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WarriorAnt Level 4 Level 4 (2,750 points)
Does iTunes play .flac files?

iMac 24", 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 23" Dell 2nd monitor, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 2- 1TB HD, 750GB HD, Ipod Touch 2nd G, audio-technica ATH-AD700
  • Zevoneer Level 9 Level 9 (52,700 points)
    iTunes doesn't support FLAC, you would need to convert the files to something iTunes can use or look for a third party plug-in to allow iTunes to play the files.
  • bicomputational Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    There is a plugin for playing flac files in Itunes called Fluke. I have heard reasonably good things about it but have not used it myself:
    There are other music players for the mac which handle flac files natively. I use both Cog and Songbird to play flac files. Both are freeware, Songbird being a Mozilla backed project (it's also available on Windows). Cog is just a basic player, Songbird is very Itunes-like and can help you organize a library of flac files in the same way Itunes organizes your other music files.
    The best converter for Flac -> aiff/aac/mp3 I have found is Max if you decide to convert the files to native ITunes formats. It is also freeware.
  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (21,910 points)
    Be aware that the FLAC plug-ins for iTunes allow it to play FLAC files, but do not allow those files to sync to an iPod, which pretty much defeats the primary purpose of iTunes.

    You will probably find it easier to create AAC versions (or Apple Lossless) for iTunes/iPod use, using one of the recommended conversion programs, and save the FLACs on your hard drive for future use.
  • bicomputational Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    I don't own an ipod, for me the primary use of ITunes is organizing a very large collection of music (800+ gigs), and not having to go searching for a particular cd (yes, lazy). I'm also very interested in sound quality. With the right equipment
    (I use Mac -> Apogee Duet d/a converter -> Audio Engine 5 speakers) you will hear a very noticeable difference in FLACs and any aac bit rate other than lossless (which will sound exactly the same as FLAC of course). MP3, even with a good converter like LAME, isn't even in the running, although at the highest bitrates it gets close.
    So what you could do is this: use Songbird to organize and play FLAC files for the best sound quality, convert to aac 320 for ITunes for high-quality ipod-ready files. I dislike the plug-in route as I always worry that a future upgrade to ITunes will either break the plug-in or cause some other weirdness.
  • Per Sjofors Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Wonder if you can help. I can convert my FLAC files 96kHz/24 bit to WAV and play it in iTunes. But, the DAC I use detect only 44.1hHz/16bit. The DAC supplier say there is a setting for "play original format" but I cannot find it. It may also be a fault in the DAC....
  • dynapop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I use MAX 0.9.1 to handle all conversions of file types on my Mac - It's a very neat little app with which I've never encountered a problem - It will convert all the usual suspects into whatever format you want and at whatever bit rate is required

    Max can automatically encode ripped tracks into a myriad variety of lossy and lossless formats.

    Max can also convert audio files on your hard drive from one format to another while retaining most of the metadata. To convert a file, select Encode File... from the File menu.

    - I originally found it via the Apple apps site - Oh and it was free!

    If it's no longer there then try here

    Pip pip!
  • drleper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Another option these days for .flac support is doubleTwist.
  • Sunshineman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'd like to jump in on this conversation and ask about iPad.  Can iPad handle higher resolution music files.  I use MAX to convert Wav files from HD Tracks to AIFF 32bit so they play on iTunes and stream to Apple TV. But I can't put them on my iPod.  So finally can they be put on an iPad.  According to the literature they can.  Please has anybody done this. 

  • TheTyrant Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If you're running just iTunes from Windows then you have to convert the FLAC file using another software. I used MediaMonkey with the highest possible MP4 settings and imported them into iTunes.


    But it isn't good enough.


    iTunes should support FLAC format.

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    WarriorAnt wrote:


    Does iTunes play .flac files?



    In fact, Flac is very similar to Apples lossless codec, used by iTunes. Nevertheless, there is no navtive support for that codec in iTunes.



    I use XLD lossless decoder to convert flac to lossless. Works perfect, fast and with quality.




  • timmoss501 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Having compared FLAC, AAC, OGG VORBIS, MP3 and .WAV I have to say I wouldn't go back to aac, mp3 or ogg (although ogg and aac do sound better than mp3). I therefore don't use i-player as I find it horribly restrictive and have switched to a Cowon J3 as a music and video player as it plays all the above formats (yes it does play aac if they are in m4a format, not m4p) as it sounds so much better than an ipod (the fact that you can hear a difference between high bit rate AACs and MP3s on it says a lot about the quality of the converters and headphone amp) plus the battery lasts 50 hours, nuff said. And no I don't have any connection with Cowon and I do own a macbook and other Apple stuff, I just don't rate the the ipod or ipad as a music player, great for other things though.

  • Mastergumble Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just stopped using iTunes (even if I like it) and now I use winamp to play and manage the lists, it also have a plugin to use with iPod, takes a bit more time (not significant imo) to convert and load to the device and I strongly recomend anyone using it to upload only album by album (it seems to miss multiple albums sometimes).


    Anyway I keep updating iTunes all the time hoping for Flac fully support, I love my iPod but if for any reason I need to get other similar device I will get something with full native Flac support.


    So keep crossing fingers for it, imo more users should complain and request this feature, people that have high end quality audio systems want quality I vote for Flac.

  • jeffwin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Max is powerful. Does it support OS X Lion. I saw the last update is 29 August 2009.


    I did not give it a try. I just downloaded Bigasoft FLAC Converter from the step-by-step guide


    Converting FLAC to apple lossless increases the compatibility of the FLAC audio files, so I can backup my music to iCloud, sync to iPhone.

  • Claypole Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found a brilliant app specifically designed for high quality audio playback that integrates with iTunes, call Audirvana. I was actually looking for an audiophile player and was very happy to have found this.


    It also includes a clever tool called "Audirvana Proxies", that either tricks iTunes into managing the FLAC files (it still cannot play them, they play in Aurdirvana when you press play in iTunes). Or, it will convert the files into an iTunes acceptable format, if you want to transfer them to an iPod for example. It is not perfect, but with regular updates it could be. It is the best I have used so far. One other thing, after the trial period, it is not cheap at $74! This is partly due to the cost of licensing the filters I expect, and it is a premium product, very well designed, the improvement in sound quality even on my 27" iMac internal Speakers is astounding! So, one for the connoisseurs, but if the FLAC integration continues to improve then this could be the perfect partner for iTunes. And if you already have a large FLAC collection, chances are you take sound quality very seriously…

  - free trial then pay to upgrade

    There is a free (old) version here to: - not sure whether the iTunes integration is any good in this version or not.

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