Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates. >> AAC vs. MP3
AAC has been standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications. The MPEG-2 standard contains several audio coding methods, including the MP3 coding scheme. AAC is able to include 48 full-bandwidth (up to 96 kHz) audio channels in one stream plus 16 low frequency effects channels, up to 16 "coupling" or dialog channels, and up to 16 data streams. The quality for stereo is satisfactory to modest requirements at 96 kbps in joint stereo mode; however, hi-fi transparency demands data rates of at least 128 kbps (VBR). The MPEG-2 audio tests showed that AAC meets the requirements referred to as "transparent" for the ITU at 128 kbps for stereo, and 320 kbps for 5.1 audio.
AAC is also the default or standard audio format for: Apple's iPhone, iPod, iPad, iTunes, Sony's PlayStation 3 and is supported by Sony's PlayStation Portable, latest generation of Sony Walkman, phones from Sony Ericsson, the latest S40 and S60 models from Nokia, Android based phones, Nintendo's Wii, and the MPEG-4 video standard.
The MPEG-4 audio standard does not define a single or small set of highly efficient compression schemes but rather a complex toolbox to perform a wide range of operations from low bitrate speech coding to high-quality audio coding and music synthesis.
The MPEG-4 audio coding algorithm family spans the range from low bitrate speech encoding (down to 2 kbps)to high-quality audio coding(at 64 kbps per channel and higher).
AAC offers sampling frequencies between 8 kHz and 96 kHz and any number of channels between 1 and 48.
In contrast to MP3's hybrid filter bank, AAC uses the modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) together with the increased window lengths of 1024 or 960 points.
AAC can be used on HDTV, DVB, iTunes and iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, mobile phone, PDA and so on.
You can play AAC on ffdshow, The KM Player, Winamp, VLC, iTunes, Windows Media Player, XBMC, etc.
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