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Freac 1.0.17
Developer(s)Robert Kausch
Initial releaseMay 12, 2001; 20 years ago (2001-05-12) (as BonkEnc)
Stable release
1.1.4 / 14 February 2021; 3 months ago (2021-02-14)[1]
Written inC, C++
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD
TypeCD ripper

fre:ac is a free audio converter and CD extractor for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS and FreeBSD, distributed under the GPL-2.0-or-later.[2]

Besides extracting audio from compact discs (with various features including hidden track detection), fre:ac can also convert audio files from one format to another or to the same format but a lower bitrate. fre:ac is compatible with many audio formats such as Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MP3, MP4/M4A, AAC, WAV, WMA and more.[3][4] fre:ac uses the CDex library to convert from CDs and uses freedb to retrieve artist/song information from the internet which is written to the files as various types of ID3 tags; this library supports cdparanoia which aims to improve audio quality.[5] The user interface is multilingual with 43 languages and is able to be a portable install on a USB drive.


The first public version of fre:ac was published in 2001 under the name BonkEnc. The program was originally developed to convert audio to the proprietary lossy/lossless Bonk format, as well as MP3. Over time MP3 became dominant, although fre:ac still supports Bonk. After several 0.x versions, with added support for other formats and extracting audio from compact discs, version 1.0 Beta 1 was released on July 5, 2003 which officially marked the beginning of the beta phase.

Finally, on February 21, 2007 the first stable version of the program, version 1.0, was released.[6]

The project changed its name to fre:ac with the release of version 1.0.17 on November 14, 2010. The latest update, version 1.1.4, was released on Sunday, February 14, 2021.


fre:ac won the SourceForge Community Choice Project of the Month award in October 2015.[7] In May 2018 it was selected as the SourceForge Staff Pick Project of the Month.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Releases · enzo1982/freac". Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  2. ^ fre:ac License on GitHub
  3. ^ fre:ac AddictiveTips November 2010 review
  4. ^ fre:ac CNET August 2012 review
  5. ^ fre:ac PCAdvisor October 2011 review
  6. ^ @freacproject (13 November 2010). "BonkEnc has been renamed to fre:ac - free audio converter! A new release reflecting the name change will be out tomorrow" (Tweet). Retrieved 31 May 2021 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ fre:ac SourceForge October 2015 Project of the Month interview
  8. ^ fre:ac SourceForge May 2018 Project of the Month interview

External links[edit]