The Different Types of Audio Formats, MP3, AAC, and AC3


The world of audio codecs is now larger than ever. Audio coding has turn out to be an integral half of folks’s lives. Almost all functions through which you play sound, be it a easy cellphone name, streaming music through Spotify, voice messages on WhatsApp, or streaming music from the cellular phone to the automobile. All that is solely potential because of totally different audio codecs.

But what precisely are these codecs, and why are there alternative ways of storing music?

What precisely is an audio format or an audio codec?

After recording sound, the info from the microphone is normally saved as so-called uncooked information. That is, the machine saves all sound frequencies recorded, probably together with those who the human ear can not understand in any respect or that haven’t any that means for notion.

However, after saving the uncooked information, it stays comparatively massive and can not simply be despatched over the Internet or the phone line. The process of an audio codec is to compress this uncooked information into a selected format, e.g., the MP3 audio codec compresses the uncooked information into the .mp3 format.

The information is considerably smaller, you may ship it over the Internet, and then compress and play it again on the different finish. You additionally want an MP3 codec on the different finish of the road, which might unpack the compressed format and play the music.

An audio codec is a program that may compress and decompress music/sound, ideally in such a manner that as little information as potential is misplaced, and the sound nonetheless sounds precisely like the unique after compression and decompression.

Many of the codecs used right now work in a lossy method. That is, the unpacked music information doesn’t correspond 100% to the unique information. However, a traditional listener can not distinguish the encoded music from the unique.

Every codec works with a vital variable: the bit fee. The bit fee determines what number of bits per second the codec has accessible to compress the music.

The greater the bit fee, the higher the sound normally sounds after encoding and decoding. Typical information charges are 256 kbit/s for the MP3 codec, for instance.

What is the distinction between the audio codecs?

Audio codecs have developed an incredible deal over the previous few years. In precept, each producer can assume of their very own format to transmit music. However, some very well-known codecs have emerged which are predominantly widespread in right now’s world.

MP3 format

The first is the MP3 format, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, Germany, amongst others. This is a lossy format that delivers a really nice sound at bit charges of round 256 kbit/s with out introducing artifacts. That is, disturbances into the piece of music.

The patents for the MP3 format expired in 2019, so right now, it’s license-free, i.e., free know-how.

AAC format

The AAC format, the so-called Advanced Audio Coding, is the successor to the MP3 format. Thanks to a brand new algorithm, this format gives the person higher sound and the use of even decrease information charges, which saves the battery of the tip machine. Likewise, AAC gives the so-called DRM perform to forestall unlawful copying of music.

The AAC codec has additionally been drastically improved in recent times, e.g., to the so-called Extended High-Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC), which might provide even higher sound high quality at low information charges. HE-AAC may modify the info fee relying on the piece of music. This not saves power on the smartphone/pill and additionally protects the info quantity.

AC3 codec

With DVDs/Blurays, Dolby is normally the pioneer of audio codecs. Most folks comprehend it in these areas with its AC3 codec. You can use it, for instance, with HDTV or Blu-ray, and can transmit as much as 14 channels concurrently to offer the person with a house cinema expertise in their very own residence.