J River, Songbird. Amarra, Decibel,Channel D Pure Music. XBMC will play FLAC not sure if it will rip to FLAC. Some of these cost money. If you are going to go with Apple, the difference between FLAC and ALAC is negligible at best. Both are lossless.
I am thinking about adding a Mac Mini to my Home theater for mainly hosting music files. What is the best host for Mac? I think I read that the best itunes can do is apple lossless which is 326kbps right? Can any programs for Mac host FLAC files? Thanks!
ALAC is not limited to 326kbps and like FLAC overall averages about half of the original CD (WAV) stream. Most are from about 300kbps to 1000kbps depending on complexity of the music. It is also lossless just like FLAC (analogue: ZIP to RAR comparison). They both will be exactly the same after decoding (open source, lossless and identical to the CD) so there is no need to convert or use FLAC for your purpose.
If you are listening to the files through your home theater system then you might want to just use WAV. It plays ball on everything. The problem is a larger file size than lossless and while dBPoweramp can write metadata/tags to the file, there isn't much that will recognize it.
I'd recommend getting dBpoweramp and then just create MP3 Lame -V0 versions for portable listening.
Don't get locked in the ALAC format. FLAC is equally good and is supported by way many devices. Use the native format for this (44.1kHz/16 bit), you can upsample that at playback time if you need. Don't use iTune to archive your stuff either... For Windows world we have: http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/en/