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iPhone How to put a FLAC file on my iPhone?

CasuallyDressed

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
335
125
Bournemouth, UK
Been reading up on this for the last hour and can't seem to get a straight answer from anywhere. How do I put a FLAC file onto my iPhone 8+? I understand I can't do it through iTunes, but my iPhone will play the file if I can get it onto there.

Thanks in advance.
 

CasuallyDressed

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
335
125
Bournemouth, UK
Hey! Just so I can help you further, do you have Windows, or Mac? And also, do you want to play the file in the native music app, or do you not mind using a 3rd party app?
I’m on Windows, and I would prefer to use the native app but I’ll use 3rd party if necessary :)
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,891
1,216
I believe the native Music app will not play FLAC. You would need to convert the FLAC to Apple Lossless to play with Music.

So, you will need to get a 3rd party app to play. Sorry, no recommendations as I do not use a 3rd party app for my music.

And depending on which app you choose will determine how to sync the music to it. Some apps have ability to setup p2p-like connection between computer and iOS device. Others, iTunes: Select the device, then "File Sharing", select the app in the list of apps, then drag to the app's file list your FLAC files to sync.

For example, VLC will play FLAC and has the iTunes drag & drop sync method.
 

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Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,090
810
You can play them using a 3rd party app. I found one called Vox media player that supports flac natively.

You can also convert your flac files to mp3 and use iTunes.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,290
2,396
I just use XLD and convert all of my FLACs into ALACs. It's the same lossless sound as a FLAC, no other major differences as far as I know, it's just FLAC with an Apple "brand logo" in the file.

That will let iTunes play the song, but iPods and iPhones tend to dislike high bitrates or sample rates, so you may end up converting those into something like an AIFF or MP3. It sucks, but that's the reality with Apple's portables, which is a major shame.

(Unless, of course, they made a new iPhone which does support high bitrates, in which case that is a pleasant surprise to me and might actually make me consider upgrading)
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,268
4,103
I just use XLD and convert all of my FLACs into ALACs. It's the same lossless sound as a FLAC, no other major differences as far as I know, it's just FLAC with an Apple "brand logo" in the file.

That will let iTunes play the song, but iPods and iPhones tend to dislike high bitrates or sample rates, so you may end up converting those into something like an AIFF or MP3. It sucks, but that's the reality with Apple's portables, which is a major shame.

(Unless, of course, they made a new iPhone which does support high bitrates, in which case that is a pleasant surprise to me and might actually make me consider upgrading)
Latest iOS 11.3.1 somehow allows me to sync 96kHz songs to my A9 iPhone 6s Plus. What a nice surprise.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,268
4,103
Just to report back. I ended up using Foobar2k to convert to ALAC, and then dumped the file straight into iTunes.

This was far too fiddly. Why can't iTunes just handle a FLAC file :-/
I use XLC. It can automatically add converted music to the library. It’s just not a music player, but excellent at converting audio file to another format.
 

GBstoic

macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2016
157
59
(Unless, of course, they made a new iPhone which does support high bitrates, in which case that is a pleasant surprise to me and might actually make me consider upgrading)

My iPhone X, 6s+ and iPad Pro 10.5 all play up to 96K sampled 24 bit ALAC files. What’s more they willalso output to an external DAC at that rate using the USB “camera adapter”.

I believe this has worked since iOS 11. Before that iTunes on the PC always said the device was incapable of playing them. My devices are all on 11.3.

If this works for the 6s+ I would expect it to work on the SE, 7 and 8.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,228
9,459
Florida, USA
Install "Documents by Readdle". Aside from letting you store and view all kinds of other documents on your phone, it plays back FLAC files excellently. It even supports doing things like shuffling songs in a folder, so you can use it as a "second music library" on your phone.

It can sync over SFTP with a folder of music on your computer and is quite unexpectedly capable for an app that's completely free. (They make their money selling more advanced features for business users)
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,268
4,103
My iPhone X, 6s+ and iPad Pro 10.5 all play up to 96K sampled 24 bit ALAC files. What’s more they willalso output to an external DAC at that rate using the USB “camera adapter”.

I believe this has worked since iOS 11. Before that iTunes on the PC always said the device was incapable of playing them. My devices are all on 11.3.

If this works for the 6s+ I would expect it to work on the SE, 7 and 8.
I can even store hires music to Apple Watch series 3. So I wonder what will happen next.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,228
9,459
Florida, USA
Just to report back. I ended up using Foobar2k to convert to ALAC, and then dumped the file straight into iTunes.

This was far too fiddly. Why can't iTunes just handle a FLAC file :-/

There's apps out there that can batch convert FLAC to ALAC and preserve metadata.

Just batch convert your entire collection, and delete the FLAC files. They're both lossless formats, so you lose nothing. If you ever want FLAC files again, just batch convert them back.
 
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roncron

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2011
649
911
There's apps out there that can batch convert FLAC to ALAC and preserve metadata.

Just batch convert your entire collection, and delete the FLAC files. They're both lossless formats, so you lose nothing. If you ever want FLAC files again, just batch convert them back.

Are you certain that nothing is lost in the conversion from FLAC to ALAC to FLAC again?
 

DeathBecomesMe

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2014
143
58
I use Any Audio Converter on Windows, convert to Apple Lossless, import into iTunes and sync to iPhone.
 
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