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Comparison between AAC and MP3: Which One Suits You, AAC or MP3?

In my last post, I compared MP4 with AVI to illustrate your guys the basic knowledge about these two popular video formats. This time, I shift my attention to the most well-received audio formats AAC and MP3 since plethora of users feel so bewildered about the differences and similarities between AAC and MP3. Hence, it's meaningful for me to compare AAC with MP3 and present the differences of AAC and MP3 to aid you guys having a clear understanding about these two ordinary audio formats.

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What is AAC?

What is the definition of AAC? Well, in a word, AAC, the abbreviation of Advanced Audio Coding, is an audio coding standard for lossy digital compression, which has been standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications. As the late-comer of MP3, AAC has its own unique features and attractions, which will be shown in the later part.

What is MP3?

MP3, more popular than AAC, is the short form of MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III used to, also an audio standard for digital audio with lossy data compression tech. MP3 is an audio-specific format that was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in the MPEG-2 standard.

Comparison between AAC and MP3: Differences and Similarities of AAC and MP3

 

Algorithm

File Extension

Compatibility

Popularity

AAC

Lossy

.m4a, .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .m4r, .3gp, .mp4, .aac

iPhone, iPod, iPad, iTunes, Zune, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3 (not all media player)

Popular among iTunes and iPod users; de facto standard for music download and videos on mobile phones.

MP3

Lossy

.mp3

Compatible with almost all the music devices and players

Not so popular as AAC.

AAC vs MP3: Their Own Advantages and Disadvantages

AAC Advantages: smaller file size and higher quality sound than MP3

AAC is a newer, adopting more sophisticated codec than MP3 so as to offer you an audio file with even smaller size and a tad higher quality. See, if your AAC audio file is inherent with 160kbps, then you should adjust your MP3 file with 256 kbps to reach the same audio quality. But honestly, it is true that you can tell the difference between lossy and lossless. But there comes a point where it's indistinguishable to the human ear between a small difference of kbps.

MP3 Advantages: Works with Every Music Player and Mobile Device

PC vs Apple, PC wins due to open(ish) standard. AAC vs MP3, MP3 wins because of open(ish) standard, as well. The argument is never as cut and dried as which is best. More like which is "good enough" and easiest to work with. MP3 wins, which is friendly with almost all the music players no matter Windows Media Player, VLC, or Kmplayer and all the Apple Android Microsoft devices. So in terms of audio compatibility, who can top MP3?

AAC vs MP3 advantages: AAC is more popular than MP3

Recently, the creator of MP3 said that it had terminated licensing for certain MP3-related patents since MP3 has lost relevance in a world of new technology and has been outpaced by more efficient audio codecs like AAC codec. And most of media services including streaming, TV and radio broadcasting adopt modern ISO-MPEG codecs (AAC or MPEG-H). Comparing with MP3, AAC offers more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates. Besides, sound quality is improved within the same processing time.

MP3 Disadvantages: Less user-friendly than AAC

In some MP3 pros and cons research, MP3's audio quality is trash by modern standards so that MP3 compression strengthened neutral and negative emotional characteristics and weakened positive emotional ones in musical instruments. Although your MP3s stored on your hard drive will still work, maybe some new devices in the future will not support MP3.

AAC Disadvantages: inferior to MP3 because of its compatible issue

Compared with MP3, the most obvious shortcoming of AAC rests with its compatibility limits, which refuses many music players and various handheld devices like Android Samsung, Sony, Blackberry, Nokia, etc. Thus, for Apple users, they feel fine with AAC audio files, but for the Android users, they would be scratch their head when it comes to playback failure caused by AAC incompatibility issue.

MP3 Disadvantages: Lower Sound Quality than AAC

Generally speaking, MP3 would be loss more data to compress audio file compared with AAC due to its built-in compression rules. So if MP3 also wants to reach the same quality as AAC, it must use a slightly higher bit rate to encode audio file.

AAC vs MP3: Who Wins doesn't Matter, Who is the Best for You Matters More

Verdict: After comparing AAC with MP3, which one suits your taste, AAC or MP3? Actually, AAC is technically superior in nearly every way to MP3. Yet, I'd say the best format is the one works for your system. Providing your system doesn't support AAC then MP3 is the way to go. MP3 is more compatible with boatloads of older hardware so that limits your choices. AAC beats MP3 ass in case you are a big fan of Apple and want the best audio quality and smaller size, otherwise MP3 for compatibility.

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Comparison Between AAC and MP3 Over, How about Playback AAC MP3 Music?

Option 1: For your guys who wanna convert AAC to MP3 or convert MP3 to AAC for better playback, you can attain the goal under the assistance of the easy-to-use yet free online audio converters. Here the recommendable ones go to the familiar media.io, audio.online-convert.com, zamzar, audioformat.com, etc. Any of them can aid you to hassle-free convert any audio to ACC/MP3 in a flash without any a dent on your wallet.

download and convert video to mp3 aac

Option 2: Well, if you want to convert a helluva lot of music videos downloaded to AAC or MP3 audio formats for listening rather than watching, the highly sought-after MacX YouTube Downloader is the one you can trust on, for it specializes in downloading and converting any music video to AAC, MP3 for your playback on music player or using as iPhone Ringtone with 1:1 original quality and 100% stable performance.

Option 3: For those friends who wanna extract AAC MP3 music from DVD discs, then the MacX DVD Ripper Pro is the second-to-none choice that supports any DVD protection tech (Disney X-project protection included) and rip DVD to MP3, AAC audio with all quality untouched in mins due to its High Qulity Engine and multi-core CPU utility supports.

Author: Olivia Quinn | Updated on Dec 4, 2018