Do Macs Play FLAC?


My my understanding was always that they could not play FLAC encoded files.  I just installed a Synology NAS.  I have a Bluesound Vault 2 with about 300 CDs that were ripped in FLAC and was able to transfer the contents of the Vault 2 to the NAS.  These show up as FLAC files in the NAS index.  To my surprise, they play on my MAcAir, purchased in in 2013, via usb into a Bryston DAC3.  I had assumed I would need a music playing program to make these files playable on the Mac.  I have no FLAC converting software loaded onto the Mac
mahler123
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.
I can play FLAC files on my MacBook Air. Files are played via Audirvana Plus through the USB port into a McIntosh C50 for D/A conversion. Works perfectly for me, very happy with the results. See my previous post on this subject.
@2psyop 
i understand what you said, but the point is that I am playing FLAC through iTunes.  I am also running a trial of Audirvana Plus, but the files played before I added this, and if I disable Audirvana they still play through iTunes 
Hello mahler123 - 

I'm interested in your findings.  If you would, what version of iTunes are you running?  

I do use iTunes for creating my ripped CDs library.

Thanks.
@ghosthouse 
The most recent iTunes version, because I just did an update about a week ago.
Ah...okay.  Thanks for the reply mahler.  I'm still running 12.5.5.5.  I'll have to hunt around for a FLAC file to experiment with.  Could take some time before reporting back  :-) 
Mahler123,
Glad the new version of ITunes is working out for your FLAC files, I misread your question/statement? I have not updated ITunes in many moons, just really play files off NAS and stream music.
Mahler123,

I have the latest iTunes but can't even import FLAC files.  Please advise.  Thx.

 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 
Ignore the above...just figured out that with dbpoweramp The files get stored in the Music part of the Mac, and from there have to be moved to the NAS.  I will rip some more discs in FLAC (I had changed the codec to Apple Lossless to see if that would help) and report back
Ripped another disc in FLAC and it plays on the Mac
@25105 are you trying to play from a NAS?
I have the FLAC files in a folder on my mac mini and they play fine by pressing the spacebar.  What I want to do is import them into iTunes and play them from my library.  Thx.
Oh, that’s a different issue, I was asking if the hardware was capable at all of playing FLAC.  I couldn’t merge my files into iTunes on the Mac either, although they seemlessly merge on the NAS and play back via iTunes..Have you called Apple support to inquire?
it is not supported by Apple.  They want you to convert it to Apple lossless format instead of playing native format.  I thought you had some tricks to make it work in iTunes.  Thx anyway!
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.
More here:http://www.channld.com/puremusic/
@whocares73
Can you import flac files into itunes after installing Channel D?  Thx.

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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.

db
Traditionally flax has been better with metadata, but as you say Roon is handling the metadata just fine, I wouldn’t change anything that you are doing