How to split FLAC into tracks? FLAC: tips and tricks

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How to split FLAC into tracks? FLAC: tips and tricks
How to split FLAC into tracks? FLAC: tips and tricks

The world of music is long overdue for a revolution, as the sound quality that comes from compressing files into standard formats like MP3 to reduce the size of an audio file is not to the liking of many music lovers. They are being replaced by more and more uncompressed audio formats like FLAC. But here's the problem - entire albums can be recorded as a single file, as a result of which sometimes it becomes impossible to switch between tracks when playing them even on a computer. But not all users of modern computer technology know how to split FLAC into FLAC tracks or some other output format. Below are several solutions that will help fill this gap in knowledge, and at the same time help determine which of the described methods will be most convenient and fastest to use.

What is FLAC, APE andCUE?

To begin with, let's define the basic terms, from the understanding of which we will proceed further. In the most general sense, FLAC is one of the types of codecs designed to encode audio in uncompressed form (lossless), which eliminates the loss of quality during playback at the output. In a particular case, FLAC can also be an extension of an audio file, which, like any other audio, can be played either on consumer players (if they support this format) or in software players on a computer.

APE is also a type of uncompressed audio and can contain a fairly large number of tracks, as if packed into one resulting file.

Contents of the CUE file
Contents of the CUE file

As an additional companion object containing information about all the audio tracks included in the main object, there is usually a special CUE file called a track map. It contains information regarding their name, playback order, frequency characteristics, etc. Thus, in order to figure out how to split FLAC into FLAC tracks or convert them to another uncompressed output format, you will have to establish a connection between files (FLAC and APE) in the sense of being bound to a CUE object. But is it even possible to perform such a split without losing quality and violating the playback order or “undercutting” tracks? As it turns out, you can! And even very simple!

How to split FLAC into separate tracks in software players?

Because APE and FLAC files are betweenthey are very similar, we will consider them together. The steps for converting them into separate tracks will not differ much. And for starters, you should learn that cutting source files is not always advisable.

Opening a CUE file in AIMP
Opening a CUE file in AIMP

If you listen to music on your computer using software players like AIMP or Foobar, track information is automatically extracted from the CUE file, after which you can switch between tracks in the player itself as easily as if they were separate files. All recent versions of AIMP work with these formats flawlessly, but Foobar may require an additional plugin to be installed.

How to split a FLAC file into tracks: the most difficult technique

Everything would be fine, but what if your player has never heard of CUE files, although it plays FLAC formats? How to split FLAC into tracks without losing quality in such a situation? All those who take the time to perform such operations can be advised to use professional and semi-professional audio editors (Sound Forge, Cool Edit Pro, Audition, etc.).

Opening a CUE file in Cool Edit Pro
Opening a CUE file in Cool Edit Pro

When opening the desired image file, you must select your preferred frequency response and bitrate, which must match or even be higher than the original audio. Once opened, the entire file will be displayed in wave form (just like a regular WAV or MP3). By zooming in, you can trim the desired tracks, and then save them as separate files. Of course,it will take a lot of time, but you yourself will be able to adjust the sound material to your own parameters (and even impose a lot of additional effects).

Medieval CUE Splitter App

But let's assume that you don't have such knowledge, or you just don't want to spend precious time on all these actions. How to split a CUE file into FLAC tracks quickly and efficiently? In this situation, the easiest way is to use a small Medieval CUE Splitter application.

FLAC conversion
FLAC conversion

In the installed program, you just need to open the track map (the CUE file itself must be in the same directory as the FLAC or APE objects), after which you can immediately press the cut button. If necessary, you can experiment a bit with the settings and specify, say, in what formats the cut tracks will be saved, what encoding will be used in tags, etc.

MediaHuman Audio Converter

Considering all the main decisions regarding how to split FLAC into FLAC tracks or use a different output format, we cannot ignore the MediaHuman Audio Converter program, which performs the required actions just as well and allows you to change the output format in a fairly wide range. In the application, all you need to do is drag and drop the source file into the workspace.

in MediaHuman Audio Converter
in MediaHuman Audio Converter

If there is a CUE map in the catalog, the program will offer to perform splitting into tracks automatically. Then you can specify the output format andpress the button to start converting. As you can see, everything is simple.

Note: when installing the main application, pay special attention to suggestions for installing additional Yandex components, which you can refuse if necessary. Otherwise, they will be installed automatically, so don't be surprised if you end up with unnecessary services, active processes, or links (shortcuts) on the Desktop. In addition, some settings regarding the default browser used in the system may change.

Which is better to use?

How to split FLAC and FLAC tracks or convert the original audio data to any other format, figured it out. But which software should you choose? Probably, many will agree that cutting is not always necessary, because it is much easier to install a player that supports working with track maps and do without manual cutting at all. Another thing is if you absolutely need to perform splitting, so that later you can listen to music on a consumer player that cannot work with the original audio formats. In this situation, it is better to use the MediaHuman converter, because it has support for more output audio formats and is easier to use due to the full automation of all processes (you only need to agree with the cutting and select the format of the resulting tracks). However, if you think carefully and spend time, a slightly better result can still be achieved using sound editors, although for many this option mayseem very uncomfortable.

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