Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Jan 31, 2007 3:09 AM by John Lockwood
oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
Just got my mac-mini a couple days ago. I'm new to macs, but I'm experienced PC user. So, I read that I can get the quicktime plug-in to have ITunes play flac files. So, I download this thing and I install it. Then I restart. Then, I point ITunes at the directory on my PC where I have my music library. 95% of it is flac, the rest is mp3. ITunes 'recognizes' the mp3 files, but not the flac files. I can play the mp3's with no problem, but as far as ITunes knows, the flac files don't exist. Anyone else seen this? Is there something that I need to do to activate that plug-in that I installed. Thanks in advance for helping a newbie...


mac-mini, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
Reply by John Lockwood on Jan 25, 2007 6:50 AM Helpful
iTunes for both Mac and Windows can (with an additional QuickTime component) play FLAC and OGG but apparently not FLAC in the standard file format (only in the Xiph format). See

This workaround (Mac only) helps get round some of those problems. Basically it is an alternative FLAC file parser and still uses the Xiph FLAC decoder. Even this does not provide perfect tag support but should let iTunes play FLAC files in .flac format on a Mac.

Personally I would suggest you go the Apple Lossless route. I have all my music in Apple Lossless and can and do share it successfully between :-

iTunes (Mac and Windows versions on a dual boot Bootcamp setup)
WMP 10
Media Center 2005
Roku SoundBridge
SlimDevices SlimServer
SlimDevices SoftSqueeze

it will also work with :-

Sonos Zone Player
and even (via MCE 2005 & WMP 10) an XBox 360 Media Extender!

It is also possible to use Apple Lossless in Foobar 2000 and WinAmp (as well as WMP).

All replies

  • PT Level 7 Level 7
    It might be an issue with iTunes specifically not playing those songs rather than QT. Easy way to check is to open the QT player and see if you can then open one of those songs and play it. If you can, then that narrows it down to just iTunes not wanting to play them rather than a QT issue.

  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    Sorry if this seems obvious, but I assume that you mean go to the QT menu, select File--> Open File.

    When I do that, I get an error message from QT that says "Error opening movie".

    Has anyone else gotten this to work?

    Thanks again for your help and time.

  • PT Level 7 Level 7
    Or you can navigate to one of your FLAC files, right click on it, then pick Open With... and point it to QuickTime and see if it opens and plays.

  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    Hmmm... Same error as before.

    I do appreciate the help. I'm sure this is just something that I did wrong setting it up, but the directions seem so simple, I'm trying to work backwards through all the steps to figure out what I might have done incorrectly...
  • NoName Level 6 Level 6
    The FLAC and Vorbis components for QuickTime have always been horrible. I hate to sound negative, and I definitely am not negative about FLAC, as 100% of my own music is archived in that format, but I think it would be worth it to wait for native FLAC support in iTunes and QuickTime. Various reports on the Web suggest that Apple has already been testing FLAC with these applications.
  • Ed Noepel Level 1 Level 1
    If you don't mind excersizing your processor, you could write a script to convert from Flac to Apple Lossless. Recompression is alright, since both formats are lossless. When Flac support is stable, you could convert right on back.
  • lbell Level 2 Level 2
    I've used this to convert flac to mp3:

    eMac 700MHz , 17" MBP C2D   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   250 gb external lacie HD
  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks to everyone for the replies to my question. I hate to try to convert my library to mp3 when the reason I went with flac in the first place was because of the quality. I then went with the mac-mini because I wanted I high quality streaming client to play music on my home stereo. I'm not really married to ITunes, I would be willing to switch to any 'player' that would play the flac files. Since I am new to the mac world, is there anything like that out there?

    I'm a little disappointed in how this is working so far. As a pc user for years and years, I guess I was just expecting this stuff to 'just work' on the mac. I'll admit that I could have screwed this up, but the directions seemed so straightforward, and I found more than one reference on the web that pointed me at this qt plug-in for playing flac files. Is there anyone out there that actually got this qt plug-in to actually work so that they could play flac files?
  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    Here is one article that I found that pointed me to the qt plug-in for playing flac files:

    Has anyone out there got this to work?

    Thanks again,
  • NoName Level 6 Level 6
    You could definitely give Play a try. It's still in Alpha stage, but should prove to be a good alternative for playing FLAC files natively and gaplessly on a Mac.

    If it's worth anything, I would not convert FLAC files to Apple Lossless at this point. One of the biggest advantages of FLAC is that, when using proper encoder arguments, it will make sure the output files match the input files, so there is no risk of bad encoding. There have been numerous reports that Apple Lossless files can sometimes be truncated, etc.

    You could easily convert your FLACs to Apple Lossless or just about anything else with Max while keeping all the metadata intact, but keep in mind that gapless playback in iTunes can still be hit and miss. If you transcode FLAC to LAME MP3, no problem. However, transcoding FLAC to AAC will NOT result in gapless playback in iTunes. I haven't tested FLAC-to-Apple Lossless for gapless playback in iTunes, but if you're interested in making this kind of conversion, I would test some files for proper playback before deleting your original FLAC files.
  • OldBrock Level 1 Level 1
    Hi All
    Similar to Chris...
    I would be interested in knowing of any other music organiser/jukebox that is available and recommended instead of iTunes because I am migrating from PC to Mac and a high proportion of my music is in FLAC. I have no desire to convert these files.

    I do not own an iPod so I will not be looking to synch with that product. However connected to the PC, via ethernet, I have a QNAP TS101 with Slimserver feeding a Squeezebox for selecting and playing my music files through my HiFi system. Hence the use of FLAC. The music files are stored on the QNAP. On the PC I have been using Media Monkey for ripping/organising/tagging my music. MM does not have a version for OSX so it will have to be dropped sadly.

    I appreciate it is possible to run windows on the Mac but that defeats the purpose of migrating.

    Thanks in anticipation

  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    What I am currently doing is continuing to store my .flac files on my PC. I have slimserver running on the PC and I installed SoftSqueeze on the mac (software version of squeezebox). Softsqueeze plays the .flac files and I have basically replaced the squeezebox with the mac (using the optical output of the mac into my HIFI). Make sense?

    I'm still keeping my eye open for native quicktime support for flac so that I can start to use FrontRow for playing audio. The problem with slimserver is controlling it.

    Also, everytime I start softsqueeze, I get a dialog asking me if I trust the signed application that I am about to start. I would like to just have softsqueeze start up every time I restart the mini, but as long as softsqueeze keeps showing this dialog, it doesn't do much good to have it start on startup, but not really start all the way until I click on an 'OK' button. (Softsqueeze is a java web start application).

  • OldBrock Level 1 Level 1
    Makes sense to me Chris.

    As I've said my slimserver is on the QNAP along with my music files. I went down this path so that I can run Squeezebox independant of the PC being on or off line. Hence I am looking for a package to replace the MediaMonkey which will handle FLAC in the same way.

    I note a couple of packages such as Roxio Toast which claim to rip to FLAC but there seems to be no package to replace iTunes for tagging/organising and playing FLAC.

    Its pitiful that iTunes doesn't have a plug-in for FLAC.

    I'm afraid I can't help you with regard to Softsqueeze and Slimserver on a PC as my QNAP came with Slimserver fully loaded. Have you tried the Slim Devices forum for help? Or indeed the Slim Devices Tech Support?
    ( ).
    I found them helpful when I was first attempting to set up my Squeezebox via wireless - had serious problems with the wireless network which I couldn't resolve and ended up using Netgear HDBX101 devices (Homeplug).


  • oconnellc Level 1 Level 1
    Check out for a tool for ripping/tagging/etc. flac files. He also has a tool for playing them, but it is still in 'alpha' stage and has some issues to be worked out before it is really ready for prime time.
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