Apple AAC

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Current AAC encoders
(most to least recommended)
1 Apple AAC M/W
2 FhG AAC (Winamp) W
3 Fraunhofer FDK AAC S/L/M/W
4 Nero AAC L/W
5 FFmpeg 3.0+ AAC encoder S/L/M/W
7 Libav (pre-3.0 FFmpeg) AAC encoder S/L/M/W
S Source code available; L Linux; M macOS; W Windows
List of AAC encoders

Apple AAC is an AAC codec developed by Apple Inc. and included in Apple's audio framework, Core Audio. Core Audio is used in iTunes, Safari web browser, and other Apple products. Apple's AAC encoder is known to be one of the highest quality medium-bitrate CBR and VBR LC AAC encoders. The encoder started as part of the QuickTime media framework, but Apple has transitioned away from QuickTime, to AV Foundation.

The encoder does consistently well in Hydrogenaudio listening tests.


Apple's macOS includes a command-line utility for transcoding audio files that employs this encoder when encoding to AAC.


afconvert [options] <infile> <outfile>


-f --file <string>
File format. Several; use 'm4af' for '.m4a' file or 'adts' for raw '.aac' file.
-d --data <string>
Data format. Several; use 'aac'.
-s --strategy <0,1,2,3>
Bitrate allocation strategy. 0 for CBR, 1 for ABR, 2 for VBR_constrained, 3 for VBR
-b --bitrate <n>
Bitrate in bits per second. Does nothing when used with strategy 3.
-ue vbrq <0-127>
Output quality for VBR mode. Only applicable when using strategy 3.
-q --quality <0-127>
Speed/quality trade-off. Internally rounded to a value of either 32, 64, or 96.



Developer(s) nu774
Release information
Initial release {{{released}}}
Stable release 2.77
Preview release
Operating system Windows
Additional information
Use Encoder
License Various
Website github/qaac

QAAC is an open-source wrapper for Core Audio's AAC and ALAC encoders that allow them to be used directly in applications that don't otherwise use Core Audio. It exists only for Windows.

External links