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Updated 12/04/2017Home » Video Glossary » AAC

AAC

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 is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3. It is supported on PlayStation Portable, Wii (with the Photo Channel 1.1 update installed), Sony Walkman MP3 series and later, Sony Ericsson; Nokia, Android, BlackBerry, and webOS-based mobile phones. AAC has also seen some adoption on in-dash car audio especially on high-end units such as the Pioneer AVIC series.

AAC on Mobile Phones

For a number of years, many mobile phones from manufacturers such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, BenQ-Siemens and Philips have supported AAC playback. The first such phone was the Nokia 5510 released in 2002 which also plays MP3s.

  • Sony Ericsson phones support various AAC formats in MP4 container. AAC-LC is supported in all phones beginning with K700, phones beginning with W550 have support of HE-AAC. The latest devices such as the P990, K610, W890i and later support HE-AAC v2.
  • Nokia XpressMusic and other new generation Nokia multimedia phones like N- and E-Series: also support AAC format in LC, HE, M4A and HEv2 profiles
  • BlackBerry: RIM's latest series of Smartphones such as the 8100 (Pearl), 9500 (Storm) and 8800 support AAC.
  • Apple's iPhone supports AAC and FairPlay protected AAC files formerly used as the default encoding format in the iTunes store until the removal of DRM restrictions in March 2009.
  • All recent Android phones support AAC-LC, HE-AAC and HE-AAC v2 in MP4 or M4A containers along with several other audio formats. From Android 3.1 also raw ADTS files are supported. Android 4.0 can also encode these kind of files.
  • The HTC Dream (Also known as the T-Mobile G1) is described as supporting certain subset of the full AAC format. As of 2009-04-13 at least several forms of AAC files played while others did not play.
  • WebOS by HP/Palm supports AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, and .m4a containers in its native music player as well as several third-party players. However, it does not support Apple's FairPlay DRM files downloaded from iTunes.
  • Windows Phone 7: WP7's Silverlight runtime supports AAC-LC, HE-AAC and HE-AAC v2 decoding.