I think Itunes was the problem for FLAC. Other software will play FLAC files. Itunes will do it if you convert from FLAC to another file. I used AIFF (lossless file for my music file library). Apps for FLAC files? dBpoweramp (windows and mac), Golden Ear (ios), FLAC player (ios), Fluke (mac), Tonido (ios), TuneShell (ios), VOX. There are probably more. Also both IOS and Windows can be loaded on a MAC. Just partition the HD.
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The plot thickens. I just downloaded the Mac version of dbpoweramp and attempted to rip 2 albums in FLAC. They haven’t shown up on the NAS (or on the SSD of the Mac)
One possibility is that I’ve not used the software correctly. The other is that the Mac is somehow blocking a FLAC file from finding it’s way to the NAS.
Recall in my OP that the original FLAC files on the NAS were transferred directly from the Bluesound Vault, which rips and stores in FLAC. The weird thing is that these files played back on the Mac
without having to be converted to another format
You may want to try Channel D, Pure Music software for your Mac. This integrates with iTunes, and allows you to play FLAC and many other formats. Also, Pure Music is said to be very good sound quality.
Is there any reason to use FLAC rather than AIFF? I've been installing CDs into iTunes then ripping with dBPoweramp to AIFF. Roon finds the files immediately and displays the cover art. Before I started moving files to iTunes I would sometimes have trouble finding a ripped or downloaded file, maybe an error in setting up Roon.
Btw, I was reviewing my notes from last summer, and the IT guy that helped me transfer FLAC files from my Bluesound Vault2 to the NAS scoured the files on the NAS to make sure that wasn’t some software, somewhere, that was converting the FLAC files into an Apple friendly format, and he couldn’t identify one.
iTune will not store FLAC files. It will store AIFF and ALAC files. So, either your FLAC file was converted to one of the above formats or you have a program such as Pure Music that is using iTunes as a library but not storing the actual file in iTunes. I use a Mac Mini and it has the most current iTunes and I run Pure Music. Pure Music will swallow just about anything but I usually purchase ALAC files from HD Tracks because they are easier for a Mac user to deal with. AIFF is full resolution which is a waste of space. I ran a double blinded test with three friends (wife did the switching) And none of us could tell the difference between AIFF and ALAC. None of us could reliably pick out 192/24 over 96/24. I did not have the software for 48/24. Two of us could usually pick out 96/24 over CD. I question if this was due to different masters. The end result is that I buy 96/24 files. My own opinion is 192/24 is a waste of space. The file is twice as big.