FLAC On A Mac


I know this topic appears here often but it seems to change every time I try to do a download.
I have a 7 year old MacBook Pro that i recently changed to OS to El Capitan after endless badgering from Apple to do so.  I previously had both XLD and Decibel on my OS for converting FLAC to Mac Compatible formats for the few downloads that I had ordered from HD Tracks.  
  I hadn't listenedto these downloads since the afore mentioned conversion.  i just ordered a new download (24 bit) from Presto Clasical and now I am getting messages that both programs will not work because they are from unknown developers.  Why these developers have become strangers to Apple after happily coexisting with them is another story but can someone tell me what the current best program for playing these files is>  My Internet search is unhelpful as everything seems to be recommending these two programs
mahler123
On your MacBook, under System Preferences, Security & Privacy, General, check the settings under: Allow apps downloaded from... 

On my Macs it is set to "Mac app store and identified developers"

Updating the OS to El Capitan shouldn't have changed your previous setting but one can't be sure what may have happened in the interim.

Consider buying/using the AIFF file format for your downloads. Yes, the files are larger but require no conversion to be compatible with Mac (iTunes, right?) The cost of hard disk space has gotten relatively low. Now I buy and/or rip to AIFF in order to have maximum compatibility with present and future players. 

mahler123, when you get the message "unk developer" press the CONTROL key and try again.

Ok we are going to the Mac store today as my wife is disgusted with the performance of her 8 year old MabBook Pro since loading El Capitan.  I will ask the people there, though the drop off in Quality of the in store help over the past several years has been painful

Ok, both changing the preferences and and pressing the control key worked.  The problem now is that neither program shows up in my application file.  I downloaded XLD again, since it's free, but it isn't as it formerly did.  Now when I drag a FLAC file to the XLD icon the file Boyce's back to it's own folder.   
  Decibel wants to charge me again, and I had bought a 'lifetime '
subscription for $50 before so I didn't to use it.
  I have an Oppo 105 in the system which I use for audio only.  I bought a monitor and now I'm using the Oppo USB input to play the files.

Drag that xld icon to your application folder.o install it as an application. Then it should appear as an icon you can run as an app.
If you drag the XLD icon to the bar at the bottom of your screen it will stay there all the time. Then whenever you open Finder and drag a file down to the icon at the bottom, XLD will open and start converting. Cheers,
Spencer

Spencer

  I probably wasn't clear before, but I did that, the XLD icon appeared, but when I dragged a flac file into the icon, the file bounces out and returns to it's own folder.  I didn't have that issue with XLD when I used it two years ago.

Check your settings in XLD PREFERENCES>GENERAL tab and make sure you have it set to AIFF. If it's set to FLAC, it will bounce because there would be nothing to convert going from FLAC to FLAC. Cheers,
Spencer
XLD works today without me having to do the above.
In the interim, I added a monitor to the system.  I have an Oppo 105 in the system but it was for audio only.  With the monitor added I can now play flac files from it's usb inputs, so now I don't think that I want to go through the hassle of converting the flac files to AIFF.
   However if I change my mind, the Oppo will play WAV, not AIFF.
If I am going to convert the files to a mac format I might as well pick
a codec that will also play on the Oppo.  What program should I use?  I've heard good things about JRiver


"Oppo will play WAV, not AIFF." That is not correct. I owned an Oppo 105 and 105D and both play AIFF fine. I did this using the digital inputs on both the front and the back with no issues. Seen many other Oppo owners do the same.  

What do you mean by "monitor"? Hardware, software? The only monitor I know of is a pair of small speakers used in a studio.

For mac music software, Audirvana+, Amarra & Pure Music are the top ones. You can trial them all & decide for yourself. JRiver was made for Windows, and just recently released for Mac to mixed reviews. I haven't heard it so no opinion. Cheers,
Spencer
Give Roon a free trial. It plays flac, wav, and aiff.  

sbank

I took the Oppo data from their web site, which mentioned playing WAV and didn't mention playing AIFF.  In my experience when a component doesn't mention compatibility with a format that means it won't play that format.  I am glad to be corrected.  Actually, I added a VIDEO monitor to my OPPO, and am playing the flac files on it just fine  Problem solved, set me back $100.00 but what the hey, I'm happy

Since Apple has legal interest in AIFF and some companies don't pay any fees to Apple they get uncomfortable mentioning AIFF compatibility. Ran into that with a few portable digital players too. Cheers,
Spencer
why FLAC your Mac when you could ALAC?
not every download site offers ALAC or AIFF.  Some only offer FLAC, as reading the posts in this thread would have revealed to you
ALAC isn't compatible with every music playback software, and I refuse to let Apple control the agenda in my listening when they pretty much exemplify the big brother character in their famous "1984" ad. Their software also sound lousy and their operating systems strategy and constant upgrades do their best to plan obsolescence of their hardware. I used to love Apple for their design and apparent simplicity of GUI. Then I woke up and although I still must say that I love my iPad, I am more often than not in the anti-Apple camp. Cheers,
Spencer
which software sounds lousy ?
iTunes sounds lousy, period.
A+ sounds relatively lousy running in iTunes integrated mode vs. standalone mode.
A+, Amarra & PureMusic sound about the same with some folks feeling more strongly about one or the other, all on Macs.
IMHE, getting the disk-spinning CD player, mac or pc out of the equation entirely is the big leap forward. Cheers,
Spencer
You may want try Swinian. It plays FLAC.  It is free to try for 30 days and cost very little.  It's claim to fame is: It looks and feels like iTunes use to before the App Store junk. If you have used iTunes, Swinian has a very low learning curve.

why do you think iTunes sounds lousy???
Probably because top sound quality isn't Apple's goal. Selling you more stuff is. So they are always trying to lure you into their store, run multiple background processes that use more voltage, etc. & generate more noise.
All the other software sounds better. 
iTunes also frequently creates duplicate listings in its library and exhibits other quirky behavior like splitting songs from the same into two albums whenever a guest artist is "featured" on a track or two. Cheers,
Spencer
change the options settings to prevent that splitting


re: "why" above:
I am curious what process inside iTunes could be causing it to sound worse than other software...

If you have no idea why, then just describe the methodology in your comparison listening tests.
@randy-11 

Randy, even with changed options in iTunes, album splitting still occurs on some albums and other software doesn't have this annoyance.

You'd have to ask Apple about all the processes running in their O/S and iTunes. If you read the hundreds of pages on CA written by Damien the author of Audirvana+ or by the HQ Player guy, Miska, they comment at length on some aspects of that. I am not going to repeat it all here for you. It's long, technical and some of it is over my head.

I have no interest in wasting my time detailing my listening protocol for you. It's pretty clear that you are skeptical of my claims and that's fine with me. Try the free demoes of the suggested software with your own ears, rig & listening protocol and decide what's best for you. I'm here to help people not get into a pissing match over Applelove or whatever. Cheers,

Spencer