The Lossless Audio Blog is reporting that FLAC lossless audio files can now be played in Windows Media Center 2005. This is great news, because every music player I own now supports FLAC, the format I use to encode all of my music files. So I can listen to my FLAC music files at my PC using dbPowerAmp or one of many players, around the house on my Sonos, in my car with my PhatNoise PhatBox, and now in my home theater with Windows Media Center Edition 2005. If I had an iPod, the iPod Linux Project would allow my to play FLAC on my iPod as well. I’m glad to see see such wide support for FLAC. I won’t buy any type of music player that doesn’t support it from here on out.
Here is a brief summary of how the the process is supposed to work:
- Install Ogg Directshow Filter
- Install WMP Tag Support Extender (version 9.9.1 or later) (Update: WMP Tag Plus adds support for track length: http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/wmptagplus; consider using it instead)
- Double click a FLAC file in Windows Explorer and make sure it opens into Windows Media Player, if not associate it with Windows Media Player
- Set the plug-in to “Auto-Refresh on Start” and “Auto-Refresh on Add”. To do this, I started Windows Media Player, went to Tools menu -> Plug-ins -> Options, selected Background, selected WMPTagSupportExtender Plug-in, clicked Properties, and then finally checked the two auto-refresh boxes.
- Restart Windows Media Player
- You should see your FLAC library in Windows Media Player
- Switch to Windows Media Center; you should see your entire music library there as well
- If you don’t see the FLAC files, try this:
- Clear the Windows Media PLAYER library (Media Center uses the same library)
- Manually rescan your entire music collection including the flac folders (wait, wait, wait. . .) Note: simply automatically watching the folder did not work for me.
- You should now be able to view and play all of your FLAC music through Windows Media Center. Thanks for a great plug-in!
There is a discussion on WMPTagSupport Extender at the HydrogenAudio forum.