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aac vs. mp3 - have you tested it?
Old 2nd May 2003
BevvyB's Avatar

aac vs. mp3 - have you tested it?

Make an aac and an mp3 of a piece of music so that both files approximate the same file size.

I'm using the new iTunes.

Then -

Can you tell the difference?


I'm not sure. It's certainly not 'staggering'

On the other hand, is there a chance that the mp3 coding in iTunes got 'better'?

Old 3rd May 2003
Gear Nut

I tried it, and didn't really think it was mind-blowing, either, but aac seems to sound a little better.

To my ear, the top end sounded a bit nicer/smoother, and the whole sound was a bit 'rounder' or 'full' if that makes sense.

But then, I rip all my mp3s at at least 192 anyway, so there may be a greater improvement at lower bitrates?
Old 4th May 2003
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

My understanding is that the potential areas of improvement are at lower bitrates and, interestingly, when using higher sample-rate and bit-depth sources.

I say potential, because based on past experience, I wouldn't trust Apple to implement it properly the first time around.
Old 4th May 2003
Gear Maniac
fishtop_records's Avatar

You have to do your test at several "bit rates"
to really know what the differences are.
And several styles of music.

All the codecs are based on the same basic ideas.
They juggle some parameters here and there.
There have been no breakthroughs in compression
in recent years.

A few years ago, my company had to rip 40,000
CDs. We did both WMA and MP3, each at five
speeds from 32k/s to 196.

At the highest level bitrate
(least compression), both sounded pretty good.
In the middle bit rates, there was some difference,
and at lower bit rates, the WMA was noticably better.
And at the lowest rates, everything sounded terrible.

Some people argue that ogg vorbis actually has the
best sound, probably because as open source,
the academics are free to try things and improve it.

But I expect that 99% of encoding will be with
one of the three (or four if you count MP3pro)
licensed codec/algoriths: WMA, AAC, or MP3.
At least until the academics invent something new,
or we get such large bandwidth that we start
to optimize 96kHz by 24-bits into a mere one
megabyte/sec delivery rate
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