.AAC File Extension
Advanced Audio Coding File
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What is a AAC file?
An AAC file is an audio file similar to an .MP3 file but compressed with Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), a lossy digital audio compression standard. The lossy compression maintains quality nearly indistinguishable from the original audio source, making it optimal for compressing music data.
Various companies, including Nokia, LG Electronics, Dolby, Sony, Panasonic, and NEC, jointly developed and maintain the AAC standard. They initially released it in 1997, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standardized it.
AAC offers several performance improvements over MP3. Some features include a higher coding efficiency for stationary and transient signals, a simpler filterbank, and better handling of frequencies above 16 kHz.
Various devices and apps utilize AAC as their default method for encoding audio. Examples include the iPhone, Nintendo 3DS, Apple iTunes, Apple Music, the iTunes Music Store, and PlayStation 4.
NOTE: While the .aac extension is sometimes used for AAC-encoded files, they are often saved with an .M4A file extension.
How to open a AAC file
You can open an AAC file with various audio players, including Microsoft Groove Music (Windows) and Apple Music (Mac).
You can also play AAC files with Nullsoft Winamp (Windows), VideoLAN VLC media player (multiplatform), Adobe Audition (multiplatform), and MPlayer (multiplatform).
Several mobile apps support AAC files as well, including Apple Music (iOS), olimsoft OPlayer (Android), and Videolabs VLC for Android (Android).
How to convert a AAC file
VideoLAN VLC media player, Adobe Audition, and Audacity (with the program's optional FFmpeg library installed) can convert AAC files to other audio formats. For example, VLC can convert AAC files to: