It is widely known MP3 has become practically synonymous with online audio as it is capable of transforming your music into small files, ideal for sharing. However, the fact of having a “reasonable” audio quality displeases many people, opening the market to other, more robust formats, such as AAC (which is Advanced Audio Coding according to AbbreviationFinder Website).
Unlike FLAC, AAC is a lossy audio compression scheme that does not focus on audiophiles, but on users who want high quality music without having to sacrifice huge disk space or even their portable music players to store them.
Seen by the market as a successor to MP3, this format has big names behind its development, such as Sony, AT&T, Nokia and Dolby Laboratories, and has even been standardized by the renowned institutes ISO and IEC. Many of our devices already use AAC as standard, such as the PlayStation 3 and Portable, Nintendo Wii and DSi, Andoid devices, iPhones and iPods, being the standard format used even in iTunes.
To explain the superiority of AAC over MP3, Canaltech shows some points of comparison:
- AAC achieves a higher level of audio quality without increasing the file size. This is measured in Kbps (Kilobits per second) and the higher this number, the more transparent the sound will be – and the greater the space needed for the file. A song compressed in AAC at 96 Kbps has a clearer sound than an MP3 at 128Kbps, which means more quality at a smaller size;
- A very important parameter to estimate the “purity” of a song is its sampling frequency, because the greater the margin, the more details are stored. While MP3 has a margin of 16 KHz to 48 KHz, AAC ranges from 8 KHz to 96 KHz;
- An MP3 audio file can only support 5.1 channels in MPEG-2 while AAC is capable of playing up to 48 different channels in MPEG-4;
The above data alone already explains the preference of many users and companies to replace MP3, which has been standard since 1993. The only obstacle seen by some manufacturers is the need to pay royalties to the AAC encoder (decoder) and decoder (decoder) Dolby Digital, but this is something that already occurs with the MP3 format, so who knows with a little negotiation things will be resolved, right?
Check out some music players compatible with AAC:
Do you think that AAC will replace MP3?