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I have Windows 7 and Windows Media Player 12 (I think it's the x86 not the x86-64 version but I'm not sure -- how can I be sure?) and I want a way to play FLAC files in it. I want a way to do it which is seamless and reversible. What's the best way to do this?


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

To be sure of x64/64-bit or x86/32-bit, press Windows Flag+Pause/Break and take a look at the System type: section.

As for FLAC audio on Windows Media Player, you will need a codec to play them.

By far the easiest thing to do is go to Ninite and choose the K-Lite Codecs option. This will install K-Lite in the bare minimum configuration and should add FLAC support to Windows Media Player.

If you do not want to use Ninite, here is a link to K-Lite's homepage.

Also, if you haven't used it yet, I would highly recommend you take a look at VLC Media Player (Also available on Ninite). It allows FLAC audio out the box and you don't have to mess around with any messy codecs!

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Playing FLAC files in WMP & Media Center:

Currently Windows Media Player and Media Center don’t include native file support for a number of lossless audio codecs including FLAC, OGG, and basically anything other than Microsoft’s own WMA files. There is a cure for this minor omission though so no worries.

We suggest that 32-bit users download and install the madFlac decoder from madshi. For 64-bit users, codecs for both x64 and x86 versions of windows can be found at Xiph’s open source site. The files linked above are the latest versions available at the time of this post but you should check Xiph’s page to check for updated versions.

(read entire post for more details)

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The filters work for FLAC as well as other common open source formats:

Then Windows Media Player or any other DirectShow application (e.g. BSPlayer) will be able to play Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, Ogg Theora, Ogg FLAC, native FLAC, and WebM files.

After installing this, I was able to double-click on a .flac file and have it play back in Windows Media Player in Windows 7 x64 no problem.

(and if you need these ogg/flac music files to be indexed in the WMP music library alongside typical .mp3 and .wma and .aac music files, check out as linked by Krazy Kaos in another answer here.)

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Personally I use Shark007 codec pack, as it's easy to setup and doesn't create loads of crap I don't, and bundles all the settings into 1 easy application:

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