Old 28th May 2007, 16:49   #1
OldSurfer
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He-AAC vs LC-ACC

I am new to world of mp players. I have a ZUNE and my 5 kids have iPod, creative Zen and others.

In trying to do it right the first time I researched the web and found an article by Stefan Meltzer of Coding Technologies. In that article they tested many encoding formats and it appeared to me that HE-ACC v2 audio codec was the encoder of choice.

I have several questions that I am in hopes of getting answered.

1. Looking for (HE-ACC v2) I found that in Win Amp that (MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.26) to be closest.
2. My question is the Win Amp v1.26 the same as the HE-AAC v2?
3. If not where can I find that encoder?
4. My next question is that I was told that (LC-AAC Encoder v1.26) offered better quality than (MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.26)
5. Is that accurate?
6. I understand that He-ACC is DTS compatible which is what my car uses.
7. I am ripping at 160 Bitrate.

I tried unsuccessfully to find this out on this forum. Probably my poor search methods.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 28th May 2007, 17:21   #2
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All of the AAC Encoders (HE-AAC aka AACPlus, AAC LC, both raw and in MP4 Container) are represented by Winamp\Plugins\enc_aacplus.dll, which uses the latest Encoders by Coding Technologies.

(the AAC Decoders are also all-in-one, via Winamp\System\aacPlusDecoder.w5s, also by CT)

MP4/AAC-LC is the iTunes/iPod standard.
The iPod doesn't support HE-AAC, or if it does, it doesn't play it properly.
HE-AAC was initially introduced as a low-bitrate but fairly-decent-quality alternative for streaming purposes. However, High-bitrate HE-AAC may be much better quality, but is still fairly untested...

At the end of the day, the choice is entirely yours, but I would recommend only encoding (from CD or lossless) to MP4/AAC LC for general listening.
I would never recommend transcoding from lossy to lossy format (eg. mp3 to aac).


EDIT: 2012
Winamp's AAC Encoder is now represented by enc_fhgaac.dll, and the decoder is aacdec.w5s, both by Fraunhofer.
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Old 28th May 2007, 17:31   #3
OldSurfer
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Thank you for helping me with my ignorance DJ Egg (ps I am cooking a brisket for last 20 hours on my Big Green Egg smoker)
4. I was told that (LC-AAC Encoder v1.26) offered better quality than (MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC) High Bitrate Encoder v1.26)
5. Is that accurate?

I think you are saying my choice, but is it technically better?
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Old 28th May 2007, 18:17   #4
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High bitrate aacPlus hasn't been tested enough to say anything about its quality (that is, afaik not at all apart from one rather artificial test (in which it beat all other formats though)), personally I'd stick with MP4/LC-AAC which is the most compatible option and most likely transparent (indistinguishable from the original) most if not all of the time at 160kbps anyway (so there's no need to try anything else).

(and re 1.: No, that would be MP4/aacPlus with Parametric Stereo. It's only available at very low bitrates though, since at higher ones regular Stereo and LC-AAC sound better.)

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Old 28th May 2007, 20:41   #5
OldSurfer
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I ahve ripped all my tracks to MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC). Is there a way to convert to MP4/LC-AAC? If so is there a batch way of doing it?
Or is something lost in doing converting?
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Old 28th May 2007, 21:42   #6
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Yes, you can convert from HE-ACC to LC-ACC, but its not a good idea to transcode lossy files. The quality of the resulting files can be no better than the original and may be noticeably deteriorated. If you need to change format go back to the original source.
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Old 28th May 2007, 22:19   #7
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Thank You. I will just stick with what I have and going forward use LC-ACC.

Thank you all for your help and expertise.
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Old 29th May 2007, 06:14   #8
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Re: He-AAC vs LC-ACC

Quote:
Originally posted by OldSurfer
7. I am ripping at 160 Bitrate.
If that's the case then you all the should be concerned about is LC, none of this HE stuff matters. I would imagine CT LC-ACC @ 160 is going to sound just the same if not better than LAME @ 160, same with either Nero and Apple's encoders.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 20:13   #9
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The WINAMP AAC LC & He encoder is not good encoder.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 20:19   #10
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and your reasoning behind that is what? or are you just spouting tripe for the fun of it?
so please... explain your comment

-daz
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Old 3rd June 2007, 20:39   #11
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Update: I have a nice Bose system in my car with 10 speakers and DTS Compatiable. I have encodeed same songs using Winamp both MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC) and MP4/LC-AAC. They both sound great but no one, from 10 different people who listened could tell the difference.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 21:05   #12
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The quality of MP4 is noisy
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Old 3rd June 2007, 21:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by OldSurfer
Update: I have a nice Bose system in my car with 10 speakers and DTS Compatiable. I have encodeed same songs using Winamp both MP4/aaacPLUS (HE-AAC) and MP4/LC-AAC. They both sound great but no one, from 10 different people who listened could tell the difference.
If you used normal aacPlus (not High Bitrate aacPlus) try castanets.flac (though one sample doesn't say much about general quality of course).

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Old 3rd June 2007, 21:58   #14
OldSurfer
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I have followed gaekwad2 advice after getting it. All my albums after it have been ripped MP4/LC-AAC at 160kb. No one can tell teh difference on multiple songs. That is good news for me since I have all those 2,000 plus songs ripped at HE-acc.
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Old 4th June 2007, 00:27   #15
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As a matter of fact

Actually, I think you are a little off. Let's clear up a few things.

LC AAC means Low Complexity Advanced Audio Coding. It is the normal AAC codec and it plays on all AAC players.

HE AAC means High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding. It combines normal AAC with a technology called "Spectral Band Replication" (SBR) - this technology is also used in mp3PRO. This technology allows files to maintain great dynamics and clarity, while producing a smaller file. Spectral Band Replication kicks in when encoding AAC files at bitrate of 80 kbps or lower on Nero Digital. I would imagine something similar applies to Winamp. So if you are encoding at 160 kbps with an HE capable encoder, it is unlikely that it applies any SBR, which technically means it just produces a normal Low Complexity AAC file. HE AAC is also known as AAC+ or aacPLUS.

HE AAC V2 means High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding Version 2. This is an update to HE-AAC which adds an additional technology called Parametric Stereo. This means HE AAC combines normal AAC with Spectral Band Replication (SBR) and Parametric Stereo (PS). HE AAC V2 is also known as eAAC+ or Enhanced aacPLUS.

The current Nero Digital Reference Encoder supports the HE AAC V2 specification. For bitrate above 80 kbit is only employs normal AAC encoding. When going below 80 kbit it applies Spectral Band Replication on the file. When going below 32 kbit it applies Parametric Stereo. I would imagine something similar applies to Winamp.

This means:

Files encoded between 16 kb/s and 32 kb/s are AAC + SBR + PS.
Files encoded between 32 kb/s and 80 kb/s are AAC + SBR
Files encoded above 80 kb/s are just plain AAC.

I imagine there is a sizable chance that your 160 kbit HE-AAC encoded files are just normal Low Complexity AAC files.

Cheers.

BTW: You should try to encode at both 64 kbit using SBR and at 32 kbit using SBR and PS, you would be surprised how well HE AAC V2 performs.
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Old 4th June 2007, 00:36   #16
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WOW!! MadiZone your post was a real education for me. I think I now understand better than before and I really apprecaite it!
The WinAmp tech support told me unless I wanted DTA 5.1 to use LC-ACC as well as others on forums. Reading yuours if I am at 160kb then it probaly does not matter. The choice of 160 kb was from several suggestion from others.

I got WinAmp because of forum suggestions but many others said I should have been using Nero. Thank you again!
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Old 4th June 2007, 00:44   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadiZone
Actually, I think you are a little off. Let's clear up a few things.

[...]

I imagine there is a sizable chance that your 160 kbit HE-AAC encoded files are just normal Low Complexity AAC files.
No, they are HE-AAC, just that the AAC part isn't resampled to 22.05kHz and SBR is only used for frequencies above 16kHz.

Nero tried that kind of HE-AAC as well btw, but decided not to use it since in their tests it didn't live up to expectations.
It's possible that the Coding Technologies encoder works better with it though.

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Old 4th June 2007, 00:45   #18
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You are welcome. HE-AAC V2 is a great technological archievement. It deserves to be understood correctly.
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Old 4th June 2007, 00:47   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
No, they are HE-AAC, just that the AAC part isn't resampled to 22.05kHz and SBR is only used for frequencies above 16kHz.

Nero tried that kind of HE-AAC as well btw, but decided not to use it since in their tests it didn't live up to expectations.
It's possible that the Coding Technologies encoder works better with it though.
I was not aware of how Winamp specifically encodes as I do not own Winamp Pro. Thank you for clearing it up.
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Old 4th June 2007, 06:16   #20
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But why bitrates are limited to 320?
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Old 4th June 2007, 08:38   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ary
But why bitrates are limited to 320?
In a double-blind ABX test could you tell the difference between 320 ogg and a 420 ogg? or a 320 aac and 320 mp3? If you can, consistently, then you can make the case that aac needs a higher bit rate. And don't even say that all you listen to is harpsichord music.
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Old 5th June 2007, 12:16   #22
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The LC AAC/MP4 quality is better than HE AAC/MP4
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Old 5th June 2007, 14:47   #23
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did you even bother to read the thread?

do some abx testing for yourself before you post something like this again.
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Old 6th June 2007, 19:17   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by THPSFG
In a double-blind ABX test could you tell the difference between 320 ogg and a 420 ogg? or a 320 aac and 320 mp3? If you can, consistently, then you can make the case that aac needs a higher bit rate. And don't even say that all you listen to is harpsichord music.
Maybe he wants to transcode music few times and cannot use lossless codec? One of the reasons to use extremelly high bitrate...
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Old 6th June 2007, 19:21   #25
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Nah, he just wanted to troll (see his new title ).

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Old 17th September 2010, 15:14   #26
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He-AAC is better than the LC-AAC.
I can't actually proove it , but that's what my ears say. I compressed several lossless ripped disks in LC-AAC to 160kbps and then to HE-AAC 160kbps. And what I saw, the sample rate of the HE-AAC was 88khz and 96khz which is twise than the LC-AAC files. Which could be my point (if my flac files were all 88khz). But I really hear the difference, because I ripped 2 albums in the two codec types both and it seems that I feel some more and some higher sounds from the HE-AAC one

I ripped almost all of my music to HE-AAC too because when I heard this format for first time I knew that it sounds best for me and I don't think I did a mistake, ripping some of my mp3s to he-aac 64kbps and some lossy files to 192kbps. Some of them actually sounded better than originals (especially the fake mp3z)
Cheerz.
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Old 29th September 2010, 21:40   #27
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HE AAC is only "better" in the right situation. It is designed to get the absolute most from very little bitrate. It's great for streaming radio where you want to conserve bitrate but not have horrible audio quality. It dusts MP3 at bitrates below 96 kbps. But it is definitely not what you want to do to your music collection unless you are very strapped for storage space. It will definitely change the sound of the source material in a number of ways and that is never good. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for voice recordings however.

I'd stick with at least 128kbps AAC or higher and let the encoder pick the AAC method. That would be LC, I believe.

What I do is rip things to FLAC for PC listening. Audio doesn't take up a significant amount of space in the era of terabyte drives, so I go with a lossless codec. My portable player only plays MP3s, WMA or WAV so for that I use LAME "-V 0" which is extremely high quality (200kbps+).
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Old 1st October 2010, 17:36   #28
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I don't agree that it is horrible for the music, but otherwise you basic summary is correct. HE-AACv1 is only good at about 96k to 64k, after 64k I would suggest going down to HE-AACv2. Anything 128k or above is best for AAC until you get up into 320k and then mp2 starts to get better, from there you continue to less and less compressed to full on wave files or at least one of the numerically correct compressions like zip or flac.

Perceptually I am very happy with HE-AACv1 at 64k for almost all settings/situations in my life and the small files are great because I can fit everything I own onto a small SDHC card and small storage players.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 1st January 2011, 18:49   #29
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Hi agin. I have almost identical question about aac.
Is 128kbps/44-48 khz he-aac worse than 128kbps/88-96 khz ?
Actually my question is for 256kbps. For me aac+ sounds best and It seems a lot better than mp3 at 256kbps but what about 256kbps? Is there a difference betwean 256kbps/88-96khz He-AAC and 256kbps/44-48khz LC AAC ? I realise that there actually IS notable difference bt I wish to know some advantages and disadvantages especially at that bitrate: 256
Thanks
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Old 21st January 2012, 00:12   #30
Marcelo _Ramone
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Hello,

I'M converting 220 GB of MP3 music to HE-ACC V2 CBR 56kbs with Winamp 5.
I initiate the conversion of all winamp music library a few days ago and it continues now.
I'M playing many albums in m4a with VLC and comparing with originals mp3 albums and can't find differences.

My intention is buy an IPOD CLASSIC 160 GB and copy all my music (in mp3 weighs 220 gb)

According to apple's specifications, IPOD CLASSIC can play HE-AAC V2 correctly.
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Old 21st January 2012, 17:13   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo _Ramone View Post
I'M playing many albums in m4a with VLC and comparing with originals mp3 albums and can't find differences.
Beware... your speakers may be fooling you. The quality of the audio kit will make a difference. Rubbish headphones on an iPod will loose sound quality. And converting one lossy format to another lossy format will loose more data at the extremes.

I spent most of a year working through my 300 odd CDs converting them to MP3 320kbps VBR.... only to replace my HiFi kit and find the MP3s now sounded like they're underwater when compared with the CDs. I have now restarted ripping everything to FLAC instead.

If you are only ever going to listen to the music on an iPod, it will not really matter. But any future plans of listening to this same digital music collection on better quality kit will show up the missing audio.
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Old 21st January 2012, 20:24   #32
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@Marcelo _Ramone:

As far as I know, iPod Classic will NOT play back HE-AAC in full quality!!!
This means it will play back the files, but only the AAC part (thus, at only half the sample rate!). The "HE" part (Spectral Band Replication, i.e. the calculated high frequencies) will not be decoded and played back.

As a result, the files will sound poorly because all high frequencies are lost!

I would not recommend converting all your music to HE-AAC.
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Old 21st January 2012, 22:02   #33
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Well,I convert Music with Winamp with a HC-AACv2 on 3ds with 56Kbits,and thats Mono! But the Music didnt lost his Quality....Now I want 320 or higher on HC-AACv2 with stereo! The other Modes doesnt work! It says:The Codec can not be opened
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Old 22nd January 2012, 06:35   #34
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flac for lossless, mp3 for lossy at 256kbps. unless you are streaming, i see no good reason to ever use anything else.

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Old 22nd January 2012, 11:06   #35
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Well,I convert Music with Winamp with a HC-AACv2 on 3ds with 56Kbits,and thats Mono! But the Music didnt lost his Quality....
You didn't hear the change of quality because of the low quality of the sound on the DS. Play it back on an expensive HiFi or headphones and you will tell the difference. Especially 56kbps.

And remember, once you have lost the quality, you cannot put it back in again by converting that track to a higher level. You have to go back to source to get the quality back.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 20:42   #36
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@Marcelo _Ramone:

As far as I know, iPod Classic will NOT play back HE-AAC in full quality!!!
This means it will play back the files, but only the AAC part (thus, at only half the sample rate!). The "HE" part (Spectral Band Replication, i.e. the calculated high frequencies) will not be decoded and played back.

As a result, the files will sound poorly because all high frequencies are lost!

I would not recommend converting all your music to HE-AAC.
Hello,

Today I finish the conversion I started days ago. The result was 67 GB for all my music.
The only reason I did it was for copy to Ipod classic and play all.
I thought I could play perfectly on the iPod
but now you tell me I can not reproduce with high quality in the Ipod.
Did not know!
Do you personally tested this?
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Old 22nd January 2012, 21:06   #37
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Beware... your speakers may be fooling you. The quality of the audio kit will make a difference. Rubbish headphones on an iPod will loose sound quality. And converting one lossy format to another lossy format will loose more data at the extremes.

I spent most of a year working through my 300 odd CDs converting them to MP3 320kbps VBR.... only to replace my HiFi kit and find the MP3s now sounded like they're underwater when compared with the CDs. I have now restarted ripping everything to FLAC instead.

If you are only ever going to listen to the music on an iPod, it will not really matter. But any future plans of listening to this same digital music collection on better quality kit will show up the missing audio.
Hello,

You may be right.

With good quality headphones connected to the PC I noticed no difference.
With Philips audio equipment connected to the audio output of PC did not notice the difference.

What is surprising is that your notes as much difference between FLAC and MP3 in 320 KBS ...

Long time ago I started to download complete discographies in FLAC, because my Philips' GoGear Can Play FLAC, but when convert flac to mp3 at 320kbs not notice the difference, and to save space converted all the FLAC to MP3. (really I no notice the difference)

But as you say: With a true HI-Fi, maybe I can feel the difference.
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Old 26th January 2012, 12:47   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo _Ramone View Post
Hello,

Today I finish the conversion I started days ago. The result was 67 GB for all my music.
The only reason I did it was for copy to Ipod classic and play all.
I thought I could play perfectly on the iPod
but now you tell me I can not reproduce with high quality in the Ipod.
Did not know!
Do you personally tested this?
It definitely will play on it, but it is questionable if the sound quality will be as good as possible (i.e., if it will sound as it would sound if you play it in Winamp).

It did not personally test this on an "iPod Classic" (I think you are talking about the "6G" or "6.5G" iPod). I only tested it on an iPod 5G (a.k.a. "iPod Video"), where it will only play the plain AAC portion of the file, not the HE portion (i.e. half the sample rate).

Just give it a try. Copy those files to the iPod and hook it up to your HiFi system or use some good headphones. Then compare the sound to what it sounds like if you play those newly-converted files in Winamp.

If you can notice no difference, then it's probably o.k. !

Best regards,
kzuse
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Old 19th February 2012, 22:18   #39
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The HE-ACC+v2 sound is horrible in IPOD CLASSIC (with latest firmware), not recommended.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 20:15   #40
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So you see.... told you before
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