The Nero AAC Encoder encoder is far superior sound-wise to libfaac that comes with ffmpeg, but the encoder is only available for Windows. How can I encode using this encoder on Mac OS X?

Other, even better alternatives are encouraged as well.

3 Answers 3


neroAacEnc is also available for Linux. If you find that is works for you in OS X then you can use ffmpeg to pipe to this encoder and then mux with ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i input -f wav - | neroAacEnc -ignorelength -if - -of audio.mp4
ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i audio.mp4 -c copy -map 0 output.mkv

However, FFmpeg now also supports the external encoding library from fdk-aac which is probably ≥ neroAacEnc (I'm guessing here). That being said some tests consider Apple's AAC encoder (via qaac) to be very good, so you have the option to encode with qaac and mux with ffmpeg.

  • Wow, a quick read on your fdk-aac link tells me it would be a good option. Really worth trying. How can I get the Linux version to work within OS X?
    – Henrik Söderlund
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 1:16
  • @HenrikSöderlund I am not too familiar with OS X, but you can always try compiling it. See this FFmpeg OS X Compile Guide.
    – LordNeckbeard
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 18:08

On the mac you'd be bettor off using afconvert. Command line tool to quicktime aac encoding.

afconvert -f m4af -d aac -q 127 -s 3 <input file>

There's also a user quality setting -u vbrq <1 to 127> I tend to use 105 for around 250kbps and that example above is using true vbr.


If you are set on using Nero's encoder on a mac, you can always use Mac's Bootcamp to run a virtual version of Windows and do the encoding that way. This probably isn't what you want but was just going to give you the option.

There are also a few programs that don't require Bootcamp that will open PC programs. Here are a couple. I think some have a free trial too or are free (but in beta) so you wont have to buy anything right away if you wan't to go this route:

  1. CrossOver
  2. Wine Bottler
  3. Vmware Fusion
  • Thanks for your input on this one. I was hoping not to use Bootcamp etc. but indeed the option is there.
    – Henrik Söderlund
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 1:18
  • And on the iTunes question, iTunes will not convert using the NeroAACEnc encoder.
    – Henrik Söderlund
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 1:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.