It can be said that aac codec surpasses mpeg-3 codec in all aspects.
This means that there is no relative disadvantage of using aac files instead of mp3 files.
There are many softwares that can be used to make aac music files.
But because aac is a lossy codec, the encoding algorithm is important.
Roughly, iTunes uses its own encoder and all other programs use Nero encoder.
According to analyses Nero encoder is inferior than iTunes encoder especially when using the VBR settings.
So it is the best to use iTunes when making aac music files.
The trouble is that there are some codecs that iTunes does not support, such as flac.
In this case, it’d be better to convert flac files to alac files.
This is okay because both of them are lossless codecs.
When flac files are converted to alac files, they can then be converted to aac files using iTunes because iTunes support alac codec.
Anyway, in this post, I’ll introduce you the way of ripping music from a CD and get aac files.
I’ll not use the default settings and change them a little bit.
Insert a CD in a odd drive.
iTunes will show you the track list automatically.
If you want to change artist, album title, track title, etc, you can change it now.
Now, let’s change the rip settings.
Press “Command + ,” and click the import setting or you can just click the same button provided in the CD track list screen.
Select AAC encoder.
Let’s change some specific settings.
Go to user setting.
It’s true that AAC codec has good quality compared to its small size, but the default setting is not enough.
It is better to set the bitrate to 256.
This setting is known to be similar to the quality of when using mp3 codec with the bitrate of 320.
VBR setting will keep the file size shrinked.
Nero encoder is not preferred when creating aac files because its VBR algorithm is not efficient enough.
HE encoding is the latest setting but because it pursuits even smaller file size by sacrificing the sound quality.
So let’s not choose it.
Save all the settings and let’s rip the music off!
Extracted aac files will be automatically added to the iTunes library.