Quicktime AAC codec voted best in public hearing test, Nero AAC second best

AAC is the one of the terms you will find more
and more on the web lately. The Advance Audio Coding technology is dubbed to be
the follow up of MP3 and is part of the MPEG-4 standard. The format should
reduce the file size of compressed music while maintaining quality. Rarewares, a
site hosted by the HydrogenAudio community has performed a public AAC listening test and has just posted the results on
their website.

In the test five codecs were compared; Quicktime AAC,
Nero AAC, Psytel AACenc,  Sorenson Squeeze and FAAC. Files were encoded at
128kbps. Here is part of the conclusion of the test:

QuickTime is a clear winner, performing much better
than the competition. Sorenson Squeeze, Psytel AACenc and Nero are tied,
with Nero slightly lower than the others. Faac is clearly the
worst.

People advertizing FAAC should stop doing
so. As this test demonstrates, it’s a very bad encoder. If you don’t mind
about illegality, I suggest using AACenc, since it has good quality and is
free. If you care about that, I suggest using QuickTime or Nero, although
they aren’t free. Sorenson is good, but its price is
prohibitive.


It’s interesting to note that the
QuickTime codec used in this test isn’t the same one used in Apple iTunes.
The samples were encoded in QuickTime’s high quality mode, while iTunes
uses the fastest (and lowest quality) setting. This setting reportedly
produces worse quality than the high quality
one.


In
the test only Constant Bit Rate codecs were used. More information about this
public hearing test can be found here. Discuss this in our Audio Forum.

Source: HydrogenAudio