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USAC / xHE-AAC / MPEG-D support (AAC successor)


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I wonder if there's a chance to get some USAC / xHE-AAC support.

USAC means Unified Speech and Audio Coding. It's both the successor of AAC  and a member of the AAC family. It was released five years ago and is also a part of the Digital Radio Mondial broadcast technology. it's an ISO and MPEG standard (MPEG-D Part 3): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Speech_and_Audio_Coding. But it's absolutely not popular at all: until few weeks there was no public encoder available. 


An Open-Sourced encoder is now available, named exhale:


And quality is already stunning at low bitrate. Here is a listening test done with classical music and other music and this free USAC encoder already beats OPUS! :



Android 9 and following embed an USAC decoder. iOS 13 also support this new standard. FDK-AAC v2 is apparently needed to support the format. I don't know if it's possible to get USAC/xHE-AAC support but it would be a big addition to Poweramp (it will be the first Android Player to support this innovative format).


Thank you!

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yes it's not a popular codec. But it's till hard to believe after two years our beloved Poweramp can not support USAC. many music player out there already support USAC without FFMPEG's supporting.

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Hi, first time poster but long time lurker.

It looks like last time Max commented on this was back in March of last year

No comments since but to my understanding xhe-aac/usac decoding can be enabled in ffmpeg by building it with fdk-aac decoder enabled. I'm not sure why this can't be done - maybe there's some sort of licensing issue related distributing an app with it?

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I don't think licensing is an issue using it within the framework of FFmpeg. But according to the quote by Max, it was low priority while other development plans were addressed. Some feature requests have been on the TODO list for many more years. But with only one Dev for Poweramp, he sets the schedule.

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