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Topic: Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC? (Read 43657 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • izscors
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I am curious why there is continued development of MP3 encoding (such as LAME) when AAC is now long-known to yield superior quality for a given bit-rate (all other things being equal)?

I can sort of understand an explanation as being for the heck of it, but given that a superior method exists, why not work on improving even that instead? I'm not technolgically sophisticated enough to comment with any authority at all, so I pose the question.

  • hlloyge
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #1
AAC is, as I learned, better at lower bitrates (96-128 kbit) than mp3. But as bitrates rise, they sound equally good - that is, you won't be able to distinguish them from original, except if killer samples are used.
Each of them has it's own uses, and hardware/software support for mp3 is still more widespread than support for aac. But I would say it's by the margin.

  • saratoga
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #2
I can sort of understand an explanation as being for the heck of it, but given that a superior method exists, why not work on improving even that instead? I'm not technolgically sophisticated enough to comment with any authority at all, so I pose the question.


I think all commercial development is focused on AAC.  MP3 development is mostly just done by the community.

  • izscors
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #3
AAC is, as I learned, better at lower bitrates (96-128 kbit) than mp3. But as bitrates rise, they sound equally good - that is, you won't be able to distinguish them from original, except if killer samples are used.
Each of them has it's own uses, and hardware/software support for mp3 is still more widespread than support for aac. But I would say it's by the margin.


Well, there are people who say 256 bit CBR is indistinguishable from the "original" CD, too. But given that there are definite and specific areas of known better algorithms for AAC, I don't know why it would be that as the bit rates go up, MP# starts sounding closer to MP3. Is it just the fact that as bit rates go up everything starts to sound like the "original," or are the AAC algorithms somehow less superior at higher bit rates, and I don't know why that would be so.
  • Last Edit: 16 December, 2011, 12:50:24 PM by izscors

  • DVDdoug
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #4
As long as there is interest and demand, and as long as there are volunteer developers willing to put-in time, developement will continue.  I believe MP3 is still the most popular, most universal format, although if you judge by dollar-sales I think CDs and iTunes AAC outsell MP3. 

Looking at the LAME Change Log, the last few minor changes are not related to sound quality.

Why do we need both Honda and Toyota?  And, why do they continue development when they both make perfectly-acceptable automobiles?
  • Last Edit: 16 December, 2011, 01:02:29 PM by DVDdoug

  • izscors
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #5
I guess we have  them both because there are stylistic dfferences, and there is no generally accepted advantage to one or the other (leaving aside scope of acceptance e in market, hhich AAC sems to be geting more and more). However, here, there's a clear technical advantage to one, and there is at the least no advantage in any area to the other. Further, these are only tools, tools to a good-sounding electronic sing, not final products.

And so, given that one is a frequently inferior subset of the other, and is therefore dominated, there's no good purpose to the inferior one.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 01:43:23 PM by db1989

  • saratoga
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #6
Its not really clear to me what you expect to happen.  If someone is working on LAME and they want to go work on iTunes, should they quit their day job and go work for Apple?  People work on lame because its there and because its useful.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 01:43:32 PM by db1989

  • kode54
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #7
No, but perhaps some people may start to work on FAAC, so it sucks less and actually competes with the popular closed source encoders. Maybe that will happen some day.

Of course, there is also the distinct possibility that will become irrelevant as Opus gains more speed. It already stomps AAC at 64kbps, so it may also be fair to assume it improves when given more bits, like 96kbps, or even 128kbps. I don't think anyone on this forum has posted a listening test including it for higher bitrates, though.

And then there is the possiblity that AAC may even catch up, or some other newcomer may appear to stomp it again. Only time will tell.

  • kwanbis
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  • Developer (Donating)
Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #8
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I am curious why there is continued development of MP3 encoding (such as LAME) when AAC is now long-known to yield superior quality for a given bit-rate (all other things being equal)?

I can sort of understand an explanation as being for the heck of it, but given that a superior method exists, why not work on improving even that instead? I'm not technolgically sophisticated enough to comment with any authority at all, so I pose the question.

because they want and because aac is not nearly universal as mp3 is?

  • kennedyb4
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #9
Some devices do not support AAC. My friend has a new car that only does CD, WMA and MP3. Its nice I can convert his CD's to MP3 with V5 quality that sounds very good.
  • Last Edit: 16 December, 2011, 09:27:54 PM by kennedyb4

  • onkl
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #10
The difference in quality is too small to justify the disadvantages, namely compatibility. MP3 plays virtually everywhere and giving that up for a minor increase in efficiency simply isn't worth it.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 01:08:36 AM by onkl

  • halb27
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #11
With today's cheap and huge storage capacities also on mobile players many people can use high bitrate with mp3, that is they get excellent quality using mp3. With this background universal usability is the more important point.
Other than for using low to rather moderate bitrate there is no strong practical reason to prefer AAC over mp3. Theoretical advantages don't count for most people.
lame3995o -Q1

  • marc2003
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #12
Some devices do not support AAC.


that's the key issue for me. i think i'm the only person i know who doesn't have an ipod but i'm still important, damn it.

  • hlloyge
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #13
Is it just the fact that as bit rates go up everything starts to sound like the "original," or are the AAC algorithms somehow less superior at higher bit rates, and I don't know why that would be so.


Nope, they are both efficient at high bit rates at achieving transparency, that's all. That is, really, the point of lossy codecs, be it mp3, aac, ogg or whatever else exists.

  • shakey_snake
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  • FB2K Moderator
Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #14
Because we want to be tortured by id3 tagging forever. 
elevatorladylevitateme

  • odigg
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #15
I know this response may make people think I'm stupid, but I'm going to say it anyway.  I've been ripping and compressing music to MP3 since the ~1997, so that should give people some insight into how easy it is to get out of touch with reality.

Until today I assumed AAC = Proprietary technology by Apple that I'm not willing to support.  I knew MP3 was encumbered by certain patent issues, but I always assumed that MP3 was less evil than AAC.  Over the years I've heard others repeat this.

I know that the first ipods used AAC, and I think the myth of AAC being Apple's handiwork was born then.

It was only today that I looked up AAC and realized this is not true.  If I had known this before I would have started using AAC a long time ago.  I wonder how many other people are using MP3 based on this incorrect belief?  Maybe that's part of the reason why there is still such a focus on MP3 use and development?
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 11:48:05 AM by odigg

  • Soap
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #16
I wonder how many other people are using MP3 based on this incorrect belief?  Maybe that's part of the reason why there is still such a focus on MP3 use and development?


You don't think it's just a wee bit insulting to those who focus on MP3 development to suggest they do so out of ignorance?
Creature of habit.

  • odigg
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #17
You don't think it's just a wee bit insulting to those who focus on MP3 development to suggest they do so out of ignorance?


Ahh - I didn't mean it like that.  I imagine that there is a focus on MP3 development because so many people encode and use MP3s.  However, some of these people (like me) use MP3 based on a faulty assumption about legality, thus driving up interest in, and use of, the MP3 codec.  This, in turn, drives up interest in developing the codec.

My comment was made in reference to people who encode their own music, not the developers.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 12:19:03 PM by odigg

  • lvqcl
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #18
Quote
such a focus on MP3 use and development?


How many MP3 codecs are in active development?

  • GHammer
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #19
I like MP3 because:

I've used it since I started with music on my computer.
It's either MP3 or WMA in my car
I don't do Apple products.
It's 'good enough', if I want excellent, I use lossless.

I for one appreciate the continued development.

  • odigg
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #20
How many MP3 codecs are in active development?

Haven't I already established that I'm clueless about codecs and don't have an answer?  I was just speaking in a general sense.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 12:29:58 PM by odigg

  • kennedyb4
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #21
I think it is very worthwhile to perfect where possible MP# format. It's universal and has been the focus of so many tweaks and tests that to stop before completion makes no sense. To quit after 10 or 15 years work makes no sense, especially when the tweaks ar gradually helping substantially.

But the quality offered by AAC at 96kbps is extremely impressive so if you have a shuffle of low storage device it has its plce too. Streaming radio and such is important too. Do you want to listen to 64kbps MP3, or high efficiency QT at 64kbps?

The other thing I see as helpful is that if I transcode mp3 to mp3 for my friends car, the artifacts can be pretty apparant, but aac to mp3 is a lot better for portable listening IMO.
  • Last Edit: 17 December, 2011, 12:58:25 PM by kennedyb4

  • Elbart
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #22
Some devices do not support AAC.


that's the key issue for me. i think i'm the only person i know who doesn't have an ipod but i'm still important, damn it.

iPods aren't the only portables with AAC-support.

  • marc2003
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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #23
oh i know that. but you still have relatively few options looking for an AAC player compared to mp3.

Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
Reply #24
But the quality offered by AAC at 96kbps is extremely impressive so if you have a shuffle of low storage device it has its plce too. Streaming radio and such is important too. Do you want to listen to 64kbps MP3, or high efficiency QT at 64kbps?


My friend has a very tiny Apple player, only 2 gig. Is AAC 96 from Itunes good enough so that I can squeeze lots of songs on to the player without worrying about sound quality?