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Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.

AAC has been standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications. Part of the AAC known as High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) which is part of MPEG-4 Audio is also adopted into digital radio standards like DAB+ and Digital Radio Mondiale, as well as mobile television standards DVB-H and ATSC-M/H.

AAC exploits two primary coding strategies to dramatically reduce the amount of data needed to represent high-quality digital audio:

  • Signal components that are perceptually irrelevant are discarded.
  • Redundancies in the coded audio signal are eliminated

AAC supports inclusion of 48 full-bandwidth (up to 96 kHz) audio channels in one stream plus 16 low frequency effects (LFE, limited to 120 Hz) channels, up to 16 “coupling” or dialog channels, and up to 16 data streams. AAC is the default or standard audio format for YouTube, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3. It is supported on PlayStation Vita, Wii (with the Photo Channel 1.1 update installed), Sony Walkman MP3 series and later, Android and BlackBerry. AAC is also supported by manufacturers of in-dash car audio systems.

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