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Plex Media Server FLAC Music File Streaming and Transcoding

FLAC music files can not be directed played via Plex Media Server. Plex will transcode FLAC to another format to fix compatibility issues. Here we gather common questions about streaming and transcoding FLAC via Plex and answers to them.

Plex FLAC Media Files Support

Can Plex Play FLAC

Yes. FLAC will be transcoded by Plex Media Server to be compatible. Plex only has Direct Play music support for MP3 and M4A audio formats. In addition to the baseline Direct Play FLAC support, some manufacturers and models have differences. VIZIO TVs have additional Directly Play support for FLAC container with flac audio encoding.

Does Plex Transcode FLAC

Yes. FLAC music files not listed for a particular model or manufacturers Directly Play support will need to be transcoded by the Plex Media Server due to compatibility issues (learn more about Plex transcoding). These models and manufactures include LG, Panasonic (2014 or newer models), Samsung (2016 or newer models), Sony Bravia (non-Android TV), TiVo Models without 4K output (TiVo Premiere, Roamio, Mini, etc.), models with 4K output (TiVo Roamio OTA, Bolt, etc.), and more. As we list above, VIZIO TVs offer additional FLAC Directly Play support.

How to Disable Plex FLAC Transcoding

Plex will transcode the FLAC codec format when it needs to. There's no need to disable FLAC transcoding and we don't see any way to do this. Audio transcoding is not CPU intensive. You can close video transcoding on Plex Media Server, but audio transcoding remains. When playing the FLAC music file, launch Plex Web, go to Status > Now Playing, you should see if the FLAC song is being Direct Played or transcoded to another audio format.

Plex and Sonos FLAC Streaming

If you use a Plex server on your network, the minimum upload speed required to stream FLAC music files is 1.5Mbps or higher. Sonos supports FLAC up to 1536kbps. FLAC files must be encoded at 16-bit depth (24bit, 48kHz-Sonos S2 system only). To play hi-res FLAC files like 24-bit FLAC, Plex can transcode audio tracks into a type Sonos can play, enlarging your music library without format limits.

Use Plex's Built-in DLNA Server to Stream FLAC

Plex can serve as a DLNA server, allowing DLNA clients to access FLAC music files from the server. You can activate the DLNA server under Settings > Server > DLNA in Plex Web App, and turn the Enable the DLNA server option. However, Plex's official warning claims that enabling the DLNA server means any DLNA device and app have full access to your content, which is not safe.

Transcode Any Video to Plex Compatible Formats

Winxvideo AI can transcode VOB, HEVC, 4K 10-bit high-res video audio files to Plex compatible file type like MP4, AVI, MOV, etc. speedily by using Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD hardware acceleration. You won't notice any quality loss after the transcoding process thanks to its cutting-edge High-quality Engine. Supporting 370+ video audio codec formats, the program can convert almost all video files, MP4, AVI, WMV, H.264, HEVC, VP9, MPEG4, AV1, you name it. Free download the program to fix Plex compatibility issues.

Video Tutorial: Convert Videos to Plex Supported File Types


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is particularly skilled in writing and sharing video-related contents. Her guides cover from deep-seated video/audio parameters, to media entertainment on different platforms. She also enjoys shooting and processing videos by herself for a more reliable basis of informative info with her articles.

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