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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 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.
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 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. 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