AAC is able to include 48 full-bandwidth

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at many bit rates.

AAC has been standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 specifications. The MPEG-2 standard contains several audio coding methods, including the MP3 coding scheme.

AAC is able to include 48 full-bandwidth (up to 96 kHz) audio channels in one stream plus 16 low frequency effects (LFE, limited to 120 Hz) channels, up to 16 "coupling" or dialog channels, and up to 16 data streams.

Developed by the same organization that created the MP3 format, AAC files, or Advanced Audio Coding files, are an improvement over the quality and compression of MP3 files, but not enough of an improvement to overcome MP3’s popularity.

The AAC format was introduced in 1997 and works similar to MP3 because it only contains audio information that the human ear can hear. But AAC audio has more sample frequencies, more channels, more efficient coding and several other improvements over MP3.

The most popular company to use AAC files is Apple, which uses it for iPod audio devices and the Apple iTunes Music Store. Apple has created a DRM protected version of the AAC format, called FairPlay, which is sold at the iTunes Music Store.

The AAC format is extremely common only because of the success of the iPod and iTunes Music Store because there are few other companies or websites that use it.

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