Update 2010-Jan-21: For playback of FLAC in Windows 7, use either the xiph.org Directshow Filters or the Shark007 Codec Pack.
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.
thank what a big help =D
Thanks! This answered all my questions and, with a few extra reboots, worked perfectly!
That works wonderfully. Thanks
hey man…thanks a whole lot
wish i had these kinda skills
you guys really make life a whole lotta fun
thanks again you all
keep up d good work
i will make sure and tell ppl bout dis stuff
Worked flawless didnt have to even reboot media player i h ad it open during the installs lol and still worked on first flac file double click thanks alot!
Tks!!! This is all I need! 🙂
Very clear and easy to use step-by-step. Thanks, now I have great audio on my windows media center instead of the really compressed mp3…
Just a little stuck on step 3. What program do you go to tools in??
Sorry, that was for an the previous version of Windows Media Player. I removed it since it doesn’t apply to the latest version.
Is this method still valid in setting up WMC in Windows 7?
For playback of FLAC in Windows 7, use either the xiph.org Directshow Filters or the Shark007 Codec Pack.
Does anybody use Last.fm? I can’t figure out how to scrobble using WMP. For some reason the last.fm scrobbler isn’t reading any of the track lengths… and they aren’t even showing up in WMP. The entire “Length” column is just blank. Thanks for the tutorial btw Carlton.
Yes, WMP Tag Support Extender doesn’t read the track lengths. However, the WMP Tag Plus plug-in does (http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/wmptagplus), so you can install that instead. Then, re-add the FLAC files to your library. Their length will now show up, and they will be scrobbled to Last.fm when played.
I installed it but for some reason only one of my albums is giving me track lengths… whatever.
Did you remove existing FLAC files from the library, and re-add them, after installing WMP Tag Plus? Also, make sure that WMP Tag Support Extender is uninstalled, to prevent conflicts.
Thanks, this works great on Windows 7
OK, I have downloaded the suggested sites and all the FLAC music loaded into WMP. But some of the music loaded into the “UNKNOWN” file. Any suggestions as to how I can get ALL the music into correct albums?
Did you install WMP Tag Plus, or WMP Tag Support Extender? Usually, removing the FLAC files from library, and then re-adding them, should fix this.
That fixed everything. Thanks
Although an old topic: I have installed wmpplus and i’m able to play the flac. But for some reason all my flac’s are placed in one folder ” unknown” so i have 188 flac files though i have tagged them all with mp3tag. Anybody else had this problem ?
Do you mean Windows Media Player Plus? That’s another plug-in of mine, but you will need WMP Tag Plus for FLAC support. Please make sure that you have the correct plug-in (WMP Tag Plus) installed.
Thank you for your reply. By removing the the files and adding them again it seems to work.
So what i did was remove the files from the library and then pressed F3 to insert previous deleted files.
Only four files couldn’t be found so i deleted those 🙂
Bad link for Illiminable Ogg Directshow Filter. Website is gone? I did find the file (opencodecs_0.85.17777.exe) at Afterdawn, and an identical file at http://www.xiph.org/dshow/downloads/
I’d think the second link would be more up to date.
Comment editor wouldn’t load … probably a firewall issue. Also got a certificate warning from your website. Drat.
Anyway … forgot to mention … I’m using MCE 2005. Don’t know if the Illuminable package was tweaked special for that. I’m just assuming the generic OGG package would work?
Thanks for the feedback on the links; I’ve updated them. Yes, the generic OGG package should work without issue.