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Topic: non-protected AAC vs. protected AAC

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Old 12-15-2007, 01:33 AM
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non-protected AAC vs. protected AAC

Hi,

Can someone please explain to me what the differences are between non-protected AAC and protected AAC?

Thanks
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:23 AM
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Protected AAC files are AAC audio files that contain DRM (Digital Rights Management), most often music purchased from the iTunes store. DRM places restrictions on the file. The files can only be played on computers authorized to the account that the music was purchased from. They cannot (legally) be converted to other formats. They can, however, be burned to an audio CD and re-ripped into other formats. They can be burned to a data disc or copied to another source for backup as many times as you'd like.

Non-protected AAC files are regular AAC files without any DRM: they can be converted to other formats (like MP3) and can be played on an unlimited amount of devices and burned an unlimitd amount of times. They have no restrictions.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:01 PM
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Germansuplex, Thank you for your explanation.

According to Webopedia (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/AAC.html) "AAC boasts higher quality audio reproduction than MP3 and requires 30% less data to do so". My follow up question is that if AAC is better than MP3, is there a software that rips a non-protected AAC file format from CD, and also convert MP3 and WMA to AAC?

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Old 12-15-2007, 01:45 PM
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iTunes does all of those.

All CDs you rip (if you set you input format to AAC) are unprotected AAC.
You also can convert mp3 to AAC by right clicking on the songs.
If you attempt to import WMA, it should convert to AAC as well.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:18 PM
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I got you. When I did a test to rip one of my CD to AAC using iTune, the extension was not .aac, it was m4a. When I did a search on line I found out that the AAC extension can be .m4a, .m4p, .aac or .3gp. Are there any differences in sound quality, file size or any other thing between this extensions?

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Old 12-18-2007, 11:37 PM
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RealAudio 10 is also AAC (.ra and .rax). Yes, there can be differences between encoders, but honestly, I don't think you could tell the difference.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:42 AM
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.m4a is unprotected
.m4b is another one you didn't list, which is the audiobook extension, iTunes assumes these are DRM protected.
.m4p is DRM protected, typically iTunes purchases.

For any extension there can be differences in quality, a .m4a could have Variable Bit Rate, or fixed at 60, or 128. They are all the same extension with different quality levels. Sizes change with quality the lower the quality the smaller the size.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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