Does iTunes Support FLAC?

Although the average member of the Apple family probably is not familiar with Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), which is designed to deliver the rich quality of original recordings, audiophiles cannot live without it. When the quality of sound is of the essence, music aficionados would be hard-pressed to find a better audio file format. While Apple Lossless (ALAC) music format has managed to garner a devoted following among iPhone users, some still crave the alternative approach to lossless compression. Unfortunately, FLAC is not supported by iTunes, which puts music lovers in a bind: to switch to other devices or use ALAC?

The article has been written to help Apple users to play FLAC files on their iPhones and iPads.

FLAC Support

Recently, Apple has recognized the complexity of the dire situation of its customers and included FLAC audio playback into iOS 11. Those who have been using third-party apps to listen to lossless music files without converting them in ALAC no longer have to do so. This is great news considering that quality apps for playing FLAC files on Apple devices are not distributed free of charge. It is essential to note, however, that iTunes does not support the audio codec; therefore, another approach to playing FLAC files on iOS devices has been developed.

The File app of the new iOS contains embedded player, which allows playing FLAC files. Apple has come up with the workaround to avoid a major revision of its music app. It is rumored that more functionality may be provided in the future.

How to Play FLAC Files in the File App

A user has to transfer FLAC files on their iOS device to play them in the File app. After the files have been AirDropped on an iPhone or iPad running under iOS 11, it is necessary to save them to iCloud. It can be done by selecting the Save to iCloud Drive option in the AirDrop menu (Please note that it is not possible to play FLAC files by tapping on the Open with Files option of the menu). Then, locate a necessary audio file and tap on it to open. The audio track should start playing automatically, and a user will be able to see it in the File app. The utility supports the highest bit rate of FLAC files.

files app flac

How to Convert FLAC to ALAC

Given that iOS does not have full FLAC support, which makes it impossible to import audio files to iTunes or make playlists, many users would benefit from knowing how to convert FLAC to ALAC. Since neither iOS nor macOS has a built-in converter that can be used to bridge the compatibility gap, it is necessary to make use of third-party utilities. Luckily, the software market offers a plethora of options for converting FLAC to Apple Lossless (for instance, Max, MediaHuman Audio Converter or FLAC to ALAC). Simply download a tool that serves best your needs. Commercial apps offer uniformity in quality, which will be appreciated by audiophiles. When choosing a converter, opt for those that do not have any limitations on the size of files.

Alternatively, you can turn to online converters like or Though, they are best to use when you need to convert one or several files. Otherwise, it’ll take ages to upload, change, and then download your entire iTunes library.