Internet audio has become wildly popular in recent years, specifically in the MP3 format. But what most listeners don't realize is that MP3 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.
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
"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."