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You Can Now Play FLAC Audio Files in Google Chrome

Dave Parrack 13-01-2017

With the release of Chrome 56, Google Chrome is finally adding support for FLAC. In a nutshell this means Chrome users will be able to play FLAC audio files directly from within their web browser. Audiophiles around the world, rejoice!


The latest version of Google’s web browser, Chrome 56, is currently available in the beta channel. It should be available in the stable channel as early as next week. And when it arrives, it will bring with it support for FLAC.

As first spotted by 9to5Google, Chrome 56 adds support for the FLAC audio format to Chrome for the first time. Chrome users have been asking Google to support FLAC since 2011, and Google has finally seen fit to acquiesce to those demands.

What Is FLAC Anyway?

FLAC, which stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, is a lossless audio format The 10 Most Common Audio Formats: Which One Should You Use? You know about MP3, but what about AAC, FLAC, OGG, or WMA? Why do so many audio file formats exist and is there a best audio format? Read More with a growing reputation. FLAC files are typically large, being, on average, around six times the size of an MP3.

However, the flipside is that FLAC files offer a higher sound quality than your typical MP3. This is why FLAC files are beloved by audiophiles. And if you can’t tell the difference between an ordinary MP3 and a FLAC, you’re probably not an audiophile Are You an Audiophile? These 10 Questions Reveal the Truth You might think you are an audiophile, but in reality very few music lovers tick all of the necessary boxes. Are you really an audiophile? Or are you just a great pretender? Read More .

Once you have Chrome 56 installed on your computer, FLAC files will open in a barebones media player. This applies whether the FLAC file is local or located on the web. As an aside, the latest version of Chrome OS The Chrome OS Challenge: A New User's Day on a Chromebook What are Chromebooks like for someone who's used to a Windows or Mac setup? As a newcomer to Chrome OS, I'm here to tell you. Read More already offers support for FLAC.


Especially Useful for Mac Users

Windows 10 and any apps which take advantage of its API already offer native support for FLAC. However, macOS does not offer native support for FLAC, which means Mac users currently have to use something like VLC 6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know About There's a reason VLC is called the Swiss Army Knife of media players. This article identifies six awesome VLC features and explains how to use them. Read More . Now, Mac users with Chrome installed have another option.

Do you use Google Chrome as your main web browser? Do you listen to FLAC audio files on a regular basis? Will you be making use of Chrome’s support for FLAC? Do you think other browsers should follow Google’s example? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Will Folsom via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Google Chrome, Streaming Music.

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  1. seano
    January 13, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    "eight times the size of a CD-quality MP3.", well more like 3 times the size...