In Shoutcast there is option to choose will radio station run mp3 or aac, and i am not sure which one is better option. Please recommend.
What i read is that aac can provide same quality on lower kbps, but then wonder why is there an option to use mp3 at all ?
AAC-HE when having low bitrate considerations.
MP3 if concerned about compatibility with all devices available.
112kbps mp3 could be a good compromise if you need both.
More elaborate version:
- AAC-HE requires your listener to have a special decoder installed and more computational power available, but uses a neat technology to "emulate" high frequency content without really encoding it faithfully — thus saving a lot of bitrate. For an average person the difference on 64kbps stereo is usually miniscule, you can even go as low as 40kbps if you really need to: for example, if your target audience use cellphones with pretty bad 3G streaming capabilities. One of my friends works on an Arctic station; that's an extreme, but actual example of need for savoring any bit we can.
AAC-LC is not the same as AAC-HE and generally is more compatible; it misses all the special encoding technologies, though. Thus, it requires around 128kbps stereo to sound good; that is a consensus, at least.
MP3 is ubiquitous. That's its biggest advantage, really. You can be sure that even a noname something manufactured 10-15 years ago would be able to open your MP3 stream. However, I would never recommend going lower than 112kbps for a stereo signal if quality is of any concern. MP3 is considered obsolete in many ways, and AAC is in every youtube video; however, (1) it doesn't mean that "MP3 quality" would impact your audience — in fact, close to noone would be able to tell any difference with 112kbps AAC-LC at all; (2) if a device plays Youtube it doesn't mean that it would be okay with your AAC stream, unfortunately.
I don't want anyone to be left behind, so I usually go with MP3.