AAC vs. MP3


I mostly use the AAC format (.m4a) when I encode my CDs these days. I've done enough A/B testing to determine that (at least to me) they sound enough better to be worth using.

I may post things here in .m4a format. This means that iPods are pretty much the only portable that can play them. Plus, it's possible that there are people whose software might not handle the format. Most players have plugins or some sort of method for playing .m4a files, at least.

Would there be massive outcry if I were to post music in .m4a format? I'm inclined to go ahead and do so, but if it would be WAY TOO ANNOYING, I'd go to the trouble of digging out CDs and re-encoding them. It would take longer, since I couldn't just upload what's on my laptop now, but for you, my beloved readers, I would do this thing.

Currently considering for upcoming posts: Shriekback, I Start Counting, A.C.Marias, You Shriek, and some others. Any requests? (I think I Start Counting will be next.) Plus, special guest posters Joe and Nik have accounts, whenever they feel like posting anything.

Let me know...


Fine by me.

Give it a bosh. Winamp/Noatun can only complain like hell.

please!!! don't post in m4a format!! i urge you!!!

saying aac is better than mp3 is crap. Both are a form of lossy audio, therefore one cannot be "better than" the other in terms of audio quality. Breakdown:

AAC - a lossy codec built off of mp3. claims to have equal quality at a lower bit rate. Eg: an aac file encoded at 128kbps is said to be that of an mp3 encoded at 192kbps in quality (itunes uses 128 by default). An aac file encoded at 192 kbps is said to match an mp3 at 256 kbps. However, once the bit rate is brought up higher (eg 320 kbps), one cannot tell the difference between the two.

Mp3 - the most popular form of compression audio. comes in many standard formats including 64 (low), 128 (medium low), 160 (medium),
192 (most popular, medium high), 256 (high) and 320 (cd quality). Use of a proper encoder is important as well, as this will determine if you get the quality you store. I recommend LAME codec, as they are truly the best.

OGG vorbis - built off of mp3. unlike mp3, though, which can be used with many different encoders, OGG only uses one, so the quality is higher in P2P situations. OGG has no noticeable difference in sound quality when compaired with AAC and MP3.

No form of compression audio is completely lossless, therefore nothing about mp3, aac and ogg should contrast when encoded at cd quality bit rates (eg 320 +).

Blind test yourself in an unbias manner. I promise you will find no difference between a 320kbps mp3 (encoded with LAME) and a 320kbps AAC.

Thank you for the discussion.

I have done my own comparisons at 128k (which is reasonable for posting things on web sites with limited bandwidth, especially if you want to credibly claim you're doing so solely for review purposes and not for the sake of music piracy), and I find that AAC sounds better at lower bit rates, just as you say. Please note that I didn't say that one format was better than the other in some kind of all-emcompassing manner. I also did not mention OGG at all, since it's not supported by anything I use regularly. I'm sure it's very nice in other situations, but I do not find it useful.

You're not obliged to listen to anything if it doesn't meet your encoding standards. I also urge you to consider the phrase "at least to me."

According to my logs, you haven't downloaded anything I've posted. You appear to have hit the site for the sole purpose of posting something basically irrelevant to the matter at hand. If all you're here for is a pedantic discussion of audio formats, I will be more than happy to ignore your comments.

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This page contains a single entry by solipsistnation published on March 14, 2006 11:58 AM.

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