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Topic: FDK AAC & Android (Read 2570 times) previous topic - next topic
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FDK AAC & Android

Hi, question about FDK AAC files, I had converted quite a few flac files to fdk aac level 5 VBR, then later I read that fdk was specifically made for mobile devices (Android in particular I think) so I'm wondering, does this mean the quality level is less than other AAC types when listened to on a PC (like playing with foobar2000)

also, I read somewhere that some devices can't decode (I think that's the right word to use) fdk aac so the sound quality ends up being a bit lower than devices that read fdk properly (pardon if I'm not wording this correctly)

I just don't want to go back and find all these albums if the fdk aac quality is substandard being that they were designed specifically for mobile devices,

Thank you in advance

Re: FDK AAC & Android

Reply #1
Hi, question about FDK AAC files, I had converted quite a few flac files to fdk aac level 5 VBR, then later I read that fdk was specifically made for mobile devices (Android in particular I think) so I'm wondering, does this mean the quality level is less than other AAC types when listened to on a PC (like playing with foobar2000)

Not exactly. The quality of Fraunhofer FDK AAC is comparable to the CoreAudioToolbox, one of the best AAC encoder used by the Apple. This is especially true in high rates, because both of them will reach near transparency. See https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=120062.0
In FDK, you are using VBR 5, which is more than enough, about 192kbps, so you will have no worry regarding quality.
In FDK, using CBR instead of VBR may be worth considering because FDK has been extensively tested in many listening tests in CBR.

also, I read somewhere that some devices can't decode (I think that's the right word to use) fdk aac so the sound quality ends up being a bit lower than devices that read fdk properly (pardon if I'm not wording this correctly)

Your concerns are valid if you are using very low bitrates, like VBR 1.
AAC has many variants; AAC-LC is the oldest and suitable for high rates.
In very low bitrates, FDK will output HE-AAC or HE-AACv2. Some old devices cannot play HE-AAC.
However, in VBR 5, FDK will output AAC-LC. AAC-LC is widely supported.

For more info, see:
https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Encode/AAC

Re: FDK AAC & Android

Reply #2
Thank you so much! You helped put my mind at ease

Re: FDK AAC & Android

Reply #3
I use FDK to convert my FLAC files to AAC for my phone and car stereo.  No problems with playback or sound quality.  I use VBR 5, which I know is overkill for transparency, but storage space isn't an issue. 

I'm not sure what profiles are used by default with different VBR levels, but you can tell FDK to use AAC-LC regardless of the VBR level chosen. 

I could be wrong, but I believe the other AAC profiles are meant for speech and streaming (speech).  For music playback, I can't see why anyone wouldn't use AAC-LC (even for streaming).