Home » Mac, Music, movies, TV, Reviews, how to

How to: Make FLAC encoded music play in iTunes

14 February 2012 12,685 views 3 Comments

I came into possession of a large collection of FLAC encoded music files and they wouldn’t play unaided in Apple’s jukebox software. That’s a problem because all of the other music, movie, etc. files my wife, children and I have are stored, managed and played in iTunes.

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a codec (compressor-decompressor) which allows digital audio to be losslessly compressed such that file size is reduced without any information being lost. Digital audio compressed by FLAC’s algorithm can typically be reduced to 50 to 60 percent of its original size, and decompressed into an identical copy of the original audio dataWikipedia.

Now, if I wanted to mix those naughty FLAC files with my existing iTunes library and listen without converting them, there’s Fluke for Mac. However, using this free iTunes plugin presents two problems — 1.) FLAC files still can’t be played on an iPad, iPhone or iPod and 2.) Fluke is 32-bit only (See also: How to: Turn on iTunes visualizers in OS X Lion), which is a bummer for OS X Lion users like me.

The preferable alternative for me turned out to be converting those FLAC files into one of Apple’s ubiquitous formats (i.e. Lossless or AAC) and a free tool for doing that is Stephen Booth’s Max (image above). Though it’s a little long in the tooth, Max can and does convert between the MP3, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Monkey’s Audio, WavPack, AAC and Apple Lossless formats, includes Growl notification support and is free.

Know of a better way to make FLAC encoded files playback universally on Apple devices? Share your story and a link in the comments below…

via Apple Support Communities


  • portotalley said:

    According to wikipedia, iTunes can currently read, write and convert between MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4, AAC and Apple Lossless (.m4a). That is we still cannot import and play FLAC in iTunes.

    In order to play FLAC in iTunes, we had better convert FLAC to iTunes more supported audio format with a third party software like dbpoweramp, fluck, idealshare videogo.

    I use iDealshare VideoGo which has both Mac and Windows to convert FLAC to Apple Lossless, MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF. And it works very well.
    Just google search How to Use iDealshare VideoGo to Convert FLAC to iTunes, you will find a detailed guide.

  • goodiewina said:

    Faasoft FLAC to iTunes Converter is just the professional FLAC to iTunes Converter with high output quality and fast conversion speed.

    If you want to import FLAC to iTunes and won’t loss quality, you can convert FLAC to Apple’s own lossless audio format, ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec). If you care more about file size than audio quality, you can convert FLAC to a more common format like MP3 to gain more compression rate and smaller file size. No matter you convert FLAC to ALAC or FLAC to MP3, all meta data (title, composer, etc.) include album cover art will be kept.

  • Venre said:

    If you don’t want to convert your media, you can always use VLC Player, which plays FLAC files without any glitches. The UI is quite spartan, but you can find the same equalizer as in iTunes.


Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.