There’s growing excitement about a new revolution that’s taking place in the audio distribution market. As bandwidth costs soar due to demand for audio files, content providers are turning to a format originally intended to replace MP3.
The MPEG-4 aacPlus audio format delivers high quality audio while dramatically reducing bandwidth costs. Near CD quality can be achieved over modem dial-up connections due to a combination of three MPEG technologies, Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), coupled with Coding Technologies’ Spectral Band Replication (SBR), and Parametric Stereo (PS).
Although ACC is a lossy data compression format these additional technologies significantly improve the performance of AAC at lower bitrates further increasing it’s effectiveness for audio streams.
Paul Boutin reports in Slate; "aacPlus can sound great at 24 kpbs. At 48 kbps, it’s almost as crisp as a CD. At 128 kbps, it can deliver 5.1 channel surround sound".
Sources are saying that aacPlus will become the common digital audio distribution format for converging market forces including DVD, mobile, Internet and broadcast. This isn’t something we have to wait for, aacPlus has been around for some time and many services are already using it. Winamp was one of the early adopters of the format and websites like tuner2 are using it to deliver streaming broadcasts.
In terms of Internet radio and podcasting this is highly significant, circumventing many of the bandwidth and bitrate problems currently choking the growth of new mediums. Equally important is the ability to distribute audio files to millions of dial-up users currently unable to stream or download bandwidth hungry media. The market for low bandwidth devices is huge and includes cellular subscriptions, PDAs, laptops and car systems. The overall effect should mean large scale growth in grass roots personal media.
Learn about the aacPlus audio format:
- Coding Technologies aacPlus developers, licensing and information.
- You Can’t Be Too Thin Slate article on "The skinny new audio format that will replace MP3s—and revolutionize Internet radio".
Wikipedia chronological list and info on audio formats.