Designed for speech and music transmission at only 16kbit/s for stereo, xHE-AAC is the low bit rate extension of the AAC audio codec, the worldwide industry standard for streaming, broadcast and music distribution. The coding efficiency of xHE-AAC enables streaming services to operate at lower data rates, resulting in major benefits for consumers and program providers. The listening experience especially for users of mobile devices gets improved by reducing buffering times and an increased service reliability, while the lower bandwidth requirements reduce CDN costs for program providers and prevent data plan overflows at the consumer end.
“The mp3 format enabled the first Internet music services, the HE-AAC codec brought Internet radio to billions of mobile users. We are excited that Internet streaming services enabled by xHE-AAC will now even further improve the listening experience and help bring radio programs for the first time to billions of mobile users in emerging markets that still to a large extent, rely on 2G networks,” said Bernhard Grill, head of the Audio & Multimedia division and deputy director, Fraunhofer IIS.
The StreamS Live Encoder is the first professional streaming encoder supporting xHE-AAC.
“We are taking a new approach to live streaming with the application of Fraunhofer’s xHE-AAC codec enabling the StreamS Live Encoder. xHE-AAC represents the next step in audio codec technology. The StreamS Live Encoder will allow any web server on any platform to be used to deliver high quality sound for music and speech thanks to xHE-AAC,” said Greg Ogonowski, President at Modulation Index.
In addition to streaming applications, xHE-AAC is the standard codec for Digital Radio Mondiale DRM and therefore widely available in DRM receivers and professional broadcast equipment.
A patent pool for xHE-AAC is under development by Via Licensing in conjunction with a group of essential patent holders. The xHE-AAC patent license is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2016.