All information I found online indicates that AAC is superior to MP3 in every aspect, having better sound quality at lower bitrates/file sizes etc.

So is there any reason to ever use MP3 instead of AAC?

There is always the argument that MP3 is more supported, but I personally think that that argument doesn't hold anymore today. All "modern" multi media devices support hundreds of different video, audio and image codecs, including AAC.

1 Answer 1


EDIT: removed part of answer based on misunderstanding the question.

One thing I've read is that with the increased complexity of AAC, it will use more processing power to decode, meaning that it will drain battery slightly faster.

Secondly, Mark mentions in the comments below that different types of data get compressed differently as well, but I don't know enough about that to talk about it.

Lastly, my car stereo does not work with AAC on data disks, so compatibility can still be an issue for some people.

  • The question and answer make no reference to the type of content - performance of lossy compression algorithms vary dramatically with the type of content that is being compressed.
    – Mark
    Feb 18, 2019 at 5:51
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    @Mark I know this, but do different algorithms also vary differently? If you know more, please post an answer!
    – YourMJK
    Feb 19, 2019 at 2:22
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    Yes, although the MP3 and AAC algorithms are both lossy, their approach to compression is different. AAC is generally better - i.e. better sound for lower bitrates. Best algorithm for lossy compression these days is OPUS which is entirely open source. OPUS is not widely supported across devices yet, but it has most consistent sound across music speech and dialogue across a wider range of bitrates.
    – Mark
    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:34

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