Published in News

Chrome cops some FLAC

by on16 January 2017

In a good way

Google has begun adding FLAC support to Chrome, and it should be rolling out to the great unwashed very soon.

For those who came in late, FLAC files don’t remove any audio information during the compression process. That means the audio quality won’t degrade if the user rips audio from a CD and burns it back again, or repeatedly converts to and from uncompressed WAV files.

FLAC support is being tried out in Chrome’s beta build, and it’s live in the current version of Chrome OS, too. Chrome will open a bare-bones music player that takes over the entire tab to play the lossless content.

But it will save poor Apple fanboys who have been told by Tim Cook that they are not allowed to listen to FLAC content. Presumably this is because it will show up how terrible those expensive wireless headphones are.

But Mac users with Chrome installed will have an easy way to play back FLAC files.

The Tame Apple press is doing its best to reassure its fanboys that they don’t really need to play FLAC files. One even pointed out that FLAC files are extremely large and provide sound quality benefits only detectable to a seasoned audiophile listening with high-quality gear.

Of course, they are also hinting that Apple hard drives are too small to store FLAC and the sound reproduction on Apple hardware is pants which is a fair enough point. Still with Google providing the software, they can find out for themselves.

Windows 10 users don’t need it. While previous versions of Windows, FLAC users had to download third-party media players or plug-ins that specifically supported the format. Windows 10 has FLAC decoding as native.

Last modified on 16 January 2017
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