AAC and M4A Audio Files (Construct R50)

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  • FREE Tools for editing AAC and M4A files:

    Audacity 1.3 beta (Support for AAC format) (Free)

    Audacity 1.2 cannot import or export AC3, AMR(NB), M4A, WMA or most other proprietary file formats due to licensing and patent restrictions.

    However, the Beta 1.3 version of Audacity can import or export these and many additional formats, if you install the optional FFmpeg library.

    FFmpeg also allows Audacity to import audio from video files. Note that on Mac, Audacity Beta has built-in support for M4A import without installing FFmpeg, using the QuickTime components supplied by the operating system.

    Audacity 1.3 beta





    VLC Player-VideoLAN Client (Free)

    With the VLC player, you can enjoy your AAC audio files quickly. The player directly supports AAC decoding without the need for DirectShow filters or special codecs to be installed. If you are looking for a quick solution then this is certainly it, but if you want to look at other examples of these players or learn to play with Windows Media Player and store it in your Media Library.



    Foobar 2000 (Free)

    Another Player with Direct Support for FLAC

    One of the most excellent audio players and converters available is Foobar 2000. It is available as a free download from AfterDawn and it natively supports the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format. It also will allow you to easily convert it to another format or edit the tag information.



    Features of AAC format:

    AAC was promoted as the successor to MP3 for audio coding at medium to high bitrates. When compared side-by-side, AAC proves itself worthy of replacing MP3 as the new Internet audio standard the advantages over MP3 are:

    * Improved compression provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes.

    * Support for multichannel audio, providing up to 48 full frequency channels.

    * Higher resolution audio, yielding sampling rates up to 96 kHz.

    * Improved decoding efficiency, requiring less processing power for decode.

    A file with the AAC file extension is an MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding file.

    Other types of files may also use the AAC file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the AAC extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

    AAC, or Advanced Audio Coding, is often considered to be the successor of the MP3 format. This may be true in the market for legal downloads, but not really for music file sharing. However, the AAC format is also used with video (used with MP4 & 3GP container) and it does provide better audio quality than MP3, keeping the bitrate lower. This makes AAC a suitable audio format for portable players like iPods.

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  • Great post Chrisbob, would make a good tutorial perhaps?

  • Thank's Tom, the post is an (edited) collection of stuff i read on the internet, so i can't really claim to have wrote it.?

  • Ah no you can't then really unless it's original work.

  • If you're happy with commandline applications, Nero have a commandline AAC encoder:


    Haven't tried it myself, let me know if you have any luck with it.

  • Why not use standard wave files?

  • Wave files surprisingly aren't supported by all browsers and they are very impractical for the web as they are generally very large in size.

  • Azu : http://www.scirra.com/blog/44/on-html5-audio-formats-aac-and-ogg

    Check the compatibility table in the middle of the article.

    Tom : This, I already started to debate with ashley, is not totally true. I mean a piece of music that will go for several minutes will indeed be a heavy file. But a sound FX of about 0.1 to 0.3 sec can be under 20 ko. Compressing such a file won't reduce it's size (at least not with ogg or mp3 compression).

    So I guess, in the end, and depending on the way the browsers that support it implemented it (Ashley said the implementation of most formats in browsers was a pretty big issue) maybe it might be worth implementing wav in C2's audio plugin in the long term.

    Let's wait for Ash to come back fresh and renewed from his break ^^

  • We've been informed that IE10 will not support wave files also though which has to factor in it. It's a silly situation :(

  • Indeed.

    I really can't understand microsoft who doesn't want to open to open formats (money you said ?), and won't even acknowledge their own "home" format. (I remember discovering the recorder and ".wav" format in windows 3.1 !)

    Silly situation indeed.

  • We're thinking about setting up a single page website to put pressure on IE to support ogg, it could go viral and might help make our voice louder! A sort of petition type site.

  • I'd sign such a petition.

  • If you're happy with commandline applications, Nero have a commandline AAC encoder:


    Haven't tried it myself, let me know if you have any luck with it.


    It only converts WAV(PCM) files.

    Audacity is probably the best and easiest to use.

    It converts WAV, OGG, FLAC, AAC, M4A, MP3 and a few others.

  • The main problem with supporting WAVs I think is that new users who aren't clued up on audio formats will use it for long sound effects and music anyway (not all users come by the site/forum to read up on this stuff). Then they end up with megabyte-sized projects which take ages to download. If it happens a lot then C2 becomes associated with slow, inefficient web apps.

    So I don't think C2 should give you the choice. If you can't choose, you can't choose wrong. Ogg and AAC are just fine even for short sound effects. Even a short 1 second clip I've found is reduced from 180kb to about 14kb with Ogg/AAC. Consider that saving with 10-20 sound effects.

  • I did the following conversion test with a wav file:

    Original (wav)    232 KB

    Convert to MP3    41 KB

    Convert to OGG    32 KB

    Convert to M4A    26 KB

    Like you say, if your games got 10-20 sound effects, it's a massive difference.

    I also made an example with C2r50 and uploaded it to Dropbox, just a basic 'click on a square' to play sound thing.

    Click on square

    Using my current browser (Chrome..XP), i get about a 1.5 second delay, so i think its time to try another browser.

    After Internet Explorer.....which browser would you recomend as the best alternative to Chrome ?

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