Ogg and FLAC are two popular formats that are being used more frequently by music enthusiasts. Unfortunately, WMP does not support these file types by default. To use Ogg and FLAC files in WMP, you will either need to convert them or install the required codecs.
Ogg is an mp3-like compression audio format except that it is open-source and patent free. For these reasons many audio users prefer this format over MP3 files. FLAC is a lossless audio format. This means that the audio is compressed, but there is no loss in quality.
As these formats are competition to other proprietary music storage file types, Windows Media Player (WMP) will not play these files without additional software or conversion. This continues to be true in Windows 7 and Windows 8 releases. To get Ogg and FLAC files supported in WMP, you have two options.
1. Install the codecs. You can download and install the codecs from here:
http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/download.html. The xiph open source community does a wonderful job of supporting both of these audio compression formats. These codecs will enable WMP to play both types of files.
2. Convert the formats. A large number of audio conversion software packages exist for converting these files to WMP, mp3, or anything else that WMP will play natively. Be aware that converting already compressed files (especially ogg files) may degrade their quality. Much of the conversion software will require the above codecs to be installed. Conversion may make sense if you ultimately wanting to share your music with devices such as the iPhone that does not support the FLAC or ogg formats.
Editor’s note: Article refreshed and republished with new links and new information.