Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Playing FLAC files in WMP & Media Center

by @ 9:48 am on January 24th, 2009 in codecs, flac, windows 7 with 137 Comments

Also, check out our guide to MKVs in Windows 7 Media Center!

Music User Currently Windows Media Player and Media Center don’t include native file support for a number of lossless audio codecs including FLAC, OGG, and basically anything other than Microsoft’s own WMA files. There is a cure for this minor omission though so no worries.

We suggest that 32-bit users download and install the madFlac decoder from madshi. For 64-bit users, codecs for both x64 and x86 versions of windows can be found at Xiph’s open source site. The files linked above are the latest versions available at the time of this post but you should check Xiph’s page to check for updated versions.

Once you have the proper codecs installed it’s time to get them to show up in the Music Library. The most convenient way to manage your Music Library in Media Center is through Windows Media Player 12. Changes made to your Music Library in WMP will be reflected in Media Center and it provides a relatively simple GUI for manipulating your files.

If you have already established your WMP Music Library it may be necessary to clear your Music Library before this fix will take effect. The most effective way to clear your WMP libraries is to remove your albums from inside WMP by selecting them and pressing delete.

Be sure when prompted you select the option to “Remove from Library only” so you don’t lose all your songs! There is also and option under “Tools > Options > Library Tab” that should be unchecked before clearing your library inside of WMP.

Windows Media Player Delete Library

Close WMP and navigate Windows Explorer to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player” then delete the file “CurrentDatabase_371.wmdb” contained inside. You may need to stop the WMP Network Sharing service by going through Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services and selecting the service and stopping it in order to delete the main WMP database.

Now, one more step before we reopen WMP to check our new Library for FLAC files, download and install the M4a/Flac/Ogg/Ape/Mpc Tag Support Plugin for Windows Media Player & Media Center v 1.1 from SoftPointer. This will enable files with FLAC (and other) extensions to be picked up by the Library. Next we can finally reopen WMP.

flac tag plugin

Once you’re back inside WMP go to “Tools > Plugins” and ensure that the Tag Support Plugin is enabled. Once it has been enabled select your Music Library. Your music should begin to repopulate the Music Library, this may take some time to complete.

After you’re sure the process has finished, find your artists that you have FLAC files under and verify they are indeed there. Once you can see your newly supported files inside WMP they should also be included in your Media Center Library as well, have fun!

Note: Certain aspects of these files will still not be displayed properly, such as the length of the files.

Questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below!


Comment #14 from Anonymous [Reply]

Thanks a lot for this! However, for complete clarity, you should say to download AND INSTALL the WMP Tag Support Extender plug-in.
Keep up the good work.

Comment left February 17, 2009 at 4:27 am Permanent Link

@Reply #46616 from sunshinetom [Reply]

just convert flac to mp3, then you can easily play flac in wmp
you may refer to the following step by step guide on how to convert flac to mp3

Comment left August 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #46952 from Anonymous [Reply]

Why would anyone want to destroy the sound and smash the wave down by converting FLAC to MP3… we use FLAC to maintain fidelity at the upper and lower levels so the music does not sound like a 1khz drone that makes your head hurt after an hour of listening like MP3…The best solution is to install Boxee which play FLAC out of the box and pulls all of the meta data and art for you on your collection. use the MCE / Boxee intergration tool and you are seamless with a remote

Comment left August 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #49790 from Lyndall [Reply]

This “free sharing” of ionframiton seems too good to be true. Like communism.

Comment left October 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #50168 from Darr247 [Reply]

The only reasons to convert FLAC to MP3 is to trim down for a ringtone or listening on an ipod. If you serve up your media for listening/watching on a home stereo/theater and can’t hear the difference between MP3 and FLAC (or even between 16 and 24 bit FLAC), then you didn’t spend more than $100 on your speakers.
Microsoft’s refusal to support FLAC natively is just another mistake they’ve made along the way, like not fixing the windows TCP stack until recently so it would network correctly with posix boxes and macs using class C subnets of /23 and lower, even though the RFC for classless interdomain routing was considered “best practice” a couple years before Win95 was released.

Comment left November 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #50530 from Ro [Reply]

If you convert to mp3, you’ll lose the quality… Why would I want to do that?

Comment left November 8, 2011 at 3:08 am Permanent Link

Comment #15 from MHealy [Reply]

Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve updated the article to include that the WMP Tag Extender plug-in should be installed after it has been downloaded.

Comment left February 17, 2009 at 6:09 am Permanent Link

Comment #16 from Anonymous [Reply]

Thanks. I have my CD’s as a single flac file. WMC only shows each cd as 1 track and doesn’t show the embedded cover art. Any suggestions?

Comment left March 8, 2009 at 5:45 am Permanent Link

Comment #17 from MHealy [Reply]

Unfortunately, WMP and WMC don’t currently support the .cue files to retrieve the track information from single flac files. There may be a possible work around using the MKV container but MKV would have to be added as an audio type. I’ll look into it and post a guide if I can figure it out properly.

As for flac album covers I believe this is a bug that is being currently being fixed by Microsoft. Once it is a folder.jpg file in the album directory should give you album art.

Comment left March 8, 2009 at 6:16 am Permanent Link

Comment #18 from Anonymous [Reply]

The codecs works with WMP32/64 but WMP Tag Support Extender Plug-in only works with WMP32. And the writer of the WMPTSEP does not have a 64bit version of Windows…

However funny thing is that with only the 64 flac codec and WMPTSE installed, they can be handled in WMP32, but it refuses to play them. They does however show up in WMP64 with art and all and can be played just fine :-) Must be some shared library.

Comment left March 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm Permanent Link

Comment #19 from MHealy [Reply]

Yes, the library of WMP is shared with both 32 and 64 bit versions as well as Media Center. Changes made in any of these applications will be reflected in the rest. By this method using the plug-in through WMP x32 you can add the flac files to the library which can then be played in any of the applications as long as you have the correct codecs.

Comment left March 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm Permanent Link

Comment #13 from Anonymous [Reply]

Thanks. I would not call it a minor omission that it does not support free and open source file formats. I would not call it easy to set up your MCE Media Center player by going through Windows Media Player. I would call it a royal pain in the ass. Again thanks to all who have taken their valuable time to make this possible. Pretty much, no thanks to Microsoft

Comment left March 11, 2009 at 6:41 am Permanent Link

Comment #12 from sergyver [Reply]

In win media 12 a 64bits not working

Comment left March 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm Permanent Link

Comment #655 from SR [Reply]

I hate to say this but I really need to vent. I mean WTF, WTF? What’s the point of this crap? This shit totally blows.

First I tried to get WMP 32bit to read my Flacs and it after 24 hours of cranking my CPU up to 100% has barely added a thousand files. I have 30,000.

Then I went into WMC to see that even what little it has, it gives me an error that it can’t find the file.

WTF!!! F – Microsoft. What’s the point of having Direct Show support for codecs when nothing F’in works?

It’s F’in 2009 for heaven’s sakes. Get with the F’in program already.

This shit does not work. PERIOD.

If I load WMC up instead since it is 64 bit it will put everything in UNKNOWN. If I use WMP 32bit it takes its time in a way that if I left this on for a decade I cannot be sure it has found and cataloged my music. WTF?

Who do we talk to at MS about such a stupid retarded thing they should have taken care of already. I AM NOT USING WMA LOSSLESS. GO SUCK A DICK. I WILL STICK WITH OPEN SOURCE.

Comment left May 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm Permanent Link

Comment #656 from SR [Reply]

This shit sucks big donkey balls. Now as I delete my library to try again this POS garbage decides to “find” all my music again as I am deleting it this time only putting it straight into Unknown. I stopped the service “WMP Network Sharing” and the “client service for WMC” I mean how do I stop this shit from doing this. This is less control than those Apple morons are given over processes.

Give me a break this shit blows.

Comment left May 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm Permanent Link

Comment #818 from KV [Reply]

My friend, have a beer, stop venting and stop using beta software if you cannot deal with imperfection.

Comment left May 7, 2009 at 9:13 pm Permanent Link

Comment #830 from DDB [Reply]

I think anger management classes are needed. Perhaps ‘I am dissapointed that I can’t get this to work’ is much more appropriate than expletives involving oral acts with lower animals gonads.

Comment left May 8, 2009 at 5:33 am Permanent Link

Comment #1279 from berg [Reply]

I have a strange issue where WMP doesn’t add the FIRST TWO tracks from all of my FLAC encoded albums to the library. WMP can play them if I open it from explorer. But when I have it scan the folders to add to library, the first two from each of my 20+ FLAC albums is missing! Every other track is there with proper tags and all. I checked the tags in MP3tag and they all look correct. Can you think of any explanation/fix for this?

Comment left May 26, 2009 at 12:14 am Permanent Link

@Reply #1280 from berg [Reply]

Guess I should say I’m on Vista Ultimate and WMP11. I see this is a windows7 post.

Comment left May 26, 2009 at 12:45 am Permanent Link

@Reply #1281 from berg [Reply]

Turns out deleting the wmp ‘current database’ file from the appdata directory fixed my problem as well!

Although it does have odd behavior at first when I add a FLAC folder to the library (for example, doesn’t recognize the tags for half of the files from the folder I added, and puts them in ‘Uncategorized’ artist/album).

Now I just have to figure out how to handle the m4a files with the MP4 type tags.

Comment left May 26, 2009 at 1:17 am Permanent Link

Frnando Penido
Comment #1375 from Frnando Penido [Reply]

Thanks a lot. Great tutorial, step by step and quite simple.

Comment left June 1, 2009 at 10:09 am Permanent Link
Comment #1412 from PatSmith [Reply]

Hey this only works for about 1/3 of my 1,000 flac files. Any idea why?

Comment left June 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #1413 from mondo [Reply]

I am able to play FLAC through Media Center on Win7 x86 RC. I just installed win7 codecs rather than following the tutorial above. The only issue that I am having is that there is a brief moment of silence between tracks. All of my FLACs are of live concerts so I would love to be able to achieve gapless FLAC playback. To those who used the method described in the tutorial – is FLAC playback gapless?

Comment left June 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #1454 from Anonymous [Reply]

I’d like to know the answer as well. Does anyone have an ideas?

Comment left June 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #1455 from Michael Healy [Reply]

That’s truly odd. Flac is Flac and there really shouldn’t be any differentiating factors between them.

You could try a different Flac decoder such as madFlac (which is what Shark007 uses I believe). Alternatively, if you have FFDShow installed you could try enabling FLAC in the Audio settings and see if it picks up the slack for any reason.

Comment left June 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm Permanent Link

Comment #1481 from Anonymous [Reply]

Thanks, Michael. Your suggestion was spot on. I had been using K-Lite codec pack, which in every other media player I’ve ever tried, including Vista Media Center, all of my lossless audio, (flac, ape, wv) had been supported. While the tag support showed the flac files in WMC, they would not play. After installing Shark’s codec pack, which includes madFlac, I am now in the lossless business once gain in WMC.

To the person who is only able to see or use only one-third of his flac files, instead of using the open-source “WMP Tag Support Extender plug-in,” use SoftPointer’s free “M4a/Flac/Ogg/Ape/Mpc Tag Support Plugin for Windows Media Player & Media Center v 1.1″

You can download it at http://www.softpointer.com/WMPTagSupport.htm

Be sure to uninstall the open-source version first. With the SoftPointer plugin, every last one of my lossless audio files is detected and properly picked up in WMP, and thus WMC. Such was not the case with the open-source plugin. I mean no disrespect to the author of that plugin, but in my instance, several thousand of my flac files showed up as “unknown.” This was not the case with the SoftPointer plugin. Hope this helps someone.

Comment left June 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm Permanent Link

Comment #1701 from t41 [Reply]

I am using Shark’s codec pack and want to know if that also needs to be removed 1st and is there a way to get it to .shn files using SHN DirectShow Filter?

Thanks, t41

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 9:05 am Permanent Link
@Reply #1704 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Using Shark’s codec pack you should already be all set to play back Flac files. I’m not sure whether or not SHN files are supported by default in Shark’s pack or not.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 9:34 am Permanent Link
Comment #1705 from Shark007 [Reply]

Like so many other people, simply by being a regular reader of Hack7MC, alot can be learned. Until just now, I have never heard of the audio format, SHN. I did some research and can tell you that in my next release for Windows 7 which will be Version 1.2.0, SHN will be fully supported in Media Center and WMP.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 11:11 am Permanent Link

Comment #1707 from t41 [Reply]

Thanks shark – that is great , I guess then you already know about the mkv thing and the flac tags in wmp.

Sounds good to me – thanks a lot for quick response

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 11:28 am Permanent Link
Comment #1708 from Shark007 [Reply]

Concerning FLAC and MKV: The fact the people are screwing up thier own systems is not new information to me. A default install of my software handles FLAC and MKV properly. If they choose to use some kind of tag supporter or registry hack is not my problem, it is thier own problem. I do not know how to fix thier systems. Possibly the creators of the tag supporter or registry hacks can advise them on how to correct them. Also, a default installation of my software DOES NOT do file associations although I do provide an interface to associate to WMP in the Help TAB of the 32bit Settings Application. If you are a 64bit user and have set the x64 player as default the file association feature of the 32bit application will associate all new filetypes to the x64 player.
BTW: This isnt the place for support og my software. People who feel my software isnt acting properly should be taking thier issues to my http://shark007.net/forum

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1709 from Shark007 [Reply]

One more thing, using Xiph’s installers will screwup the WMP file open dialog by destroying the mediatype dropdown. If you have used Xiph’s installer in the past, installing my software, after removing Xiphs (my software includes Xiphs), my software will repair the damage done by Xiphs installer. I do not own an extender, I can not test this interface.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1710 from Michael Healy [Reply]

I’ve never had any trouble getting MKV or Flac playback using Shark007′s packs working straight away. I’d never heard of the SHN format previously either and had to look it up as well.

I’ve updated the post a bit to cover using FFDShow audio as the decoder and adding madFlac for 32-bit users as well.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm Permanent Link

Comment #1712 from t41 [Reply]

TY – will await the update from shark – thanks

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1715 from Shark007 [Reply]

I’m sorry to bring you bad news of the SHN codec. It causes windows explorer to crash in Windows 7 so it will only be added to my Vista release. When I spoke earlier I had tested it on a Vista machine and all was fine. I have since installed W7 7260 and as soon as you enter a directory containing a SHN file windows explorer crashes.

Once again: Windows 7 will NOT be getting SHN support.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm Permanent Link

Comment #1718 from t41 [Reply]

why – what reason for no support – I’m no t a pc programmer or engineer but that is like sayin i refuse to build the twin towers because i personally cannot figure out the engineering.
You guessed it, I am a General contractor, because an engineer would not speak this way. Well mt brother works on the hubble for the past decade and what they siad cant or wont be done HAS!

a little research and maybe fortitude will bring you above the rest. Why is it crahing? must be a reason, and therfore a solution.

into why the system is crashing would help explain the sudden “not gonna happen” attitude- what goes with ape then? flac? should i just keep using http://www.softpointer.com/WMPTagSupport.htm

know what i am tied having to work, but do not understand the reason why it will not happen at all.
I respect you Shark, but WTF?

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1719 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Should probably take this over to Shark’s forums, it’s getting fairly off the original topic of this guide. It’ll be easier for Shark to manage that way as well. I’m sure if a solution comes along it’ll be implemented in Shark’s pack. I’ll keep looking for possible solutions as well.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1721 from Shark007 [Reply]

If you can find me an shn codec that doesnt crash windows explorer on Windows 7 machines I’ll gladly incoorperate it into my software distribution.

This is an EXTREMELY old format that is no longer developed. The codec I have is from 2003. I truly doubt you’ll find anything newer.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 9:12 pm Permanent Link
Comment #1722 from Shark007 [Reply]

Sorry about that Mike, i was typing, got distracted, returned and hit submit :(

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #1724 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Not a problem, I’m usually doing ten things at once myself (at least). Just think it would be much easier to manage the topic under a forum type setup versus a simple comment system like we have here.

Comment left June 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm Permanent Link
Comment #2105 from Shark007 [Reply]

Just a tidbit for your users Mike.

My newest release of the x64 Components addon supports playback of standalone FLAC audio files in x64 Media Center. Previously my x64 release only supported FLAC audio if it was in a container such as MKV.

Comment left July 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm Permanent Link
Comment #2242 from cw-kid [Reply]


Why do you need to delete the WMP library first? Just wondering,

Also this looks like a newer version 1.4 of the Tag Support plugin see here: http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/

I am assuming it is the same plugin it looks like it.

I’m going to try this guide will let you know how I get on!



Comment left July 23, 2009 at 4:30 am Permanent Link
Comment #2243 from cw-kid [Reply]

Maybe they are different add-ins:

WMPTagSupport11.exe = 1045KB
Installer Image
WMPTagSupportExtender.1.4.msi = 343KB
Intaller Image

Looking at other guides on the net some say use one add-in other guides I’ve seen say to use the other add-in. Not sure which is best?

Comment left July 23, 2009 at 4:52 am Permanent Link
Comment #2244 from cw-kid [Reply]

I’m trying to set this up on a Vista Media Center not Seven, I decided to install WMPTagSupport11.exe after reading the other comments on this thread.

I can now see my album that is flac in the WMP11 library but when I play it, it says: Windows Media Player cannot play the file, the player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.

I have FFDShow installed and enabled the Flac codec.

Comment left July 23, 2009 at 5:33 am Permanent Link
Comment #2246 from cw-kid [Reply]

OK I’ve got it working now, I am not using Shark007 Vista Codec pack on this particular machine.

I am using FFDShow Tryouts Beta6 / Haali Media Splitter.

I disabled the Flac codec in the the FFDShow audio config again and then installed the madFlac codec
and now it’s playing flac files in WMP11 and VMC.

I didn’t delete my WMP11 library either.

Probably easiest overall to just use Shark007 however.


Comment left July 23, 2009 at 6:25 am Permanent Link
@Reply #2248 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Deleting the library won’t be necessary in most cases but I’ve had an instance or two where the library wasn’t updating properly until I cleared it so I included it in the directions.

Originally the guide only covered the alternative codecs, madflac and xiph’s open source codec, but I figured those with FFDShow installed might prefer to just use it instead.

Comment left July 23, 2009 at 7:41 am Permanent Link

@Reply #4216 from Anonymous [Reply]

IT WORKED, win7 x64
Disabling ffdshow flac decoder
Installed oogcodecs

Comment left October 25, 2009 at 7:43 am Permanent Link
@Reply #49659 from Lavon [Reply]

Most help articles on the web are inaccurate or icnoeehrnt. Not this!

Comment left October 27, 2011 at 12:34 am Permanent Link
Comment #2252 from clsid [Reply]

ffdshow can only decode FLAC audio that is present in a container, such as Matroska (mkv). It is not able to play .flac audio files.

Comment left July 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm Permanent Link

Comment #2421 from Greed [Reply]

:) Thanks for this.

Comment left August 1, 2009 at 10:02 am Permanent Link

Comment #2588 from runemail [Reply]

Cannot get this to work as expected!

Followed this guide and:

Flac is imported to library, and shows up right with correct tagging and metadata, but:

If I start WMP12 first none of my flac will playback in WMP12 or 7WMC. Get the error: “Windows Media Player cannot play the file, the player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.” in WMP12.

But if I start the file from explorer without loading WMP or WMC first, it plays without any issues. and from there i can play all flac from library and even open WMC and playback from there as well.

The difference is that Tag Support Plugin for Media Player does not load when i Start WMP this way!
Tried to deactivate the plugin but to no effect.

Anyone have any clues?

Comment left August 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm Permanent Link

Comment #2962 from toon [Reply]

“If I start WMP12 first none of my flac will playback in WMP12 or 7WMC. Get the error: “Windows Media Player cannot play the file, the player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.” in WMP12.

But if I start the file from explorer without loading WMP or WMC first, it plays without any issues.”

I have the same problem, but also when I start a flac file from explorer and then try to play .ape files in my library, it doesn’t work. My .ape files play without issues in any other situation (using RadLight APE filter). So I effectively have a less than fully functional WMP no matter what I do.

Comment left August 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm Permanent Link

Comment #3099 from vICTOR [Reply]

i agree. what kind ofa bullshit is this?
flac doesnt really play in WMP 12 on Winblows 7 X64.
Clicking from explorer is ok, but when navigating the WMP library and clicking from there doesnt work — says unsupported file or codec problem.
Media Center doesnt play em at all.

Comment left September 4, 2009 at 10:49 pm Permanent Link
Comment #3108 from Michael Healy [Reply]

If playing files from Windows Explorer allows FLAC to play inside WMP but once you’ve loaded the player first they no longer play it’s likely a conflict with a process or plugin being loaded by WMP itself and not a codec issue. I haven’t had time to look into this yet with an RTM version of Windows 7.

Comment left September 5, 2009 at 8:01 am Permanent Link

Comment #3248 from vICTOR [Reply]

I dont see any 32-bit processes running in Task Manager.

Michael, can you please look into a fix?

If you need a source for Win 7 x32 or x64, let me know.

Comment left September 14, 2009 at 9:48 pm Permanent Link

Comment #3322 from anonymouse [Reply]

I followed the instructions and I can play FLAC files with WMP but I still get an error message in windows media center. Any thoughts?

Comment left September 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm Permanent Link

Comment #3892 from dg [Reply]

a new tag support extender will be ready soon.


Comment left October 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm Permanent Link

Comment #4206 from Arachnid [Reply]

Thanks for this post. Things are working fine on my Windows 7 WMP 12. The only problem is that WMP doesn’t detect any album or artist info from the .flac files.

Btw, I do believe that a simpler thing to do is to use VLC media player for all kinds of audio/video formats. It’s awesome, handles every type of file, and has never ever troubled me, be it on Windows or on Linux.

Comment left October 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm Permanent Link

Comment #4464 from Ericovan [Reply]

Windows 7 & WMP
Works like a charm if all directions are followed.

Comment left November 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm Permanent Link
Comment #4924 from Big Kev [Reply]

Thanks for the instructions!

Works well on Win7 x64 so far .. not tried the 64bit player though!

Comment left November 18, 2009 at 10:58 am Permanent Link

Comment #5000 from Steven [Reply]

Thanks, this stuff rocks

Comment left November 21, 2009 at 7:52 am Permanent Link

Comment #5103 from popcorn [Reply]

Is there a way to get FLAC to play over an Xbox360?

What is the best way to convert FLAC on the fly for playback on the 360.

Win7 64 bit


Comment left November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm Permanent Link

Comment #5131 from random [Reply]

I just tried the M4a/Flac/Ogg/Ape/Mpc Tag Support Plugin and it didn’t work for me (I’m running windows 7 ultimate x64) I did some searching on the internet and checked the HydrogenAudio website and someone has started developing a new plugin that was designed for WMP 11 and 12. It’s called WMP Tag Plus. Here is the main website: http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/index.htm?http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/wmptagplus/

Comment left November 26, 2009 at 1:07 am Permanent Link
Comment #5138 from Bryce Thomas [Reply]

I’ve recently gotten .flac files playing in Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 7 Ultimate x64. I’ve just finished writing a guide at http://www.codeemporium.com/2009/11/26/convincing-flac-files-to-play-in-windows-media-player-12/ for getting .flac files playing in Windows Media Player 12 that I think simplifies some of the steps shown here by giving people a single set of short instructions to follow, regardless of whether they are using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

Cheers, Bryce.

Comment left November 26, 2009 at 9:51 am Permanent Link

Comment #5162 from toon [Reply]

Bryce Thomas’s link has the answer to my, and a few other peoples’ problem. Just uninstall the 64-bit codec and install the 32-bit one, even if you have 64-bit windows. I’m running Windows 7 64-bit and everything works fine now.

Comment left November 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #5216 from Anonymous [Reply]

I ran into the exact same issue – even though I was running 64-bit windows 7, the 32-bit WMP was the default player. Installing the x86 codec from Xiph and starting WMP again worked for me as well.

Comment left November 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm Permanent Link

Comment #5319 from John [Reply]

indeed, one solution is to install 32-bit codec and use only 32-bit WMP.

a better solution (for Win7 x64) :

1. install 64-bit codec from xiph (flac,etc)
2. install tag support plugin

If you want Media Center to work as well, then

3. go to C:\program files (x86) and rename “Windows Media Player” to something else e.e.g “WMP32″. Then copy “Windows Media Player” folder from C:\Program Files\.

This will force Media Center to run 64-bit WMP. If you have 64-bit codecs instaleld, now both WMP x64 and Media Center will play flacs, etc.

PS. Be sure to update your WMP shortcuts as well (start menu, etc) to point to 64-bit WMP (in c:\program files\Windows media player”

Comment left December 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm Permanent Link

Comment #5460 from toon [Reply]

I would do that if I had a 64-bit codec for .ape files, but I don’t. If anyone knows of one, let me know.

Comment left December 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm Permanent Link

Comment #5801 from Aien [Reply]

Hi John,

thank you for this help, it runs perfect!


Greatings from Germany

Comment left December 18, 2009 at 11:44 am Permanent Link

Comment #5889 from Randyboy99 [Reply]

Just wanted to say thanks

Comment left December 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm Permanent Link
Comment #5919 from Don [Reply]

Everything works great for me. Except, no cover art.
Any fix for that issue yet?
VMC 32-bit

Comment left December 22, 2009 at 9:07 pm Permanent Link

Rene Barto
Comment #6228 from Rene Barto [Reply]

I don’t know about you guys, but with the WMPTagSupport11.exe tag support from SoftPointer I still had either all files in one album, or a few in an Unknown album.
I finally installed this plugin, as also advertised by hydrogenaudio, and that works perfectly for me!

Comment left January 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm Permanent Link

Comment #6423 from sleepy314 [Reply]

thanks for the tip.
i am on 64bit windows 7.
just downloaded, installed, and now i can play my flac files, no problems…
i gave the guys a few $$ for the good work.

Comment left January 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm Permanent Link

Comment #6603 from Hypersolar [Reply]

Thanks, it took seconds to install and worked instantly

Comment left January 13, 2010 at 11:50 am Permanent Link

Comment #6640 from gadgetzilla [Reply]

I have windows 7 x64. Unfortunately, the steps above did not work for me. I could not hear any audio.

As a test, I only ripped 5 CDs to FLAC format and added to my windows media player library. The startup time for Winow Media Player was pretty long. I can only imagine if I add all my 1200+ CDs as FLAC, it would take forever for it to open. I plan to rip 5 more and see how much time more it takes. If the load up time is completely unacceptable, ultimately, that is going to be the deal breaker for me – to not use WMP / WMC for FLAC.

Given that, I still proceeded with my testing to make FLAC work under Win7 Windows Media Player as well as Windows Media Center.

The only way I could get any audio from a FLAC file was to uninstall the CODEC suggested above and installing Shark007 codec. With that, I was able to hear the audio.

One minor issue, which I believe someone else already identified. When playing a particular song from a ripped CD. The song timer stays a 0:00. If anyone knows how to fix that – that would be AWESOME to know.


Comment left January 14, 2010 at 4:37 am Permanent Link

Jerome Curran
Comment #6643 from Jerome Curran [Reply]

I have created a library of flac files on media player but the files are playing randomly. I like to listen to a full album/cd on my media player but the songs are playing randomly. Can you help me with this problem.


Jerome Curran

Comment left January 14, 2010 at 10:10 am Permanent Link

Comment #6644 from mhconley [Reply]

Great write-up. You can also use the “official” flac codec from Sourceforge instead of the madflac one. WMP will complain that it can’t play the files but tell it to ignore the error and they play fine.

Comment left January 14, 2010 at 10:32 am Permanent Link

Comment #6729 from Schecter [Reply]

Thank you so much! This plugin worked perfectly for me!

Ohmygosh thank you

Comment left January 18, 2010 at 4:01 am Permanent Link

Comment #7126 from srn [Reply]

Does this work for shared libraries? I have my flac files playing fine on a local machine running vista. But when I use a win7 laptop to access the shared library, I can see the files but they don’t play.

Comment left January 27, 2010 at 12:02 am Permanent Link

Comment #7875 from Rompabear [Reply]

Can I return to GAPLESS FLAC.

I can play FLAC files gapless on my windows phone using pocket player – but can’t play them at home without gaps on my windows media centre?

Can anyone recommend a gapless FLAC decoder please.

Comment left February 19, 2010 at 8:08 am Permanent Link

Comment #7996 from Dumfy [Reply]

Hi All

Just found this site. What a fantastic resource of information!

Just built a new PC with Win 7 x64 and have installed Shark Codec Pack and x64 Update. All FLAC and APE files play in WMP 12.

I have the Unknown artist problem mentioned earlier, but only after I’ve ripped to FLAC using Roxio Media Creator 2010.

I did have Unknown Artist probs with older FLACS I had but since installing the plug-in mentioned above from Softpointer it now works – tho some automatically come up in a Playlist and others don’t. What’s causing that? Any ideas?

So two extra questions……

Why am I getting Unknown Artrist after ripping to FLAC with Roxio?

What’s the difference between WMA Lossless and FLAC/APE Lossless? If I used WMP12 to rip to WMA Lossless
would I still get these Unknown Artists issue?

Hope I’m not treading on any toes, but is there a reluctance to use WMA just because it’s from M$

Thanks again for a great site and info

Comment left February 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm Permanent Link

Comment #8111 from Revrant [Reply]

Well I installed it and I’m getting some bad audio distortion on the FLAC files, almost like reverberating bass, can’t fix it, oh well.

Guess I’ll have to use a third party player.

Comment left February 27, 2010 at 1:20 am Permanent Link

Comment #8660 from Nia [Reply]

Thanks sooooo much for this. It couldn’t have been made easier. I’m truly grateful.

Comment left March 20, 2010 at 8:36 pm Permanent Link

Comment #8723 from Anonymous [Reply]

c users username I got but I see no path labeled appdata help please!

Comment left March 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm Permanent Link

Comment #9208 from rajdude [Reply]

This is all good! It really works in MC, but…..
….the time display/counter does not work. It just diplays 0:00 while the song plays.
….you cannot FF/REW

Lastly, downloaded FLAC does not sound as good as ripped CDs in WMA lossless. WMA Lossless cannot be differenciated with the actual CD [in my pretty high end system].

Comment left April 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm Permanent Link

Comment #9249 from Morales [Reply]

Thank you very much!!!!

Comment left April 11, 2010 at 3:42 am Permanent Link

Comment #10012 from Greg [Reply]

This is why WMP sucks… such a workaround for what should be common. I dumped it years ago and anybody serious about music should have done the same.

Comment left April 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm Permanent Link

Comment #10015 from Dan [Reply]

If I enable ffdshow tryouts flac support – do I have to install madFlac?

Since I already have ffdshow tryouts, I’d prefer just to use that to allow flac support.

There are comments about ffdshow not being able to play the .flac extension, but what about ffdshow tryouts?

Comment left April 20, 2010 at 11:54 pm Permanent Link

Comment #10188 from Filip [Reply]

Thanks a lot. seems to work fine.

Comment left April 24, 2010 at 11:55 am Permanent Link

Comment #13129 from Anonymous [Reply]

You should update the link to the newest of the x64 codecs. The version linked didn’t work for me, but the download from the main site did.

Comment left June 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm Permanent Link

Comment #13541 from laca [Reply]

What am I doing wrong?

I installed the filters and can play FLAC files on my xp and 32 bit win 7. However…, for some reason, I can only play one file at a time. When I “play all” or “play selection” the system would either not do it or flip through all the segments and play only the last on the list.

Any ideas?

Many thanks in advance!

Comment left July 6, 2010 at 11:20 am Permanent Link

Comment #13775 from ashu [Reply]

hey dude, this is fucking WINDOWS… for fucks sake…
not some linux..
if i had to do so much crap, why would i not chose linux only instead?

windows mofos should have click, install, kinda gui… dat u take care of all this crap… i know none of this is ur fault…

but still, i can’t be bothered to fuck around so much…. nor can i convert my 10 gb music in flac to mp3.

therefore, can u plz do all the programming and give me an installer to take care of all these?

and answer quick mate, whether or not you are able to help me.

Comment left July 14, 2010 at 3:57 am Permanent Link

Comment #13776 from peter [Reply]

nice blog !

but i can’t type just that one liner… wordpress error… says gotta write more…

Comment left July 14, 2010 at 4:04 am Permanent Link

Comment #14410 from John [Reply]

You can use x64 codecs on an x64 system.

I have Windows 7 x64 and the x64 codecs and WMP plays flac files fine.

The only problem is that the Tag Support Plugin causes WMP to crash when it’s enabled and when playing movies.

Their website states that only x86 is supported.

Instead, I’m using “WMP Tag Support Extender v1.4″, which works great on x64.

Comment left July 31, 2010 at 10:37 pm Permanent Link

Comment #14701 from drez [Reply]

worked 100% thanks for setting this up.

Comment left August 5, 2010 at 3:56 am Permanent Link

Comment #14769 from JonK [Reply]

Have Windows 7 Professional 64bit ver 6.1.7600 and WMP 12.0.7600.16415 and the common problem above of being able to select .flac files in Windows Explorer and play them one by one but WMP will not see them at all if in the main library. It will show them in Other Libraries on a NAS device and correctly sorts them by Artist, Album and Genre etc and shows the cover art but when playing is attempted gives the error message “WMP cannot play the file. The player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.”

I have followed John’s advice at #5319 and #14410 above and installed the Direct Show filters opencodecs_0.84.17359.exe from Xiph.org and then the WMPTagSupportExtender1.4.msi. Both of these install themselves in the C:\program Files (x86) folder. The latter appears as a checked plug-in in tools/plug-ins. In fact WMP read the tags of files in the NAS without this plug-in and with it still wont see .flac files in a main library.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated.


Comment left August 6, 2010 at 8:21 am Permanent Link

Comment #14838 from bob [Reply]

this set up doesnt work for me, the music lib in media center slows down to the point that its unusable, all albums that are flac show as unknown album, songs are all seperated and some albums are missing

Comment left August 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm Permanent Link

Comment #15002 from Flac'ing [Reply]

Thank you, I can play flac files in WMP now…..

Comment left August 10, 2010 at 10:50 am Permanent Link

Comment #15546 from drez [Reply]

While this sort of works, there’s a better sounding and much easier alternative. Use Foobar player:


the quality is much higher and there are no crashes or other headaches to have to troubleshoot.

Bottom line it sounds better than WMP, and if you’re using FLAC you obviously care about good sound quality…

Comment left August 21, 2010 at 4:05 am Permanent Link

Comment #16271 from X-Ultrane [Reply]

Great mate!!! Thank you so much… Now i can see the progress and visualization on wmp12 in Win7 x64 ^,^!!!

Comment left August 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm Permanent Link

Comment #18256 from Morphy [Reply]

I have tried all the tag plugins and the only one that worked for me in Win 7 x64 is WMP Tag Plus.

It seems its the only plugin being actively developed still. The one in the post should be removed as it’s designed for WMP10 and MCE 2005!

Comment left September 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm Permanent Link

Comment #22207 from Patrick [Reply]

followed the guide and both .ogg and .flac files are now playable in WMP12.

One thing though, when playing .ogg or .flac files the blue seek bar does not appear, nor does seeking work

running Windows7 64bit

Comment left November 3, 2010 at 4:06 am Permanent Link

jose m paliza
Comment #22593 from jose m paliza [Reply]

is there an easier way to clean the library before using the new codecs.. have more than 10000 song and to delete them by album or one by one….

Comment left November 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm Permanent Link

Comment #23548 from Brian [Reply]

Great instructions, saved me a lot of time, thank you!

Comment left November 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #29829 from Paul [Reply]

well done great instructions . Thanks!

Comment left January 17, 2011 at 6:46 am Permanent Link

Comment #24397 from JBroderick [Reply]

WMP Tag Plus works the best:

Comment left November 28, 2010 at 3:07 am Permanent Link

Comment #29571 from Jiri [Reply]

Download a codec from http://www.xiph.org/dshow/

works well for media player 11 :)

Comment left January 14, 2011 at 10:54 am Permanent Link

Comment #29965 from Sanoyan [Reply]

Thank you very-very much. You really help me!!!

Comment left January 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm Permanent Link

Comment #31290 from saidm [Reply]

Awesome article! Very clear! had me up and running in literally under 10 minutes!

Comment left January 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm Permanent Link
Comment #32766 from Asami [Reply]

Thank you so much, this worked for me and the instructions were very easy to follow. Other sites told me to get madFlac or the Tag Support, but only one or the other and neither told me what to do with them or that I actually needed both. I’m playing Flac now and it’s thanks to you. :-)

Comment left February 13, 2011 at 2:19 am Permanent Link

Comment #34167 from MEG [Reply]

thanx! just downloading and installing the codec made it work in WMP!!! THACK YOUUUUUuuuuUUU!! <3

Comment left February 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm Permanent Link

Comment #34607 from linus [Reply]

I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but please help if you can. I have some kids educational software which I bought about 6 years ago. It used it on windows XP computer and everything worked fine. Im now using Windows7 (which came with WMP12). When i try to install the kids software I get an error message that says “Windows Media Player 9 or higher has not been detected on your Computer. The detected version is 6.4″
When i try to install the Windows Media Player 9 that comes with the kids software, it is blocked by Windows7, saying there are compatibility issues.
I then tried to install the software using Windows XP compatibility mode, and it installs fine until i get to the part where i have to install WMP9, then i get the error message.

If I uninstalled Windows Media Player12 could I safely install and use WMP9, instead, in Windows 7? Or is there an alternaive way to install both of them? Or is there something i need to configure in WMP12 so that my older software can recognise it as a newer version?

Comment left March 2, 2011 at 11:48 am Permanent Link

Comment #34890 from Mike [Reply]

Awesome, thanks for that. Started to think that I’d wasted my money paying for a .flac album.
Cheers for making it worth it :)

Comment left March 6, 2011 at 8:54 am Permanent Link

Comment #35160 from JanK [Reply]

Hey guys. I believe that I followed all the steps properly but on my x84 windows 7 laptop it doesn’t seem to work right… I can play my flac files now by choosing them from explorer but they still don’t appear in the library…Sorry, if u already answered this but any suggestions, please? Thanks a lot.

Comment left March 10, 2011 at 2:20 am Permanent Link

Comment #39916 from Rock [Reply]

Thank you very much!

Comment left April 27, 2011 at 6:56 am Permanent Link

Comment #39984 from Anonymous [Reply]

Working!!! thanks

Comment left April 28, 2011 at 6:22 am Permanent Link
Comment #40421 from Alexander Demidov [Reply]

There is a media foundation source/decoder here:

Comment left April 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm Permanent Link

Comment #40621 from Anonymous [Reply]

This worked great! Thanks a lot!

Comment left May 3, 2011 at 12:09 am Permanent Link

Comment #41172 from Артур [Reply]

Спасибо, помогло, чокнутый америкос. Кстати, сайт ниче так, мне нравится. )

Comment left May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am Permanent Link

Comment #44320 from fazza [Reply]

Yep, this works WMP on windows7. I was a it high so it didn’t work the first time, but the second time it was perfect. Thanks!

Comment left June 10, 2011 at 6:13 am Permanent Link

Just the Dog barking
Comment #45378 from Just the Dog barking [Reply]

Epic stuff, works a treat!

Comment left July 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm Permanent Link

Comment #45965 from :) [Reply]

Alleluia. Thanks

Comment left August 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm Permanent Link

Comment #47319 from katta [Reply]

u are a Genius ! 10x

Comment left September 16, 2011 at 1:37 am Permanent Link

Comment #58402 from Vasilis [Reply]

Awesome my friends. That’s a solution.

Comment left January 14, 2012 at 7:26 am Permanent Link

Comment #70081 from Runadumb [Reply]

Thanks you so much for this kind Sir. Was super pissed when I realised my FLAC files didn’t update in WMP. I have most of my music in WMA but no more, FLAC all the way. :)

Comment left April 20, 2012 at 6:34 am Permanent Link

Comment #82413 from Siggen [Reply]

Thank you so much! This helped alot! Easy and clean tutorial! :D :D

Comment left September 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm Permanent Link

Comment #85640 from Laurie [Reply]

This worked great! So simple and now I can listen to my fave Mogwai EP over and over :)

Comment left October 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm Permanent Link

Comment #90546 from Anonymous [Reply]


I just installed the FLAC codecs to my W7 64 bit laptop. The files in my computers harddisk are working fine, but when I copied the same FLAC files to my NSA 310 NAS (to the music library of NSA310) they cannot be played with WMP!

The files in media storage seems to be OK, WMP seems to recognize them as music files, but when I try to play the music, WMP gives error message of missing codec or just hangs.

Comment left November 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm Permanent Link

Comment #99088 from kat [Reply]

Didn’t work. Followed instructions. Got my files to show up in my library but still won’t play them.

Comment left January 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm Permanent Link

Comment #103406 from glivo [Reply]

Thanks for a clear and concise description of the steps required to do this. My DB file was 372, not 371 as in your instruction.
Also, I had to change the start method of the WMP Sharing Service from Automatic (Delayed) to Manual before I could delete it.
You could include the instruction to return that Service back to it’s original settings.

Otherwise, thank you, I’m now listening to Santana Moonflower in FLAC. An album I had stolen in vynil many years ago along with several hundred others.

Comment left February 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm Permanent Link

Comment #106336 from Anonymous [Reply]

Virustotal.com, a site that runs antivirus scans with various programs, found the following scanning the madflac download (linked on this page):

Scanning Program: Esafe
Infection: win32.banker

Comment left February 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm Permanent Link

Comment #136527 from JC Br [Reply]

TKS Now I can hear Jimi Hendrix 24 Bit Vinyl Pack.

Comment left July 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm Permanent Link

Comment #139006 from thepianistop66 [Reply]

It worked! I just want to say that I didn’t have the “CurrentDatabase_371.wmdb” file, but “CurrentDatabase_372.wmdb” instead. I deleted it and I continued your tutorial and it worked! Thank you very much!

Comment left July 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm Permanent Link

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