Apple adds support for FLAC lossless audio in iOS 11

“Yesterday, Apple announced the latest reiteration of its mobile operating system and while regular consumers will have to wait until autumn to try out the new iOS 11 on their iPhone and iPad devices, developers are already taking advantage of their early access to the beta version,” TNW reports.

“Redditors who have already installed the developer beta are reporting that Apple has purportedly included full playback support for FLAC audio files in iOS 11,” TNW reports. “This means users now have the option to blast high-quality music files straight from their iPads and iPhones.”

TNW reports, “The functionality was first spotted on an iPhone 6S Plus running iOS 11 Beta 1 and is reportedly available as part of the newly announced file-management app, Files.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, is FLAC support finally coming to iTunes, too?


  1. So when will ALAC or FLAC compressed CD quality (or hopefully better) audio be available in the iTunes Store?

    When that happens I can stop buying physical media audio. Until then no iTunes Store audio purchases from me.

    1. CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays actually have a big advantage over iTunes media – they don’t force you to stay in the Apple ecosystem. With iTunes videos, you’re stuck with Apple devices for playback. With iTunes music, you have to log into iTunes to be able to re download your music. If you switch to Linux, you won’t be able to take your iTunes videos with you, and if you need to re-download a song, you won’t be able to. Sure, you could go to Windows, but that’s not exactly ideal.

      1. No ecosystem is ideal. All of them place limitations on the end user. For instance, try to play some of your media in a playback device intended for a non-US country. That’s right, region codes…no format is perfect.

        Just like software, when you “purchase” media online you are buying a license, not the product itself. At least with Apple, you can have good confidence that the media will be available to play for decades to come. In addition, with music from iTunes, you can export DRM’ed tracks to CD to remove the DRM.

        If you go to Windows, then you face the same issues, but worse (or “not exactly ideal”). Remember “Plays for Sure” from Microsoft? Try playing that media now…

  2. “This means users now have the option to blast high-quality music files straight from their iPads and iPhones.”

    Nope. Users have had that option FOR YEARS with iOS’s and iTunes support for the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC).

  3. “This means users now have the option to blast high-quality music files straight from their iPads and iPhones.”

    And straight into their ear pods…

  4. For all intents and purposes here, “High-quality music files” = CD quality (16 bit-44.1khz). And although ALAC can encode higher bit/sample rates, iPods will not play them.

    Personally, I’ll get more interested when it becomes clear that playback of HD quality files is possible—and even then I really doubt that Apple will design a DAC as good as the one Ayres provided the Pono player or any of the other high-end gear.

  5. I’ve been playing FLAC files for a long time out of my MAC Mini. Works even better when Roon is substituted for iTunes.

    Roon makes iTunes look like little kids built it!

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