If you are a music enthusiast, you must be familiar with lossless music formats, FLAC, for example, is one of the most famous formats for lossless music. However, many people meet some problems when they use Windows Media Player to play Flac file. This tutorial will show you the reasons and how to solve it with different solutions.

Part 1: Introduction to Flac

What are FLAC files anyway? FLAC stands for “Free Lossless Audio Codec”, basically it is an audio format that is similar to MP3 but compared to MP3, FLAC is lossless, which means that audio compressed in FLAC is without any loss in quality. Being similar to how Zip works, with FLAC you will get much better compression quality because FLAC is designed specifically for audio, and you can playback compressed FLAC files in most of your favorite player, your car or home stereo.

Being the fastest and most widely supported lossless audio codec, FLAC is the only one that at once is non-proprietary, is unencumbered by patents. It has an open-source reference implementation, and has several other independent implementations. That’s why FLAC is so popular and widely used for lossless music compression.

Part 2: Why Windows Media Player Won’t Play Flac File

If you want to play FLAC in Windows Media Player, things are going to be a little tricky. A number of playback failures could happen. Although being able to play most audio files, Windows Media Player cannot play FLAC directly. The reason is associated with the Flac plugin for Windows Media Player. If you don’t know about the Flac plugin for Windows Media Player codec yet, well, Flac codec for Windows 7 media player is a piece of software that is capable of encoding or decoding video and audio data from files or streams. In the case of Windows Media Player Flac codec is lacking or corrupted, any file with Flac extension won’t be able to play on Windows Media Player.

Part 3: Installing Flac Codec on Windows Media Player

Will Windows Media Player play Flac files by downloading free Flac codec for Windows Media Player? Luckily, the answer is supposed to be firm that there are a bunch of Windows Media Player 12 Flac codec packs downloadable online. FLAC can be played by Windows Media Player if you install the proper FLAC codec Windows Media Player. So, how to install FLAC codec Windows Media Player and how to play FLAC in Windows Media Player? Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Download the free Flac codec for Windows Media Player.

Step 2: Close Windows Media Player if it’s running, and then open the free Flac codec for Windows Media Player setup file.

Step 3: Choose “Detailed Installation” on the first screen of the installer, Click “Next”, Read the end-user license agreement (EULA) and then click the “I Agree” button.

Step 4: On the “Choose Components” screen there is a list of codecs that are automatically selected for installation. If you want the full support of all the formats provided, it’s best to leave these default selections. However, if you’re only interested in installing audio codecs, you can deselect other options.

Step 5: Click “Install”. Like a lot of free software, Media Player Codec Pack comes with a potentially unwanted program. To avoid installing this extra software, remove the check in the box on the “Install Additional Software” screen. When the installation is finished, you are good to go.

Part 4: Convert Flac to MP3 to Play on Windows Media Player

Installing Windows Media Player Flac codec can make your Windows Media Player able to play FLAC files and some other media files that weren’t supported earlier. To be honest, it is indeed a little bit troubling. The corresponding codec pack is required every time when you want to play a file that is not supported by Windows Media Player. There is an easier way to solve it, which is to transcode FLV to other formats that are compatible with your Windows Media Player. For instance, it is possible to convert Flac to MP3 which can be fully supported by Windows Media Player. By this point, a powerful file convert is highly demanded.

Leawo Video Converter is developed as a professional audio and video converter program which focuses on lossless conversion. Available for lossless formats such as audio files of FLAC, WAV, ALAC, video containers of MP4, MKV, MOV, etc., the versatile application can process all the files with quality support up to 4K. Covering the entire codec base, users are allowed to output over 180 types, even HD/4K resolution videos. There are plenty of profile presets for novices who have no experience in dealing with conversion, which includes portable devices of iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, gaming consoles, and so on. For shortening the conversion time, it is accelerated by the GPU so as to reach 6 times higher speed. An internal video editor is attached for individual usage whereas a picture slideshow maker can also be found.


Now, I will show you the way to make a Flac extension for Windows Media Player stream by Leawo Video Converter.

Step 1. Download and install the excellent Leawo FLAC converter on your PC. The software works seamlessly on both Mac and Windows systems.

Step 2. Launch the program and load FLAC files. Simply click on the “Add Video” to open a folder viewer and import FLAC content. It is more convenient to drag the files onto the interface.

Step 3. Go to the output format page. Choose the “MP4 Video” and “Change” button continuously to access the profile settings.

Step 4. Determine the desired profile. You can check different labels on the top looking for a suitable format. It totally allows personal definitions.

Step 5. Initiate the FLAC transformation. Go back to the main entrance and click on the green ”Convert”. Pick up a location and put it to the “Save to” box. At last, hit the bottom “Convert” to start.

Part 5: Free Alternative to Play Flac File

When it comes to playing FLAC files, Windows Media Player with an extra codec pack is not always the best solution as you have to make sure the Flac plugin for Windows Media Player is correct. Instead of keeping using Windows Media Player, it’s suggested you use another media player program as a replacement for Windows Media Player.

Top 1. Leawo Blu-ray Player

As a matter of fact, you just need to possess this excellent program that is powerful enough to play all of the formats you need and solve the problem once and for all. Leawo Blu-ray Player is a free media player that fully supports almost all kinds of video and audio files you can get, including FLAC, AAC, AC3, APE, DTS. Leawo Blu-ray Player can play those video or audio files without any quality loss while retaining the best quality. What’s more, this Blu-ray Player can play all kinds of Blu-ray or DVD disc, folder or ISO files, even advanced soundtracks like Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, DTS-HD (including 5.1, 7.1 channels). As a region-free player, it has the ability to bypass any single protected Blu-rays or DVDs with zero issues. Meanwhile, it provides various open options to tweak parameters and free control. Featuring 4K Blu-ray movie content output, it can create MKV files from Blu-ray/DVD discs regardless of limitations.

Top 2. VLC Media Player

Receiving tons of positive reviews, VLC Media Player is a well-known multimedia player that works on diverse platforms including Windows, Android, and Linux. As an open-source media player, this FLAC player is free yet brilliant for tons of video and audio reproductions. Besides, it offers MP3, MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV, VOB, and other widely-seen files. The additional converter can serve to particular formats. Sometimes, a couple of file content could be fixed.

Top 3. Real Player

Created by Real networks, it had been leading the main digital trend towards RealMedia over the last decades. Even though the graphic design is classic and lacks modernism, it provides smooth decoding for FLAC with great solutions. Unlike Windows Media Player, for which you have to install extra codecs to add formats support, all the popular formats even lossless FLAC content support is built-in so that you can directly play any media file you want with one click.