How to Play FLAC Files

by Tony Breedlove

FLAC (Free Loss-less Audio Codec) is a method of compressing and decompressing audio files, much like MP3; however, there are some very important differences. MP3 compression causes bits of the audio information to be deleted from the original recording so it is called a "lossy" codec. FLAC is a "loss-less" codec, so the FLAC file is exactly the same quality as the original recording. Another difference is that FLAC is a free codec, so manufacturers do not have to pay royalty fees to the developers of FLAC (every MP3 player maker must pay a royalty fee to the MP3 codec developers). FLAC is quickly becoming the number one codec for backing up original music. The FLAC codec is now being included in portable players; much like MP3 players, there are now players that will play FLAC files.

Download, install and run the free FLAC player (see Resources).

Click "Open File..."

Left-click and drag the FLAC file to the playlist.

Go to a site like Amazon and right-click on the album picture and click "Copy Image."

Right-click "Drag Album Artwork Here" and click "Paste" (the dragging function does not always work so it is better to copy and paste).

Double-click on your FLAC file to play it.


  • check Although there is a FLAC codec for Windows Media Player, it has some problems playing all FLAC files so it is better to use a player like Songbird, which has the FLAC codec built into it and is supported full time by a team of programmers.

About the Author

Tony Breedlove is a freelance writer for numerous online publications. He has written many articles, reviews and training courses. He has extensive experience in the computer engineering, technology, home and business security systems, CCTV systems and holds multiple professional certifications. He is also an avid student of philosophy, spirituality and political science.