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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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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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hello first of all

Recently to support the exhale xHE-AAC codec; What is the condition of the power amp?

1) It can technically support, I need to work on it.

2) The xHE-AAC power amplifier cannot and will not play due to a technical problem.

Can I get information about the situation?

I have a Samsung A13 device.
Among the players that support this codec.

google play music
stellio player
black player
samung music player

Is there anything we can do to support Poweramp?
like giving permission with example adb command.

Is it a complete surprise that Poweramp gets support in the next update?

What is the status of being patched to play on Samsung devices that don't support ffmpeg in general?

I just started using the codec, I just don't want to use a different player for exhale XHE-AAC codec support eg google play music player

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On 12/21/2022 at 5:07 PM, andrewilley said:

The codecs supported by Poweramp depend on the compiled version of the FFMPEG library, and the priority in terms of real usage in the wild. I don't know whether some of these more unusual formats are going to be supported soon though, sorry.

Yeah, for lower bitrates, XHE-AAC could be interesting - unfortunately PA does not play files created via Exhale 1.2 - https://www.rarewares.org/aac-encoders.php
Will use Apple-AAC still. It's better anyway, as AFAIK it's directly fed into Chromecast Audio.

Edited by Squeller
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