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AAC vs MP3: which music format is best?

MP3, the file format that has completely revolutionized the way we listen to music in the last twenty years, now considered irrelevant and obsolete by none other than the creators themselves. The founders of the format have in fact gone ahead and ended their patent licensing program. The situation seems almost a farewell to the most widely used audio format in the world, after a duration of almost 24 years. Now, the time to take over another format is reduced to just two, AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec).

Similar to the MP3 format, the AAC format that uses digital audio compression with loss appears to be in a convenient position to replace MP3 rather than FLAC, which is a completely different format for compression without loss of digital audio. With the disappearance of MP3, there might not be a better time to learn more about the potential replacement that can take over the entire audio industry. So, without further ado, we analyze AAC vs MP3 and find out if ready to replace the MP3:


When it comes to popularity, it doesn't take a genius to realize that the MP3 clearly the winner . In fact, one of the most popular file formats in the world and some of us even go ahead and consider music files as MP3s. So this is the kind of popularity that this format has achieved in the last two decades, since the original launch in 1993.

AAC file format, not even close to being as popular as MP3 so far, but it's making progress to say the least. A large number of streaming and transmission services currently use the AAC file format, as an audio codec more efficient than MP3. The developers realized that the popular file format was obsolete and outdated by the competition, which was one of the reasons that led to the license being closed. That being said, AAC is not a new file format. here for about a decade, being only 4 years younger than the MP3 format. However, it was overshadowed by the latter in terms of popularity and only recently began to spread like crazy, thanks to Apple using this format for all its popular services.

File size

AAC highlights the MP3 file format in this department, since AAC files are slightly smaller than the MP3 files of the same song . Let's say you have an MP3 file of a song with a weight of 10 MB. The same song in the AAC file format will weigh only about 8 MB. This may not seem like a big deal when you consider a single file, but we all have a lot of music files on our devices that take up our precious storage space. If you have stored music in the AAC file format, you will certainly save a lot of storage space.

Sound quality

Despite the fact that an AAC file is smaller than an equivalent MP3 file, it still manages to outperform the MP3 format in terms of overall sound quality, the main reason why AAC considered the future of digital audio with losses. AAC has many more sampling frequencies when you put it against MP3. It also handles audio frequencies above 16 Hz much better. Likewise, higher efficiency and coding accuracy for stationary and transient signals make AAC a better option than MP3 as a go-to file format for music files.


I hope you already know the answer. Otherwise, the MP3 file format no doubt the king of compatibility, being supported by almost every single music player and device in can play music.

When it comes to AAC, not really so, as it doesn't work on certain players and music devices, but is coming . AAC has been widely used by Apple on all their popular devices like iPhone, iPod etc. And also with the iTunes software. Now that the MP3 is considered obsolete, we are sure that the producers and developers will get on the AAC bandwagon and provide full support for this audio format on all devices and software.

AAC vs MP3: comparison

specificationsAAC formatMP3 format
Compression lossy lossy
extensions .m4a, .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .m4r, .3gp, .mp4, .aac .mp3
codec Audio only Audio only
Sound quality Better than MP3 Sub-par if compared with AAC
File size Slightly smaller than MP3 Higher and requires more space
popularity Popular, especially among Apple users Very popular
Compatibility iPhone, iPod, iPad, iTunes, Groove Music, DivX, PlayStation Supported by almost every single music player and device
Initial launch 1997 1993

AAC vs MP3: AAC the future

Admit it or not, after the disappearance of the beloved MP3 format, AAC can easily be considered a worthy successor, as it surpasses the MP3 format in almost every aspect, apart from its popularity and compatibility, but the tables can run in later years. Give AAC some time and soon he'll be right at the top, where the MP3 was. So, are you ready to switch to AAC format for music files or are you just sticking with MP3 for a little longer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.