software. You can even convert whole music libraries retaining the folder and filename structure.

The integrated CD ripper supports the CDDB/GNUdb online CD database. It will automatically query song information and write it to ID3v2 or other title information tags.

Features (click an entry to see details)

  • Converter for MP3, M4A/AAC, FLAC, WMA, Opus, Ogg Vorbis, WAV and other formats

    fre:ac converts freely between all supported formats. No matter if you need WMA to MP3, MP3 to WAV, M4A to MP3, WAV to MP3 or any other conversion, fre:ac supports any combination of formats.

  • Integrated CD ripper with CDDB/GNUdb title database support

    The integrated CD ripper will convert your audio CDs to files on your hard disk. It supports all of the formats available for regular audio file conversion. fre:ac can query the CDDB/GNUdb online CD database to find artist and title information prior to ripping. No need to enter track names manually.

  • Portable application, install on a USB stick and take it with you

    fre:ac can be installed on a USB stick or external drive so you can take it with you and use it on any computer. It will also store its configuration files on the portable drive. That way it will always start up with your custom settings.

  • Multi-core optimized encoders to speed up conversions on modern PCs

    The MP3, M4A/AAC, Opus and Speex encoders integrated with fre:ac make use of modern multi-core CPUs, so ripping and converting speeds get a real boost. You will save time and get the job done quickly.

  • Full Unicode support for tags and file names

    fre:ac provides full support for the Unicode character set. That way it can handle not only Latin scripts, but also Japanese, Cyrillic, Arabic, Indian and others. If you like music from all over the world, you can tag your files in the original script.

  • Easy to learn and use, still offers expert options when you need them

    fre:ac's user interface is designed to be intuitive so you will be able to use the basic features without any trouble. It still offers advanced options when you need them so you will be able to go beyond simple ripping and format conversion using fre:ac.

  • Available for all major operating systems

    fre:ac is a multi-platform application and available for Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD and Haiku. The Windows version is available stand-alone or from the Microsoft Store. The Linux version is availble in AppImage, Flatpak and Snap format.

  • Multilingual user interface available in 43 languages

    fre:ac comes with a multilingual user interface and is currently available in 43 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Spanish (Latin American), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Cantonese, Vietnamese, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian, Greek, Turkish, Hungarian, Romanian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Afrikaans, Basque, Esperanto, Galician, Catalan, Valencian and Corsican). It can be translated to other languages easily using the 'smooth Translator' utility that is included in the distribution.

  • Completely free and open source without a catch

    fre:ac is available for free without any adware or other foul things. However, the project relies on your support to be able to push the development further. If you like this software, please consider making a donation. Click on one of the icons in the donation section to the right to support the fre:ac project with a donation.

fre:ac v1.1.7 Print E-mail
Monday, 06 March 2023 23:32

fre:ac version 1.1.7 has been released on 5th March 2023.

This release adds a tool for splitting the output into multiple files based on various parameters like duration, number of files or metadata. The update also adds support for dithering, a matrix surround decoder and a volume adjustment filter.

Additionally, fre:ac 1.1.7 comes with various minor improvements, updated third party codecs and fixes for several issues found in fre:ac v1.1.6 and earlier versions:

  • New features
    • Added a tool for splitting output by various parameters (e.g. duration or number of files)
    • Added support for dithering when reducing sample resolution
    • Added a matrix surround decoder DSP component
    • Added a volume adjustment DSP component
  • Improvements
    • Added support for WavPack Hybrid Lossless compression with correction files
    • Added support for decoding MPEG-4 DASH files
    • Added support for opening WebM audio files with the .weba extension
    • Added support for downmixing 6.1 channel audio
    • Added support for MusicBrainz metadata in ID3v2, MP4, Vorbis Comment, APEv2 and WMA tags
    • Added support for sort order fields in ID3v2, MP4, Vorbis Comment, APEv2 and WMA tags
    • Added support for rating field in Vorbis Comment, APEv2, MP4 and LIST INFO tags
    • Added rating field to the tag editor
    • Added optional release year column to the joblist
    • Changed filename placeholder to resolve to 1 if disc number is not set
    • Improved compatibility with applications writing non-compliant LIST INFO tags (e.g. Traktor)
    • Added an option to use source file names as output file names if no metadata is present
    • Added an option to control extraction of missing metadata from file names
    • Added an option to restrict file names for reading cover art
    • Added an option to disable intensity stereo phase inversion to Opus settings
    • Added AccurateRip notification options for successful verification and missing database entries
    • Sample rate conversion no longer converts to 32 bit float when the source rate matches the target
    • Added negative exit codes to indicate errors when running freaccmd
    • Added support for KDE color schemes (including dark mode)
    • Improved HiDPI scale factor detection in KDE desktop environments
    • Respect text scaling factor in addition to font size setting on X11 based systems
  • Bug fixes
    • Fixed crashes when decoding ALAC files (especially with the Windows Store version)
    • Fixed failure (hang and abort after several seconds) to decode chapters from ALAC files
    • Fixed interoperability issues of HE- and HEv2-AAC files created with FDK-AAC with foobar2000
    • Fixed incorrect gapless information when creating HE- and HEv2-AAC files with FDK-AAC
    • Fixed incorrect index times in cuesheets for very long multi-track files
    • Fixed incorrect inclusion of data tracks in the audio track count of CD offset strings
    • Fixed old data remaining in place after updating WMA file tags
    • Fixed selected format resetting to first entry when opening WMA config dialog
    • Fixed excessive bitrate when encoding Vorbis on non-x86 LP64 systems
    • Fixed decoding of MP4 files with a single chunk taking excessively long
    • Fixed HDCD detection for tracks starting with more than about one second of silence
    • Fixed floating point samples being converted to integer when creating WavPack files
    • Fixed inability to close cover art popup window on Linux
    • Fixed long paths being converted to 8.3 format on recent versions of Windows
    • Fixed inability to handle long network paths on some versions of Windows
    • Fixed disc insert and removal detection working unreliably on Windows

Upgrading to fre:ac v1.1.7 is strongly recommended for users of earlier releases.

The new release is available in the downloads section. Please report issues on the GitHub issue tracker or by email to

fre:ac discussion forums moving to GitHub Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 February 2022 17:24

fre:ac's discussion forums are moving to GitHub. Please post new questions and ideas in the new Discussions area and feel free to start discussions about anything releated to fre:ac and digital audio conversion over there.

The old discussion forums on SourceForge will be kept online for reference, but please use the GitHub Discussions page to start new topics from now on.

fre:ac v1.1.6 Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 January 2022 16:34

fre:ac version 1.1.6 has been released on 22nd January 2022.

This update adds native support for Windows on the ARM64 architecture which greatly improves the user experience on devices like the Surface Pro X, HP Elite Folio or certain Samsung Galaxy Book models. Most notably, conversions can be up to six times faster on many devices with ARM cores.

Besides this, the 1.1.6 update adds support for editing lyrics in the tag editor and creating cue sheets and playlists with freaccmd, fre:ac's command line interface. It also comes with minor workflow and performance optimizations, tagging improvements, updated codecs and the usual bug fixes:

  • New features
    • Added support for editing lyrics in the tag editor
    • Added support for creating cue sheets and playlists with freaccmd
  • Improvements
    • Improved performance of adding video and proprietary audio files (DTS, DSD etc.) to the joblist
    • Playlists can now be added to the joblist by drag & drop
    • Added <tempo> and <initialkey> placeholders for use in filename patterns
    • Added optional composer, conductor, tempo, musical key and ISRC columns to the joblist
    • Added initial key field to tag editor
    • Added support for lyrics in ID3v2, MP4, Vorbis Comment, APEv2 and WMA tags
    • Added support for parsing OverDrive MediaMarkers in ID3v2 tags
    • Added support for the pre-emphasis flag in cue sheets
  • Bug fixes
    • Fixed possible crash upon querying the CDDB database
    • Fixed possible crash in FAAD2 decoder when trying to open unsupported files
    • Fixed faulty decoding of certain AAC files caused by a bug in the FDK-AAC decoder
    • Fixed possible faulty output when decoding from non-zero positions using external decoders
    • Fixed issue ripping CD tracks when output filename pattern is <filename>
    • Fixed AccurateRip reporting verification errors for hidden track one audio
    • Fixed setting to replace spaces not being respected when writing cover art and log files
    • Fixed setting to suppress Unicode characters not being respected when writing cover art and log files
    • Fixed tag editor fields for media type, catalog number and barcode being limited to 12 characters
    • Fixed freeze when decoding certain WMA files on Windows
    • Fixed drag & drop not working after online update on Windows

Upgrading to fre:ac v1.1.6 is strongly recommended for users of earlier releases.

The new release is available in the downloads section. Please report issues on the GitHub issue tracker or by email to

fre:ac v1.1.5 Print E-mail
Monday, 28 June 2021 00:33

fre:ac version 1.1.5 has been released on 27th June 2021.

This update adds support for verifying audio CD rips using AccurateRip technology. This compares a checksum of the ripped audio against other users' results for the same CD. When a match is found in the AccurateRip database, this basically certifies a perfect rip. And in case of a mismatch, fre:ac displays a warning to let you know something may be wrong.

Besides this major new feature, the 1.1.5 update comes with performance optimizations, further tagging improvements, updated codecs and a number of bug fixes:

  • Improvements
    • Improved DSP processing performance by up to 70% (mainly on Windows)
    • Added frequency bandwidth setting to FDK-AAC encoder configuration dialog
    • Added an option to toggle logging of complete paths in log files
    • Added options for specifying cover art files to freaccmd
    • Added support for reading Shift_JIS encoded CD-Text
    • Added support for writing album and track comments to cue sheets
    • Added support for ID3v2 tags in RF64 files
    • Added support for updating Vorbis Comment tags
    • Added support for updating ID3v2 tags in RIFF and AIFF files
    • Added support for updating LIST INFO tags in RIFF, RF64 and Wave64 files
    • Added support for ensemble field in Vorbis Comment and APEv2 tags
    • Added support for movement field in ID3v2, Vorbis Comment, APEv2 and MP4 tags
    • Added support for additional URL fields in APEv2 tags
    • Added a tag editor option to keep album artist even if identical to track artist
    • Added media type field to tag editor
  • Bug fixes
    • Fixed hotspot for genre edit field utility menu not covering the whole width of the field
    • Fixed occasional crashes when selecting codec subformat using the "Start encoding with" menu
    • Fixed chapter marks being offset by a few seconds when using DSP processing
    • Fixed playback not working when using certain combinations of DSP processors
    • Fixed incompatibility of FDK-AAC encoded HE and HEv2 AAC files with iTunes
    • Fixed issue decoding FLAC files with unknown length
    • Fixed glitches decoding transients in some Vorbis files
    • Fixed possible crashes when decoding Opus files
    • Fixed rare crashes in LAME encoder component
    • Fixed strings read from ID3v2 tags being limited to 1024 characters
    • Fixed crash when reading malformed CD-Text genre IDs
    • Fixed failure ripping with negative read offset
    • Fixed disc eject not working on macOS
    • Fixed crash when closing fre:ac via dock command on macOS
    • Fixed UI glitches and crashes on exit when running in a Wayland session
    • Fixed popup menu and dropdown list closing behavior on non-Windows platforms
    • Fixed issues with custom DPI settings on Xfce desktops
    • Fixed drag & drop working unreliably on X11 based systems

Upgrading to fre:ac v1.1.5 is strongly recommended for users of earlier releases.

The new release is available in the downloads section. Please report issues on the GitHub issue tracker or by email to

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