Fraunhofer FDK AAC

An open-source software library for encoding and decoding Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format audio, developed by Fraunhofer IIS, and included as part of Android.

Fraunhofer FDK AAC (Full title Fraunhofer FDK AAC Codec Library for Android) is an open-source software library for encoding and decoding Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format audio, developed by Fraunhofer IIS, and included as part of Android. It supports several Audio Object Types including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AAC LC, HE-AAC (AAC LC + SBR), HE-AACv2 (LC + SBR + PS) as well AAC-LD (low delay) and AAC-ELD (enhanced low delay) for real-time communication. The encoding library supports sample rates up to 96 kHz and up to eight channels (7.1 surround).

The Android-targeted implementation of the Fraunhofer AAC encoder uses fixed-point math and is optimized for low-delay encoding on embedded devices/mobile phones. The library is currently limited to 16-bit PCM input. Other versions of the Fraunhofer encoder, like the one included in Winamp, are optimized for encoding music on desktop-class processors. Those versions of the encoder, however, are not open source and require a commercial license. The license included by Fraunhofer in the FDK library source code allows redistribution in source or binary forms, but does not license patented technologies described by the code. The license states that the library may only be distributed as authorized by patent licenses. Due to this restriction, along with a limitation on charging for the library, Debian considers it non-free. It was classified as free by Fedora after a review by the legal department at Red Hat. The FSF also considers it to be free, though discourages its use due to the explicit lack of a patent grant.

The FDK AAC encoder employs a more aggressive default low-pass filter than is used in other codecs. Higher frequencies are removed so that more bits are available to better describe sounds of lower frequencies, improving the overall quality for most combinations of recordings and listeners. In some, not completely rare, combinations the missing high frequencies are noticeable. The library allows overriding the low-pass filter setting, and in the highest VBR mode effectively applies no filter at all.

A cross-platform source distribution is maintained by Martin Storsjö as part of the opencore-amr project under the name fdk-aac. The code compiles into a shared library, libfdk-aac. The media frameworks FFmpeg and Libav support audio encoding through libfdk-aac.

Key Terms

fraunhofer fdk aac
full title fraunhofer fdk aac codec library android
libfdk aac
low delay
open source software library

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Fraunhofer FDK AAC
Fraunhofer FDK AAC Codec Library for Android


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Sources & Credits

Last modified on April 28 2020
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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