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Apple, AAC and Universal

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,386
11,761
MacEdition's Naked Mole Rate Report provides some additional information on Apple's interest in Universal.

Apple will (as previously rumored) push the AAC codec for their new music service -- which is reported to be released alongside the iPod. But the article also claims that Universal is a player in AAC development, possibly providing more detail to Apple's interest in the division.
 

pkradd

macrumors regular
Dec 1, 2001
184
0
AAC update

Apple will supposedly make a software update available for both iTunes and iPods. Older iPods will not become outdated. (It wouldn't make sense not to have previous owners on-board for the new music service).
 
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Frobozz

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,136
73
South Orange, NJ
Re: Apple, AAC and Universal

Originally posted by Macrumors
MacEdition's Naked Mole Rate Report provides some additional information on Apple's interest in Universal.

Apple will (as previously rumored) push the AAC codec for their new music service -- which is reported to be released alongside the iPod. But the article also claims that Universal is a player in AAC development, possibly providing more detail to Apple's interest in the division.

I can't stand the prose of the NMR report. The writer needs to get less fancy and more to the point. I love funny writing, but when I need to decipher one abstract metaphor after another it becomes tiresome... expecially in an information article.

Aside from my problem with the author, the information seems promising. I hope he's right.
 
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lazyrighteye

macrumors 68020
Jan 16, 2002
2,035
856
Denver, CO
Size Matters

Anyone know file size compression comparisons between mp3 (say 128) and AAC?

I do suspect if this were to happen, that Apple would release a free update for "old" iPod users. As someone mentioned above, it would be ridiculous to not support those that made this idea feasible... one would think.

lazyrighteye
 
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beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
1,690
0
Originally posted by yamadataro
I really hope Apple will release an updater for older iPods for AAC. Does iPod have software-based music data decoder?

If this news is true, I'll keep my 5GB iPod with a bunch of smaller AAC coded files!


but why would you want AAC files on the iPod? wont that take up ten times more disc space? or am i getting my formats mixed up? i though AAC was the native file format for CD's and people converted them to mp3.
 
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nickmcghie

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
151
0
UCLA
Re: Size Matters

Originally posted by lazyrighteye
Anyone know file size compression comparisons between mp3 (say 128) and AAC?

directly from Apple's AAC website:

Move Over MP3
Internet audio has become wildly popular in recent years, specifically in the MP3 format. But what most listeners don’t realize is that MP3’s compression technology is more than a decade old. In those ten years, many advances in perceptual audio coding and compression have been achieved. AAC takes full advantage of these advances, resulting in higher quality output at lower data rates, allowing even modem users to hear a difference.

When compared side-by-side, AAC proves itself worthy of replacing MP3 as the new Internet audio standard. Take a look at these AAC advantages over MP3:
• Improved compression provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes
• Support for multichannel audio, providing up to 48 full frequency channels
• Higher resolution audio, yielding sampling rates up to 96 kHz
• Improved decoding efficiency, requiring less processing power for decode

The Data Speaks for Itself
In numerous comparison tests, AAC comes out on top. Check out these impressive results:
• AAC compressed audio at 128 kbps (stereo) has been judged by expert listeners to be “indistinguishable” from the original uncompressed audio source.*
• AAC compressed audio at 96 kbps generally exceeded the quality of MP3 compressed audio at 128 kbps. AAC at 128 kbps provides significantly superior performance than does MP3 at 128 kbps.*
• AAC was the only Internet audio codec evaluated in the range “Excellent” at 64 kbps for all of the audio items tested in EBU listening tests.*
 
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nickmcghie

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
151
0
UCLA
Originally posted by beatle888
but why would you want AAC files on the iPod? wont that take up ten times more disc space? or am i getting my formats mixed up? i though AAC was the native file format for CD's and people converted them to mp3.

i believe you are thinking of AIFF, which is vastly different from ACC
 
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bitfactory

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
334
325
got Quicktime 6? do the test yourself by EXPORTING a track (direct from CD, not an mp3) to an mpeg4 and look at the file size difference.

multiply that by the number of songs you have in your collection then SUBTRACT the amount of time it will take to rerip all of your CDs AGAIN, and its probably close to a wash. ;-)
 
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emlyn

macrumors newbie
Feb 4, 2003
4
0
AAC

OK, to clarify some confusion about AAC in the previous posts. AAC is the native format for MPEG4. Redbook audio is the native format for CDs. As for a file size comparison, they could be the same size. The size of the file is directly related to the bitrate. So a 128kbps MP3 compared to AAC file will be the same size. The key thing here though is that AAC can sound better at lower bitrates. I've done some testing of my own and 96kbps AAC files undoubtedly sound better than 128kbps MP3 files. So actually the file sizes are smaller but it just depends on your bitrate preference.
 
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Awimoway

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2002
1,495
14
California
The idea that Apple would wish to buy a company much larger than itself just for its work on AAC is ludicrous. No way it's that important.
 
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beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
1,690
0
ok so AAC is the audio layer in mpeg4. now i got it. well thats cool. its funny, technology moves so fast these days, if your not an early adopter certain breakthroughs just pass you right by. i havent even fully moved to mp3, now its mp4. i guess it pays to not be on the edge of technology. but if mp3 devices (home mp3 players, car mp3 players) can be converted to accept the new format then that will add some confidence to the consumer when purchasing these items.
 
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ratspg

macrumors demi-god
Dec 19, 2002
217
80
Los Angeles, CA
AAC great deal.

I ripped some CDs in AAC and mp3 with mp3s at 160k and AAC at 128, and i actually think the AAC was smaller AND sounded better. I'm all for AAC, I just think it takes too long to encode at the moment, I hope they optimize it up.;)
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
Re: AAC great deal.

Originally posted by ratspg
I ripped some CDs in AAC and mp3 with mp3s at 160k and AAC at 128, and i actually think the AAC was smaller AND sounded better. I'm all for AAC, I just think it takes too long to encode at the moment, I hope they optimize it up.;)


Yup there's the benefit. better sound...lower bitrate. Also there's an addition to the Codec called AACplus which is supposed to sound pretty damn good for streaming audio at 48bits per second.
 
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geerlingguy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2003
562
6
St. Louis, USA
AAC Sounds Great!

So far I've only used AAC audio when making MP4 QuickTime videos for the web, and it sounds amazing (even for just voice) at a very small size. I'll be glad when iTunes supports it --> no more MP3 for me :D!

I'm just wondering how an MP3 converted to AAC would sound. Take a compressed, artifact-laden MP3 and compress it into another artifact-making file. Yuck! Maybe I'll just have to re-import every one of my CDs into AAC:(
 
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mattalici

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2003
33
0
LA
buzZZzz

Rumors rumors, everywhere rumors!

Things were getting pretty dry there for awhile.
 
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TyleRomeo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2002
888
0
New York
Originally posted by beatle888
ok so AAC is the audio layer in mpeg4. now i got it. well thats cool. its funny, technology moves so fast these days, if your not an early adopter certain breakthroughs just pass you right by. i havent even fully moved to mp3, now its mp4. i guess it pays to not be on the edge of technology. but if mp3 devices (home mp3 players, car mp3 players) can be converted to accept the new format then that will add some confidence to the consumer when purchasing these items.

unfortunately this is where people will have to buy new devices, if you have a MP3 car deck, then its not going to play a format that was released after the hardware, the only examples are devices where you actually do get software updates to the device (iPod) and a few other media players but everyone else buying MP3 anything right now, is a waste of time.

Tyler
 
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copperpipe

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2002
127
0
not important?

The idea that Apple would wish to buy a company much larger than itself just for its work on AAC is ludicrous. No way it's that important.

Ok, the argument for buying Universal or not to buy Universal is moot, because Steve made the anouncement the other day that it isn't going to happen. But to say that AAC is not important is just like saying that MP3 is not important. Sorry, but the MP3 compression changed just about every computer users life. Not Important? Whoa, it's *really* important.
 
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comrade

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2003
105
0
orlando, fl
Originally posted by beatle888
ok so AAC is the audio layer in mpeg4. now i got it. well thats cool. its funny, technology moves so fast these days, if your not an early adopter certain breakthroughs just pass you right by. i havent even fully moved to mp3, now its mp4. i guess it pays to not be on the edge of technology. but if mp3 devices (home mp3 players, car mp3 players) can be converted to accept the new format then that will add some confidence to the consumer when purchasing these items.

.MP3's are actually MPEG-2 Layer 3 (the audio layer). I'm kinda confused about the MPEG-4 thing though. I thought MPEG-4 supported MPEG-2 AAC audio encoding so it is just basically a new form of encoding an .mp3. Regardless, MPEG-4 is really neat because it supports encoding and synthesized sound. And for video you get great quality for little size.

EDIT: Also, I'm suprised Apple doesn't support Ogg Vorbis. It's free of royalties and its compression works in a different way. You use a quality scale and the encoder makes it as small as possible that fits your selection. Kind of the reverse effect of mp3, but can lead to smaller file sizes.
 
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