AAC: is it the Betamax of the '00s?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Rantipole, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Rantipole macrumors 6502

    Rantipole

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    With the news that Amazon is offering MP3s in their music store, I wonder if AAC is just going to get more and more marginalized.

    Remember, most people considered Betamax a superior home video taping technology. Um, just like AAC is a better music encoder. But that didn't stop the market from embracing the VHS format, primarily because it was ubiquitous, not because it was better.

    This analogy isn't perfect, of course, but it is disappointing that Amazon did not pick the better "product" of AAC (which remember is NOT an Apple proprietary system; people forget that sometimes) when they expanded their music store.

    And to all who say "well, not all products support AAC"--don't you think Amazon's effort would have rapidly changed that situation??

    Since VHS proved that an inferior format can kill a superior one, what do you all think will happen to AAC in the future?

    (Let's leave the technically correct but immaterial out of the discussion: Yes, there probably will be AAC or an even better codec available and playable on something forever. They also still sell buggy whips.)
     
  2. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    May 7, 2002
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    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #2
    i really hope Apple continue to support aac unlike the way they treat the far-superior firewire (compared to usb).

    i think one thing is sure, apple would not go to a lesser quality file format, they'd just discontinue it... ;)
     
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #3
    What, Apple "marginalized" by Amazon? I think you have to check your numbers. In online digital music distribution, Amazon is a dwarf compared to Apple. Apple has so far delivered over 4000 million songs in AAC format. It will take quite a while until Amazon has delivered 40 million songs in MP3 format.

    The reason why Amazon ships MP3 is because nobody in their right mind would buy music in AAC format from anyone else than iTunes; Amazon is aiming at the small and shrinking minority who own players that are not capable of playing AAC.

    Wikipedia has a nice long list of hardware supporting AAC. It contains Creative Zen Portable, Microsoft Zune, SanDisk Sansa, Sony Playstation Portable (PSP), Sony Walkman A and S Series, dozens of mobile phones, and at the end there is the following gem: The Wii video game console supports AAC files through version 1.1 of the Photo Channel as of December 11, 2007. All AAC profiles and bitrates are supported as long as it is in the .m4a file extension. This update removed MP3 compatibility [].
     
  4. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    #4
    I don't think AAC is the "Betamax of the '00s". With two good reasons: 1) The VAST majority of the portable media player market is still owned by Apple iPods and iPhones and 2) many new portable media players support the AAC format.
     
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #5
    Heck even my Pioneer head unit plays 'em (as do Alpines).
     
  6. Mac OS X Ocelot macrumors 6502a

    Mac OS X Ocelot

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    Sep 7, 2005
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #7
    Blu-ray has won the format war...
     
  8. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #8
    Which is funny since this will be the first Sony format that's actually won.
     
  9. Mac OS X Ocelot macrumors 6502a

    Mac OS X Ocelot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    #9
    When?
     
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #10
    Yeah that little known format called CD never caught on at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    There's a slight problem of perception. MP3 as a phrase is becoming an embedded generic term for all compressed music files, and many general tech columns in the general media often mistakenly refer to it as Apple's format and that it has DRM as standard.

    I'm sure that this won't be an issue so much in 2-3 years time.
     

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