Google's adding native Chrome support for FLAC lossless audio files

Google's Chrome browser will be able to play FLAC files by the end of January—as will Firefox.

Google is adding a little treat for audiophiles in the next version of Chrome. Chrome 56, which is expected to roll out by the end of January, is coming with native support for FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio files meaning you can play the high-quality sound files directly in the browser, as first noticed by 9to5Google.

Chrome isn’t the only browser rolling native FLAC support into its feature set. Mozilla is also adding FLAC support to Firefox 51, which is scheduled for mainstream release around January 24.

chromeflac Ian Paul

A FLAC file playing in Chrome for Windows.

The current version of Chrome’s FLAC support isn’t particularly robust or beautiful to look at. If you select to playback a FLAC file with Chrome it will start playing in its own tab with a basic player. The playback window won’t include album artwork or anything else to look at, just a simple black background.

flaccrhomeos Ian Paul

FLAC playback in Chrome OS.

FLAC support is already live in Chrome OS version 55 on Chromebooks. Click on a FLAC file in Chrome OS and it opens in the system’s audio player complete with album art.

The impact on you at home: Many programs can play FLAC in Windows 10 thanks to the operating system’s native support for the codec. Mac users, however, aren’t so lucky and must turn to third-party software such as VLC or (soon) Chrome. While not a good visual experience, FLAC in Chrome could be useful on a Mac for those times you need a quick and easy way to hear a FLAC file. It’s not clear if the audio support is making its way to Chrome on iOS, but if it does it would be useful there where native FLAC support is also absent.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags chrome

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?