AfterDawn: Tech news

Compaact! MP4 AAC audio compressor released

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 29 Oct 2003 9:04

Compaact! MP4 AAC audio compressor released We all know Apple iTunes and many of us have heard about the Nero Burning ROM. These are the two pieces of main stream software that are utilizing and promoting the MP4 AAC audio compression. Now a smaller player enters the new market with Compaact! audio compressor.
An editorial by Roberto Amorim of RareWares
Germany is still the place to look for high quality audio encoders.

It started with the now worldwide-famous Fraunhofer institude (FhG)and it's IIS branch. They were the brains behind the development ofmost of the techniques in the ubiquituous MP3 audio compression format, and to this day their encoder implementations are still to be beaten in several aspects.

Then, an university student called Andree Buschmann developed a brand new format based on MP2 algorithms called Musepack. This is considered by enthusiasts and audiophiles to be the best format for those seeking transparency - AKA "CD quality"

Now, Germany shows the power of their tradition in audio processing with the introduction of the zPlane AAC encoder (zAAC), jointly developed by zPlane.development and the Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI, not surprisingly a branch of FhG).

Particular comparisions hint that this codec is very promising, with potential to compete well with Ahead Nero and QuickTime implementations. Public listening tests comparing this codec to others are already being planned.

Also, this encoder is packed with features (screenshot). There are three different quality levels (from faster encoding to high quality), support for
LC and MAIN profiles, ability to enable or disable tools like TNS or PNS, multichannel encoding support, several preprocessing routines, and a very interesting preview feature, that allows users to preview in real time how their tracks will sound after encoded.The encoder will be marketed by Dicas GmbH, under the name "Compaact!", and it is priced at a decent 19,90.

Download a demo version from

Many thanks to Roberto for the editorial. Be sure to check out RareWares for hard to find audio software.

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