MP3 or AAC…

I go back and forth on this dang question for a number of reasons.

1. Audio quality
2. File size
3. Player compatibility

I’m back to asking the question because I just installed iTunes 7 and I need to set my perfs. AAC or MP3? I’ve been using AAC, but since I’ve been running Ubuntu I really should probably move to MP3. The problem is I’m out of space on my 30 GB iPod and switching to MP3 will use more space per song to keep the same bit rate.

What to do? Opinions please.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Josiah Ritchie

    OGG, there is a quicktime plugin that allows iTunes to play OGG files. Then you can play your files on Ubuntu without questionable legal issues. 🙂

  2. Erik Weibust

    Howdy Josiah!

    I’m guessing, from your comment, that you have issues with both AAC and MP3? I can understand a problem with AAC, but not with MP3. I thought that even though MP3 is not open, it is still almost 100% safe to use without any legal hassle. If the people that owned MP3 had an issue with it I’m thinking they would have made their move by now.

    On OGG, how does it compare with the others in quality/bit rate/file size?


  3. pete

    1. Audio Quality
    it all depends in the bit rate
    2. File size
    it all depends on the bit rate (but who really cares, storage is cheap, ipods are huge)
    3. Player Compatability
    this is what it’s all about for me. OGG Won’t play on an ipod. AAC will only play on an ipod. haven’t found a player yet that doesn’t support mp3…

  4. Erik Weibust


    1. I’m not a dumbass. 🙂 I know bit rate affects audio quality. The key is that a 160 AAC file = 192 MP3. So you save a lot more space going with AAC.

    2. Point one leads to point 2. iPods aren’t huge. I’ve maxed every iPod I’ve owned. Including my current 30 GB one.

    3. Yes, MP3 is king in compatibility.

  5. Mark

    What no mention of FLAC??

    (sorry I just had to stir the pot more)

    For me mp3 given that my podcast is in mp3 (give the people what they want) and my Sandisk doesn’t do OGG. I’d have to go back and find the studies but if I remember correctly when file sizes are the same, ogg wins in quality. So if given the choice, OGG all the way.

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