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