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Try the Best FLAC Player for Mac

How to Play FLAC Files on Mac - Guide

Since FLAC is not part of the Apple ecosystem, you’ll need a FLAC player to play this file format on Mac. Luckily, there are solutions such as the Elmedia music player for Mac to play FLAC files on Mac and countless other formats. Let’s consider a roundup of the best music players.

Top choice
Elmedia Player Free
4.8 Rank based on 1531+ users, Reviews(793)
Lets find the best way how to play FLAC files on Mac.

FLAC is an open music format with royalty-free licensing. With FLAC, audio is compressed without any loss in quality, but at half the size, making it perfect for preserving audio collections.

But Apple devices do not support FLAC playback and if you want to listen to music in its true sound, you should get the best music player for Mac. Using a third-party media player, you will be able to play FLAC files without installing any extra codecs. Some even support such video file formats as WMV, MPEG.

Best Way How to Play FLAC Files on Mac with Elmedia

Elmedia Player Free

4.8 Rank based on 1531 + users Reviews(793)
Requirements: OS X 10.12+
Version: v8.4(3056), Released 16 Mar, 2022 Release notes
Category: Video

Elmedia Player is one of the most popular ways to play FLAC on Mac. Of course, there’s a lot more choice nowadays, but Elmedia still stands out with its smooth performance. It’s an easy-to-use Mac FLAC player with a great interface. Of course, it serves as an excellent MP3 Player for Mac as well. It’s easy to see why people consider it the best music app for Mac.

Elmedia provides a great deal of control, but the features don’t stop at that. Importantly, it provides an extensive playlist functionality, allowing a high degree of customization. You can’t deny one of the biggest advantages of this FLAC player - macOS compatibility updates, especially for later versions like Monterey. Finally, no additional components are required to use this masterpiece of an app.

Best music player for Mac.

icon pros Pros

  • Fine-tune all sound aspects via a 10-band graphic equalizer
  • Stream music from your iPhone to your Mac
  • Intelligently organize music playlists
  • Allows you to play FLAC files on Mac, as well as MP3, OGG, and various video formats.

icon cons Cons

  • Not entirely free; full capabilities are unlocked by upgrading.

How to Play FLAC Files on Mac using Elmedia:

1

Download Elmedia from the official website and install it on your Mac.


The download will only take you a couple of minutes.

2

Play your music

To play FLAC on Mac, you need to add the files in Elmedia Player. Use either of the ways listed below:

  • - Drop FLAC files on the player window or onto the dock icon.
  • - Right-click a FLAC file in Finder and choose to "Open With". Select Elmedia Player from the list of apps.
  • - In Elmedia, select "File" from the main menu, navigate to your file and click "Open".

If the file cannot be played, then the file is most likely corrupted.

3
Don’t stop there. There’s so much more you can do with Elmedia. Give it a chance, and a whole new world of sound will open before you.
You can try the Elmedia Player for free.

Find the FLAC Player for Mac

Elmedia is the right choice when you want to stream via DLNA or AirPlay. It will cast both image and sound to your Smart TV, providing the same options and controls you would have on your Mac. Thus, wherever you watch or listen, be it a Chromecast TV, an iPad, or even a different Mac, Elmedia Player will always ensure that you have a complete experience. It is the best FLAC player Mac users can find.

5KPlayer

5KPlayer is another great option when it comes to how to play FLAC on Mac. 5K should definitely be considered by music enthusiasts, because it produces consistently smooth, rich sound. After all, what would be the point of lossless music if your player couldn’t fully reproduce it? Not only playing FLAC tracks, 5KPlayer allows you to wirelessly stream audio and video via AirPlay and DLNA without quality loss.

Other than that, the player incorporates some secondary features, like Wi-Fi radio, and serves as an online video downloader so that you can download audio and videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc. This one isn’t as simple as it looks.

5KPlayer is a cover-all online video downloader with lots of features.

icon pros Pros

  • Supports DTS multi-channel surround sound
  • Hardware acceleration for fast FLAC playing
  • Allows you to download online videos
  • Supports AirPlay and DLNA
  • Downloads from online platforms such as YouTube, Vevo, SoundCloud, etc.

icon cons Cons

  • Complicated interface takes some time getting used to.

Audirvana

If you want to take it to the next level, you should try Audirvana. It’s an audio streaming and playback service that provides superior audio playback and advanced features. Apart from being able to play FLAC files on Mac, Audirvana supports other multi-channel files such as ALAC, AIFF, WAV, etc.

What sets it apart is that it delivers Hi-Fi sound by applying three core solutions: control of the audio flow, noise reduction, and DAC (digital to analog converter) adaptation. With heavy audiophiles in mind, Audirvana is arguably one of the best FLAC players Mac users can get their hands on.

Perfect for those who work with music regularly.

icon pros Pros

  • Good UI and UX
  • Easy-to-use user support
  • Multi-channel support.

icon cons Cons

  • It’s quite pricey and offers no free version.

VLC

This suggestion shouldn’t surprise you. VLC is highly customizable and works on all platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux. VLC has a massive toolkit at its back, and the ability to play .flac on Mac is far from the only thing it can boast.

Some go as far as to call it the best media player; we think it’s a bit extreme, but it does have one massive merit. VLC is completely free, down to the last feature. No payment is necessary to experience the app in its entirety - thus, whatever you gain from it, either way, nothing was ventured.

Universal solution for all types of OS.

icon pros Pros

  • Can be used with mostly keyboard commands
  • No codec installation required
  • Works on macOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS.

icon cons Cons

  • The interface could use an update
  • Crashes occasionally
  • No music library feature.

Ecoute

Ecoute is a standalone music player for Mac and iOS platforms that supports FLAC format and is capable of playing videos and podcasts as well. Apart from that, with this FLAC player for Mac, you can share the tracks you listen to on, for example, Last.fm and Twitter. Ecoute features a clean and minimalistic design and comes with a desktop controller for easy playlist management.

Ecoute also supports mobile devices.

icon pros Pros

  • Lightweight and easy-to-use
  • Built-in desktop controller
  • Compatible with Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm.

icon cons Cons

  • Not many features compared to its competitors.

VOX

VOX is another very well-known Mac FLAC player - here’s why. It’s designed for Hi-Res music and first-class sound quality. The app also comes with various advanced audio settings (e.g. a 10-band equalizer, bass audio engine, etc.). It supports a wide range of audio file formats.

What’s more, it has a built-in radio with over 30K Internet radio stations. The UI is stylish and easy to navigate. Some features such as gapless playback, unlimited cloud storage, playlist syncing are only available in the premium version (at $4.99/month), so do keep in mind that the free version is quite basic. Still, this is a great FLAC player Mac users would appreciate - especially heavy listeners.

An excellent free application with a user-friendly interface.

icon pros Pros

  • Ideal app for music aficionados
  • 5.1 multi-channel audio playback
  • Wide range of functions and customization options
  • Sync between Mac and iOS
  • Unlimited cloud storage for music.

icon cons Cons

  • Most features are only available with the paid version
  • CPU-heavy
  • Basic version is too stripped.

Decibel

Decibel is an audio player designed to meet the needs of music lovers. The app can play all popular lossless and compressed audio formats, including FLAC, WavPack, AIFF, AAC, as well as supports continuous playback with smooth transitions between tracks. On top of that, Decibel uses a built-in hog mode, thus avoiding any distortions in audio quality related to the sample rate conversion process.

Decibel is an audio player tailored to the particular needs of audiophiles.

icon pros Pros

  • Supports many formats
  • Intuitive and simple interface.

icon cons Cons

  • Some functionality is actually paid
  • Certain adjustment settings are missing.

FLAC, ALAC, AAC, M4A, WMA: What’s the Difference?

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) and ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) are lossless formats, designed for high fidelity sound. These two formats are pretty much equal in terms of sound quality. The only difference comes in terms of device compatibility: ALAC is an Apple-specific format which can be played by iTunes. Of course, if you wish to play FLAC on Mac, there’s certainly a way - apps such as the Elmedia Player can do just that.

MP3 is the most common lossy format. It is definitely the most well-supported format, however, it provides lower sound quality than the lossless FLAC and ALAC above. Next, on to the lossy formats. Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. Still, AAC actually offers better quality than MP3 at the same bitrate.


If you work with music, then you will definitely have to play the FLAC files.


Other lossy formats include WMA. It is not so widely supported compared to MP3. So, if you wish to play WMA on Mac, you need an all-around good player which supports the WMA file type.

M4A, another popular Apple file type, is usually coded with AAC, making it a lossy format. However, M4A is actually a container. This means you can choose from several different audio codecs depending on your needs.

For example, if you use the ALAC audio codec for M4A, it will preserve all of the detail, while still keeping file sizes smaller. Again, to play this file type on both macOS and Windows, you can use a versatile M4A player such as Elmedia - it can open an extensive range of files.

Which audio format you choose depends on a variety of factors: what device or accessories you plan to listen to your music on; how much space you have available; etc. But ultimately, the important thing is to actually have the ability to play all your music, regardless of the file type, and this is when truly good music players come into play.

If you have a FLAC file on Mac, solutions such as Elmedia can play it without any effort, while also providing you with a range of additional functions and settings to make for an enjoyable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

With Elmedia, this is painfully easy. It takes nothing more than a few clicks to use, and, in turn, provides an unforgettable experience. You may even end up using it for other formats. For example, you can easily use Elmedia as a M4A player and play M4A files without quality loss.

Apple chose not to support FLAC on their systems. This was probably intended to reduce competition for their own ALAC. Regardless, there are more options outside of Apple Music (formerly iTunes): Elmedia Player, VOX, and Colibri come to mind.
We described our selection of the best FLAC players for Mac in this article. Elmedia Player is the best audio player for Mac for a number of reasons. It’s an intuitive, versatile app with various perks, such as a 10-band equalizer, selection of playback channels for surround sound, and more. It integrates well with your Mac for a native macOS feel. Also, Elmedia works with Chromecast, AirPlay, and DLNA, providing a seamless experience across all your devices.
Being one of the most popular and widely used media players, VLC supports FLAC as well. There is no need to install any additional codecs to play FLAC files. Also, VLC is a great WMA player.
Elmedia Player Free
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 89.44MB of free space
Version 8.4(3056) (16 Mar, 2022) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication