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2024 and still no proper AAC support


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First of all: I am using Poweramp since I think v1 and it is my daily audio player since then, so I would call myself a Poweramp "power user".

During the years I recognised bugs and glitches here and there, but it never was something serious and sooner or later updates fixed it. Nothing so bad that you register a user in this forum as it seems there is no other way of support for this app..

Today this changed and I am (again) quite p*ssed, sorry: For the last few years most of my new sound files are from videos (DJ sets from festivals, etc), and it would be obvious to extract the audio files 1:1 from the videos which means you get small but high quality *.aac files. So far so good: I recognized that many apps have problems with this format or at least do not really support it. But because there are programs working fine with it and we now have the year 2024 I cannot longer ignore this issue.

For the last two days I played around with a dozen of DJ sets in AAC file format, and while VLC player has no problems with them, even after converting them to other AAC formats (as AAC is a container format that can hold different types of compression), bitrates, etc. Poweramp fails badly!

It seems that AAC files directly extracted from video files use the ATSC standard. Poweramp randomly clips these, so a 3hrs set plays about 50-80min without any problem and then switches instantly to the next file in the playlist. You have no chance to get the last 2hrs of this audio file (also the duration is displayed wrong).

I converted these files to FLAC and back to AAC with variable bit rate -> Poweramp refuses to play them at all :(

I then converted them to AAC with constant bit rate -> works, yeah. Minimal quality loss and takes time to do this, which is annoying, but at least it wor... oh.. where are the meta tags gone? Poweramp shows the cover images and meta tags correctly. For the first 1-2 seconds of playing the audio file. Then all disappears and a random cover image is downloaded from the internet. WTF??? This I call definitely a bug and not a missing feature.

I know: I and many others payed for the app ten+ years ago and it may be no longer financially appropriate to invest lots of time in a more or less finished software, but please fix this. No problem for me if this a payed update or something, but the current situation with AAC files is really annoying and more or less a show stopper (as free VLC player app works fine with AAC. But has a horrible UI and playlist handling)!

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Do you have any official AAC files which you could use as an example? i.e. not audio data that has been de-muxed from ripped video files using various utility programs.

As far as I know, raw AAC files and tags don't play well together though, and there is little by way of official spec (https://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=36098.0#:~:text=Raw ADTS AAC files have,defined and recognized tagging system.). You might do better wrapping the audio data into a better supported container first.

Do your problems still occur with the music once you have converted the content to FLAC?


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@MarioC Poweramp plays all the aac files with the "issues" as previously provided by the users. There is no "universal" standard for aac files (which is not a container but a sequence of the raw aac packets, where AAC stands for the codec), so this is implemented "ad-hoc" in players. Poweramp aac support is based on modified FFMpeg and TagLib, with the fixes for the mentioned above user provided/test files.

From your brief description, longer file may not be fully played due to some non-audio content in the middle (e.g. parts of video stream, meta info such as tags/album art in the middle of song, etc). But that can be only investigated when the failing file is available on hands.


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As these sort of 3-hour files will be too large to send via email, please could you temporarily upload a couple of samples via a file sharing site such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc for testing. As Max has said, there are so many variables in the somewhat ad hoc way that you are creating these files (and even within AAC handling generally) that real examples would be the only way forward.


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