Windows 10 will apparently support the FLAC audio format for phones and small tablets, which means that music lovers will be able to enjoy superior audio quality.
For those unfamiliar with the format, FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. This file format retains audio quality, but packs it in a smaller size compared to the pure music stream. In other words, FLAC reduces the size of an audio file similarly to how a ZIP file works. Unlike the MP3 format, however, the FLAC file format retains the full, uncompressed audio data, without losing any sound quality in the process.
FLAC is among the best file formats for high-quality audio files, as it shrinks files that are often far larger than MP3 files. A high-resolution digital song, for instance, could weigh around 200MB in size, but a similar-quality version in FLAC format would weigh just 50 or 60MB. This allows users to store more of their songs on their mobile device, without having to sacrifice sound quality in favor of size. FLAC formats have already been supported on other platforms, and Microsoft finally plans to extend the courtesy to its mobile devices as well.
As PC World points out, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, took to Twitter to reply to one user inquiring about music playback capabilities. Belfiore said that Windows 10 will support FLAC audio files for phones and small tablets, but in future preview builds of the software.
"Yes, FLAC support will be on phones/small tablets...won't be in the first insider build, though, will be a few months later," reckoned Belfiore.
In turn, the tweet sparked other questions as well, as some users asked whether gapless playback would also be in the cards. Gapless playback eliminates the pauses between audio tracks that are stored locally, but Windows Phone 8.1 doesn't support it. Belfiore did not offer any response in this regards just yet.
Either way, Windows 10 is shaping up as an important update for all form factors, and should bring notable improvements on all fronts. Microsoft will offer more information as it gets Windows 10 ready for public release, and we'll keep you up to date as soon as we learn more.