AAC Encoding on Ubuntu

Portable music has become an asset to digital music lovers all around the world. We used to have the Walkman cassette tape player which rocked our tunes at the time. We then moved on to portable CD players with a CD wallet in hand to enjoy magnificent music on the go. However portable CD players were plagued with many issues, skipping being the most prominent one. To solve all of these issues, skip protection was invented. This technology would load the disk’s current track into the CD player’s buffer and playback would commence from there. It was from these clever ideas that the portable MP3 player was established.

Fast forward to the present and we are now in an age where our Smartphones are secondary and sometimes our primary means of media consumption. It is therefore extremely important to have the highest quality possible when encoding our files, whether it be our music, videos or photo collection. As it pertains to music, we could easily say that we are going to encode all our music to lossless formats like FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) or ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec). While that is an excellent option for audio playback via the computer, it may not be optimal for a device like a smartphone which may have limited storage. To alleviate this predicament we encode our files to lossy formats such as MP3, AAC, and OGG. The most popular one being MP3.

So why bother to encode your music to AAC? Well, It provides much a better digital representation of an audio signal than MP3. It has a lower noise floor and a more detailed high end. AAC is the successor to MP3 with popular online music stores such as iTunes, 7digital and Sony Music Unlimited providing their music in this format. In addition, the Nero AAC Codec enables you to encode your files all the way up to 400kbps (MP3 and other AAC encoders tend max out at 320kbps). At 320kbps there are still audible artifacts present in the MP3 codec. Due to the nature of the AAC codec, it is able to provide a much more accurate representation of the digital audio spectrum than that of MP3.

Under Ubuntu, the use of the FLAC and OGG audio file formats are heavily promoted and with good reason; they are some of the best formats for encoding your music. You can encode an OGG file all the way up to 500kbps, but it is not always as simple as that. Your device may only support MP3 and AAC and while MP3 support is made readily available via the Ubuntu Software Center, encoding to AAC may have appeared to be a little more difficult to initiate.

In today’s lesson I show you how to install the Nero AAC Codec under Ubuntu 14.04 x64.

Install The Libs

The Nero Encoder is a 32 bit application and therefore needs 32 bit libraries to run.

Open a Terminal window and type:

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6

Install Nero AAC Encoder

Now download and install Nero AAC Encoder

from: http://ftp6.nero.com/tools/NeroAACCodec-1.5.1.zip

Open a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type:

sudo nautilus

This will open a Nautilus window with administrative privileges.

From this window go to the folder where you downloaded the package (most likely the Downloads folder).

Double-click on the package to open it up in the Archive Manager.

You will see a window like the following appear:

01 AL AAC ubuntu


Double-click the linux folder. You will be presented with the following window:

02 AL AAC ubuntu


Select all files present within the folder (Ctrl + A) and extract them to usr/bin 

03 AL AAC ubuntu

After the files have been extracted to the folder, you can test your installation by using any of the following applications.

Applications that use Nero AAC Encoder

  • Asunder CD Ripper
  • SoundKonverter
  • Selene Media Encoder

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