Difference Between AIFF and AAC (With Table)

AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) are two types of coding algorithms. These two algorithms are used in Apple products. The AIFF was developed by Apple company whereas AAC was several developers like Bell Labs, Dolby Laboratories, and many more.

The purpose of these two coding algorithms is to dominate the audio as to how the audio is digitized and recorded in a particular format. Audio files that are stored in these two formats have high- quality audio.

AIFF vs AAC

The difference between AIFF and AAC is that AIFF is a lossless format while, the AAC, on the other hand, is a lossy format. Well, this means that the files that which are in AIFF format are in pure form as nothing is lost when an audio file is in this format. However, the AAC loses some parts of a file and thus this ultimately affects the quality of the file.

It has also been found that the AIFF format is better than some other formats like the MP3 format. The sound quality of the audio files is much better but the files in the AIFF format consume more space which makes one of the disadvantages of them.

Comparison Table Between AIFF and AAC

Parameters of ComparisonAIFFAAC
DevelopersAppleBell Labs, Fraunhofer Society, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation, Nokia, LG Electronics, NEC Corp, NTT Docomo, and Panasonic.
Stands forAudio Interchange File FormatAdvanced Audio Coding
Lossless or lostThe AIFF is a lossless format that means the files stays in their original form without any parts getting deleted or removed.The AAC is a lossy format that means the files stored in this kind of format loses some parts from their original file.
QualityThe quality of an AIFF format is much better than AAC format.The sound quality lacks a but because of their lossy format.
Space ConsumptionAIFF due to their lossless format consumes more space for the audio files.The AAC format files consume less space because some parts from the audio files are removed or deleted.
UsedThe AIFF is rarely used and is not that much popular.The AAC format is used by a large number of users. It is a popular codec.

What is AIFF?

AIFF is a lossless format, similar to a CD. Due to their lossless format the AIIF format files stay in their pure form as nothing is lost or deleted. The sound quality is great in AIFF format files and this makes one of the advantages points.

However, if there is an advantage then there is a disadvantage too because if the files stored in AIFF format stays in their original form then the files will be huge in size and therefore consuming more space. And the other disadvantage is that when you are using an AIFF file in your device then it drains your device’s battery rapidly.

Because of these reasons the AIFF format is rarely used these days. The hardware inside the device will take a longer time to process your audio files and therefore your battery gets drained and much time is consumed.

However, the AIFF format files, in terms of their quality of the sound is much better than most of the audio formats like the AIFF is said to have much better sound quality than Mp3 and AAC also. You can play AIFF files with the help of Windows Media Player, Apple iTunes, VLC, and many other multi-format media players.

What is AAC?

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is also an audio coding format that was developed by several companies like Bell Labs, Fraunhofer Society, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation, Nokia, LG Electronics, NEC Corp, NTT Docomo, and Panasonic.

The AAC is a lossy format that means files stored in this format get some parts deleted thus losing their original form and also losing the sound quality. However, the advantage is that files in the AAC format will consume less space and it will not drain that much of your device’s battery.

Due to these reasons, the AAC is more popular and most used than AIFF. Apple Company uses the AAC format as its default file format in their products like iPods and their music store. The AAC is a modernized format than the AIFF.

Improvements have been made in the AAC as the sound quality is much better than the sound quality provided by Mp3. Well, the significance of the improvements is to provide work at a faster rate as the latest technologies are made to be fast but, on the other hand, the quality gets compromised.

AAC format files are best suited for people who listen to music because files stored consume less space and the battery does not drain much as compared to AIFF. The AIFF files are mostly used because of editing.

Main Differences Between AIFF and AAC

  1. The AIFF is a lossless format whereas AAC is a lossy format and loses unimportant parts of an audio file.
  2. The sound quality of AIFF is much better than the AAC file format.
  3. AAC format is more popular and most used than AIFF format.
  4. The AIFF format is best used for editing audio files whereas the AAC format is best used for personal listening.
  5. AIFF files consume more space and are much larger than an AAC format file.

Conclusion

Both these two formats have advantages as well as disadvantages. The AAC format is used and more popular than AIFF does not mean that AIFF is not good at all. AIFF is also good at some parameters than AAC.

If you are into editing and stuff then AIFF will not fail to impress you but it depends up on your preference and requirements. Say suppose you just want to listen to music while travelling or while walking then there is no need for AIFF format files as it will consume more space and drain your battery faster.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vv_Subrahmanyam/publication/315108816_A_Study_on_Mobile_Operating_Systems_and_their_Recent_Advances/links/58ca727ea6fdcc1d1fea25fb/A-Study-on-Mobile-Operating-Systems-and-their-Recent-Advances
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/twlram2013&section=76
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