Advanced Audio Coding or AAC and MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 or MP3 are the two most popular formats of audio or music. The AAC format is mostly used in iTunes and it is written as file extension type like m4r, .3gp, .mp4, .aac .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .m4a. whereas MP3 is represented as .mp3. This format has become so much popular in the world of digital audio players that nowadays people have started calling the portable media players like MP3 players. There are many people who do not have any idea either about AAC or MP3. The basic difference between these two audio formats is also not known by many people. It is time to weigh both the formats. Listed below are the comparisons between the two formats(AAC VS MP3).
AAC VS MP3: Which Music Format Is Better?
- First, you should be clear that both the formats are audio coding standards where a loss of quality may happen due to the compression. In the year 1997, AAC format was released publicly which was actually three years after the launch of MP3 format. If AAC is compared to MP3, AAC is definitely better than the latter one, even though both are at the same bit rates. In lower bit rates the difference in quality in more visible. WAV Lossless and AIFF are two much larger formats which are specially used for CD burning. Apple Lossless, FLAC, and APE are the highly recommended audio formats for you if you are searching for formats which go through zero loss on compression.
- There was once an engineer who did music quality test between AAC and MP3 on iPhone and iTunes. It came out that AAC sounds better than MP3 at the same bitrate and no mp3 file can beat an AAC file of 256 kb. Dolby Laboratories have also done some tests. There were even experts who said that there is hardly any difference between a 128 kbs stereophonic AAC audio and audio which is completely raw and uncompressed. MP3 files of 128 kbs cannot match up even with the 96 kbs AAC formats. AAC files of 128 kbs will never allow a mp3 file of 128 kbs to beat it. At all EBU listening test project, AAC is the only network broadcast audio format which gets excellent.
- AAC is not supported on all devices. It supports only in Microsoft’s Zune, Sony PS3/PSP, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iPod and in some other mobile phones. While the MP3 is supported in all devices from cellphones, tablets to audio players. But AAC is supported widely because it is somewhat newer.
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Though AAC was developed by Nokia, Sony, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Dolby Laboratories, Apple took it as their baby. It is the standard audio format for all the Apple devices and services like iPhone, iPod, iTunes, and iPad. We can hope that this AAC format gets a little more popularity in the near future, and is more preferred by most people.