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It looks like there's some good news for audiophiles in Microsoft's next Windows iteration. Teased via a tweet, it appears that Windows 10 will officially come with FLAC support for all of your lossless audio needs.

The news was teased by Gabriel Aul in a picture posted to twitter (shown above) showing FLAC files listed in Windows Media Player. It appears that the support will come via an update after the new year, with the caption stating:

Keen eyed #WindowsInsiders will notice something cool about this pic. Something to look forward to in the new year!

The teaser comes after Microsoft added support for MKV files in Windows 10 just over a month ago.

Are you excited for native FLAC support in Windows 10? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Gabriel Aul

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

184 Comments
  • What does it stand for? Sorry...i don't know...
  • http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flac Just a Bing search away ;)
  • http://letmebingthatforyou.com/?q=FLAC
  • That sir... Was awesome!!!
  • It is a high quality audio format, stunning quality... It is great to see windows supporting this
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • Let me google that for you
  • have you googled?
  • *Binged
  • *Bing
  • Google :0
  • Great, now fix Windows Media Player
  • THIS! Please.
  • They really need to do this. Aesthetically, it's garbage. Hopefully all built-in desktop apps get a visual overhaul at the very least.
  • I'm hoping the old holdover apps will be replaced by fast, fluid, modern UI versions that also work on Windows 8.1. Not a fan of 10 so far.
  • How is it possible that you like Windows 8.1 but not 10?
  • Because we love Metro UI
  • Good.. Now there will be more audio/video apps
  • Well it doesn't matter how much you have tried windows 10, until next year it won't be totally ready, so a lot of things could change by that
  • Music app and video app. Do people still use wmp???
  • Windows Media Player is leagues ahead of the crappy metro music and video apps. Proper playlist support for one.
  • 'Sup? I use it paired with Sharks Codec Pack. Can play pretty much any format there is.
  • Yes, every day.
  • Since apps can run windowed in 10, they just have to update Music and Video app the very least with same capabilities with the desktop player and problem solved!
  • ^^^^ This
  • I don't use WMP because it's not updated to the new design of Windows, actually I find more easy to use iTunes. They should add features to the modern UI apps of music and video and get rid of WMP. Maybe get rid of music and video apps and make a modern UI WMP :D and with options to edit the metadata of the music files.
  • Believe it or not I still use Zune. I prefer it over wmp.
  • #Ditto
  • I done Xbox Music, VLC, ITunes, WMP, WMC, XBMC, and Zune software. I love Zune music player over anything else.
  • That's the one thing I could never understand. I know the device Zune died out, but the player is sweet. Of only they could've let Windows Phone 8 connect to it, or just make Zune a metro app, all would've been good.
  • Zune is slow and just a beautiful skin, is that really what you want? a player, a simple player that consumes more than one tab of IE just to listen to music? again, after a beautiful skin what it has? it was crappy to navigate, it was bad to tag music it was bad to put music on phone, it was bad for most things. it only had nice visual elements but UI navigation is so bad... I don't get why people say Zune was good player, when it needs more resources and navigation was never a nice thing compared to other players.
  • This. I never really "got" the Zune desktop client, I really only used it out of necessity on my Lumia 900. I didn't particularly like it. Never liked iTunes either. Or Windows Media Player... But I did like the Music Hub on WP7 and WP8. And I've not had any problems with Xbox Music w/Music Pass on Windows 8. Xbox Music on WP8.1 sucked at first, but a couple months and one hard reset later: I'm complacent. Still needs a lot of work, but honestly: No worse than it ever was using Zune for desktop, iTunes, the default iOS music player on iOS 5 on my first gen iPad, or WMP. I accept that I'm the overwhelming minority, but eh: I also am literally the only person with a Lumia 1020 and/or a Surface in my school, so I'm used to being the odd one out. :P
  • I'm not sure if you're referring to the Zune desktop client here. It doesn't use IE tabs for anything.
    I've not seen an app that does all those things you mention better or more elegantly than the Zune desktop client.
  • +929
  • I always use Zune too. Miles ahead of iTunes and Xbox Music.
  • I use ZUNE, (desktop) when I'm not using Windows Media Center. Always have. Never liked the messy wmp UI
  • What's there to fix in it?
  • The old UI is kind of crap on high DPI monitors IIRC.
    I agree with what some others has said, just adjust the UI to "Metro desktop" style, no need to overhaul it entirely, just improve it.
  • I thought Windows could adjust the dpi settings through the compatibility options
  • But not everything scales properly.  Some icons and text look fine, others look like crud.   It's definitely a janky experience.
  • Or replace it with Zune
  • And have 2 apps for the same thing? Let me correct the comment for you: "Great, now fusion Xbox Music and Windows Media Player"  
  • Imho they should just toss Xbox music and wmp and replace it with Zune.
  • They basically need to merge WMP with the old Zune software.
  • Was Zune really that good? I never used it when it was alive
  • Re: Sugar Limaya,
    ZUNE is alive and well. It is a beautiful elegant free desktop download from Microsoft. It runs on XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. It logs into Xbox Movie & Video, if you wish and syncs your media.
  • Really? I didn't know that..
    And thanks for ruining my name xD
  • use xbox music xD
  • Those little differences they keep adding could actually make an impact ... Still wish they could've done more with 9879, but we'll get there hopefully.
  • They need to bring movie maker back and paint both modernized desktop!
  • Wise words
  • Movie maker is still there. Try Windows Essentials. 
  • Not it's not there, a butchered software with the same name is included instead.
  • Wow, MKV and FLAC! Microsoft probably just buried VLC. Serves them right for screwing over Windows users with their crummy Metro app they took money for and doesn't even work properly. Great work Microsoft!
  • VLC has always been useless since there is Media Player Classic Home Cinema which is free as VLC, but lighter and better :)
  • No doubt! VLC would be a distant memory if it weren't for being bundled with KLite (it is klite that comes with VLC, right?) and the best video player for *nix. I have an old HP tc4400 with a Core 2 processor and a run of the mill Intel graphics chipset and VLC wont play 1080p with Windows 8 or any Linux distro I have used) MPC + CCCP + Windows 8.1 for all your HD video needs.
  • Nope, it's Media Player Classic that comes with the K-Lite Codec packs. Haven't looked back at VLC since trying Media Player Classic.
  • and then Potplayer is better player than VLC and MPC-HC ;) and yes, it is free and has really nicer features! Better better better! and I use it as both, audio and video player. and you don't need K-Lite Codec or anything, built-in codecs work nice but it's easy to add other codecs like LAV ones, or also you can add renderer stuff like madVR. so I vote for PotPlayer as best best best! ^____________^
  • I switched to MPC years ago when I was having issues with VLC. Started having issues with MPC not playing everything flawlessly and have since went back to VLC with no problems.
  • If wmp can play all my content, why would I bother downloading vlc, mpc, or anything else. If only it look as awesome as Zune software
  • I find it easier to create, save and use playlists on MPC, to manage your audio setup and to set the time delay for the subtitles, that's why I'd use it over MediaPlayer :)
    @_emi_ I'll definitely try Potplayer, never heard of it :D
  • Aside from UI issues, it can't.  It can't play DTS or DD (amongst other formats) without additional add-ins.   This is more interesting that the OS will understand it than windows media player does.
  • I hope that xbox One will also have FLAC support (or is that W10 anyway)
  • Well, that's something.
  • Flac is used for what?
  • Uncompressed audio.
  • Technically it's compressed audio, but lossless unlike most other formats.
  • You are correct. I meant lossless. Thanks.
  • It's a lossless format. It's useful if you want to, for example, make a copy of a music CD to have in your car. You can rip the CD in FLAC and then burn the files to a new CD, thus avoiding damaging the original and having a copy that didn't suffered any loss of sound quality.
  • Not exactly sure, but judging by the file sizes in the screenshot and what's in the article, I'd say it's used for editing tracks or creating ones with a very high quality of sound. ​
  • It also sounds much better than a regular mp3 file which is love to the ears! :)
  • Sometimes. If the mp3s are ripped correctly, most of the time you're not going to notice a difference. That's not to say FLAC isn't worth it, its just not -always- worth it.
  • Play flac files on Hifi equipment and you will hear the difference easily. Even if the recording and mastering is junk, you'll still be able to hear the difference on nicer equipment. Unless you're partially deaf. To me, lossless files are *always* worth it.
  • That's not true at all.  Do a proper ABX test first and you'll probably find that the difference between mp3 and FLAC is actually much much less than what most people claim (I've done it on my quite expensive HiFi setup).  Not only is modern mp3 compression really good, the quality of music depends on more factors than compression algorithum.  For example what's currently ruining music is after processing (look up "loudness war") by music studios much more than audio compression.  When the music is already ruined before being put on disk, no amount of lossless compression can save your music. That said, having the support build into Windows is a welcome addition.  FLAC is a good archiving format over storing pure WAV files.
  • To describe mp3 compression as "really good" is pretty misleading. Trash in, trash out.
  • yea there is always an exception to the rule, its like saying "sometimes a 8tb hdd is not always worth it compared to 120gb hdd" of course that depends on the contents, which are determined by the sources & creators of such contents and then the output meaning your speakers in this case
  • Basically FLAC is to audio, as RAW is to photography.
  • Windows 10 Like a Boss out of the box!
  • Never sing victory ahead of time
  • Moving in the right direction, I like it!
    On a different note, they should redesign wmp too, xbox music just doesn't cut it, wmp looks too web 2.0ish and ugly.  
  • Finally here :) Good news.
  • Not excited. WMA lossless is available in any Windows product since years.
  • I agree people just like being different, using wma for years
  • Yup. I agree
  • Lossless but not compressed
  • Agree Cruncher04. I use WMA Lossless for all of my music/burning CD's. I do transfer some of the music to my phones (Nokia N8 and Lumia 1020) but I don't get to store many tracks on my phone due to the size of the files. But it suits me fine as I don't have an interest in toting my entire music collection on my devices.
  • I hope they will also support Bluetooth aptX on an OS level if that's possible. At least they did it with Windows Phone.
  • About damned time IMHO...
  • I guess I wont need the KMplayer for windows 10.
  • Windowed Modern apps, customizable start screen / menu, mkv support, flac support. Seems everyone will love 10. Wait, it shows as NT10 now instead of NT.6.4? Drivers, please don't go belly up. Im looking at you Nvidia. Just kidding 10 is looking awesome!
  • Oh my gosh!!!!!!!! This is great news!!!!!
  • About time. Should mean hassle free streaming from OneDrive and natively on Windows phone from my desktop. I will continue to use Foobar2000 for desktop playing, of course. I can't believe it took so long for Microsoft to see how many potential users they were missing due to their stubborness. Another great decision, keep them coming.
     
  • It's ​unfortunate that foobar is so ugly
  • >not having the Zune theme
  • Ms is doing it right this time!
  • i prefer wav files for editting and playback. its more universal. i always convert flac files to wav. so this really doesnt help.
  • Can you play your WAVs on your phone?  I can't....
  • So if Windows 10 is going to support Flac natively, and Windows 10 is going to be the same OS across all devices including phones, it should be safe to say our phones will support Flac?
  • *Crossing my fingers*
  • It's not safe to say. But there is some hope.
  • I was just about to ask that same question before I read your post. I sure hope so though! Would finally be able to use my ear buds at their full potential!
  • It'll be native to the OS and Store apps will be able to use it meaning the support should be there for Windows Phone.
  • Yes it's just been confirmed Windows Phone 10 will get FLAC support as well.
  • If so, maybe I'll finally get WAV support on my phone.
  • What does FLAC support bring to the table that you don't get already with WMA Lossless, which has been in Windows since at least XP, and probably longer?
  • I'm not sure but FLAC is compressed, WMA is not, and have to say that in my case, WMA takes just a little more time to open and the size file is larger.
  • They're both comparable in terms of compression and output (i.e., they will both produce the orginal waveform once decoded, hence they're lossless). The difference is interoperability and choice. FLAC has hardware support in a wide range of devices especially in home streaming devices such as AVRs, Squeezebox-style streamers, etc. It is also much easier to work with on non-Windows computers (OS X, Linux, etc.) where WMA support is sketchy.
  • One is proprietary to Microsoft, WMA, the other, FLAC, is not.  It's a free and open source codec. People prefer FLAC because it's better for archiving purposes.   If Microsoft ever decides to no longer support WMA Lossless in their next OS (it's happened before, with the old Microsoft e-reader software format on Pocket PCs), you won't have your music collection turned useless.    
  • Native FLAC + MKV support, finally!!! Fuck-fuckity-fucking yeah!!!
  • its about freaking time !!!! Only 5- years later...been needing codecs for years to listen to my flac music
  • One windows so is there possibility that WP could be able to support flac?
  • That's what I said only a few posts above ^^^
  • The Microsoft engineer that tweeted this said that it's native to the OS and that Store (Metro) apps will support it also.  I have to assume that means Windows Phone also.
  • Oh the irony, they had to use their old Media/Music player that hasn't been updated in years, instead their recent creation, in order to tease/demo a new feature of their latest OS. That said, I do hope this is some sort of a sign that they plan on updating Media Player, as i personally prefer using it as opposed to Music app. Music app might look better but Media Player is just much better and easier to use, even to transfer songs/playlists to WP.
  • Maybe they'll update the UI to look like Zune.
  • I fucking hope they do.
  • Yes, Zune! The beauty and the functions.
  • +929
  • This is a good thing, but putting it in WMP is baffling. Not that theres a better option, but damn. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • cool. Now that I converted all my 4.500 FLAC songs to mp3 to work with Xbox Music app, I hope they add support for this app too, not only for WMP. BTW, WMP needs an urgent visual change
  • That's all good but what about audio equaliser over Bluetooth. Such a basic function missing
  • +929 also for WP
  • Great news! All we need to know now, is since Windows 10 uses the same core across profiles, will this native support be coming to Windows 10 on Phones?
  • That's what I... Oh nevermind...
  • MS is surprising me! Never expected mkv or flac to be supported nativly! Great!
  • About bloody time. Now how about updating the media player to view all ID3 taggable fields? Enabling smart playlists? Ensuring compatibility with Traktor and Serato for DJs? Include a track analyser to tag tracks for BPM and Key? If W10 wants to make up for the laziness of previous Windows iterations there is a lot of catching up to do to get the audio side of the OS into the 21st Century...
  • Who uses media player anyway... I don't know that many people who uses wmp... Even though it comes installed with every computer... iTunes better... I can easily edit album info and album art that actually syncs with Windows phone.. And vlc! Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • how about Bluetooth aptX ? any news on that, does any Windows Phone (other than HTC One)  / Lumia Phones have this function ?
  • So will WP support FLAC at some point, since Windows 10 is?
  • now that's a good question... since they are proposing windows 10 is the single OS for every Microsoft device, wp and even xbox should support it right? or to be more precise, all devices should share at least a 80-90% of features from its stem OS for desktops
  • Microsoft was recieving a lot of flak for not adding flac but now that they did, everyone is a happy flac :D
  • Windows 10 will be just ultimate(99.99) OS ..
  • why would this not be supported in xbox music as well ? I've been trying to get away from media player and use something more metro or morden  
  • I know, right?
  • it makes me proud to be a windows user, lol just look at this bad-assery, nothing comes even close, the absolute king of true computer OS'ses, and now its getting even better, every day, jeez, thats hard proof of what being the first + 30yo in business can do, makes me sad for wp though
  • Why are all these formats in the prehistoric Windows Media Player and not the Music/Video Modern apps?
  • possibly because Xbox music doesn't show the file format in the app?
  • i got Full FLAC suport on phones
  • Smells like pro upgrades will cost more
  • Hope it'll be supported on phones and ARM tablets too
  • Foobar+Potplayer Ftw! But yeah seriously UI overhaul as well as feature overhaul is required in Windows media player.
  • It's the little things that kill. Kill it MS! I love FLAC. FLAC me all night long.
  • Pls bring native support for vob formats in next update it will be awesome move
  • I really hope they change how WMP looks to how the Zune software looked like.
  • Doubt they'll ever move away from the skin api from win98 2nd ed./ME
  • " How the Zune software "looks" like."
  • Finally!
  • I expect the apps to be built on top of this update to be outstanding.  This is good news for Win X.
  • I have a feeling by the time win10 is released I wouldn't need to have klite codec pack, now we just need some support like this on win phone hopefully in win10 for phones
  • I hope they also add support for Ogg Vorbis.
  • Agreed! Isn't OGG a much more common format - and usable on practically every single device/sofware that isn't Safari or IE-based.
  • About freaking time :D
  • This translates to windows "phone" as well now right?
  • I wonder if they will still have a media center add-on anymore?
  • Good encoded 320kb/s are just as good as flac for listening. You cannot here any difference.
  • Maybe not on your gear.
  • Very true. If you can tell the difference, you have golden ears and are most likely in the wrong trade.
  • On your laptop speakers, yes. On good headphones/good speakersystem, no. I was also suspicious at first but heard the difference everytime.. Higher bitrate/hrz means clearer and less harsh sounds.
  • Do a proper ABX (double blind test), not just an AB (swap) test. Even on very-high end equipment the difference is quite tiny if at all there for most people. The difference is usually due to your brain perceiving things.
  • Yeah  . . . No. That's like comparing JPEG and PNG. Besides, there is no "good" or "bad" encoding with 320 MP3. It runs the same algorithm everytime, which essentially strips the frequencies deemed "inaudible". Stop spreading misinformation. Good formats and good gear make good music.
  • I can certainly hear the difference with my studio headphones.
  • Holy hell, MKV and FLAC? Awesome. Been wanting this for years. I'm stoked.
    Is it just me though, or are those file sizes pretty big for FLAC files based on the durations of the tracks?
  • Why wouldn't a new operating support a particular file type? That just seems silly to me that people would think an audio or video format wasn't compatible with an OS. Then again, the one can't do mkv, so go figure.
  • Awesome! Hopefully XBM will play these guys on phones. It will be nice to be able to pipe FLAC files to my car's head unit via USB.
  • Yeaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Best news so far!
  • That really good news!! I missed for to long.
  • Make Windows media player look like Windows 10 and not look like Windows 95. That's a long time. Maybe a combination with xbox Music. Be brave
  • this support is accross windows, not only WMP. so apps like xbox music will have no problems doing it, and since apps now run on a window, I think xbox music and video can replace it easily.
  • Led Zeppelin IV, anybody? :)
  • wow. this and MKV are the two best news of windows 10..... i dont know why, i just feel that i must watch things in the best quality i can find lol, not that i notice the difference.
  • It's a good thing, but most audiophiles I know, me included, prefers specific software for there lossless files (foobar2000 still the best)
  • Good news. I, however, play FLAC in WMP via KLite Codec Pack. Once you get to configure the codec pack in a correct way, WMP with EVR renderer simply outperforms a lot of the all-in-one players out there. For even better quality, MPC-HC+madVR can't be beaten in terms of video output quality especially if you have a pretty powerful GPU. The good news is that foobar2000 is developing apps for mobile OSs including WP, with "innovative never before seen abilities [sic]". Have to see how it shapes up.
  • Now i need the dvd playback back and im a happy person.
  • you can get it if you pay for it.... you know, it costed money for MS and it was useless for most people. especially when you can download something like Potplayer and play dvds with no pain. same as other free players that can play dvds with no problem.
  • This really great news... I think they should just incorporate the K-lite Codec pack....
  • WMP in todays form is unusable and ugly. Hope they release an update to a new version. I like xbox music but it is even less useful than WMP.. That's why I'm
    Using MusicBee it's powerful and customisable.
  • Why they still keep WMP, god please kill it and bring Zune or a new non-stream player that doesn't look like from 90s!
  • Now we just need ASIO audio drivers so our Surfaces can be used as garage recording studios. If this already exists, pls someone correct me.
  • Wish they also added .cue support.
  • Awesome now make a good player to support it.
  • Re: VS729, "what is flac"
    Yes, it would have been nice to have it briefly explained in the article, thankfully it was simply answered here in the comments.
  • Good move.
  • I'll keep using vlc as an all-in-one alternative as it can play just about any audio/video format in the world, including .rmvb that wmp cannot play. 
  • Zeppelin baby!