What Happened to Audiocoding.com (FAAC & FAAD2)

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Audiocoding.com was a platform providing two powerful audio-related tools, FAAC and FAAD. FAAC is an open source MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 AAC encoder and FAAD (now named FAAD2) was an open source MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 AAC decoder. Both of them was originally written by Menno Bakker and support several MPEG-4 object types (LC, Main, LTP, HE AAC, PS) and file formats (ADTS AAC, raw AAC, MP4), multichannel and gapless en/decoding as well as MP4 metadata tags. And so FAAC and FAAD would be compatible with standard-compliant audio applications using one or more of these profiles.

But now, when we try to visit Audiocoding.com, it returns nothing. So what happened to it? We took some time to find the trace and gather some more information about it and its tools, FAAC and FAAD. Keep reading.

The History of Audiocoding.com

Menno build this website back in 2001, and in the same year, exactly date, on 18 May 2001, Version 1.0 of FAAD was released. And as for the big things happened to this platform later, we will share them with you chronologically, as detailed as we can.

On 19 May 2001, Audiocoding.com released the Version 1.0 of FAAC.

On 6 June 2001, Audiocoding.com released the Version 1.5 of FAAC and FAAD. This version allowed them completely ISO compatible.

On 4 January 2002, Audiocoding.com released the last (deprecated) version of FAAD1. Menno said that all development would be focused in FAAD2.

On 9 August 2002, AudioCoding.com announced the release of FAAD2 version 1.1, a fast and portable GPL'ed AAC decoder library, with these new features,

  • LD (Low Delay) AAC supported,
  • ER (Error Resilient) AAC profiles supported,
  • Ready for usage in a DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) decoder,
  • Almost 50% speedup.

On 30 July 2003, FAAD2 2.0 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) was released and contributed by Roberto Jose de Amorim. The most important new feature of this version was the support for the high efficiency (HE) AAC profile.

Since HE AAC is the joining of MPEG4 AAC with SBR, at that time, FAAD2 was officially supported SBR decoding.

On 12 November 2003, the Release Candidate 3 version of FAAD2 2.0 released by Roberto Jose de Amorim. Compared with the Release Candidate 1 version, there were these changes,

  • Accuracy increased to 24 bits,
  • 30% total speedup,
  • Memory usage lowered a lot,
  • Fixed point decoding speedup,
  • SBR conformance fixes,
  • MAIN decoding fixed,
  • fixes in TNS,
  • Source packages and a precompiled MP4 Winamp plugin are available at the Files section.

Note: As for the Release Candidate 2, it was quickly replaced with Release Candidate 3 after a channel coupling bug was detected in the SBR routines.

On 8 February 2004, FAAD2 2.0 final version released by Menno, which was with only small bug fixes since RC3.

On 1 November 2007, FAAD2 2.6.1 released by Menno, which Updated the copyright header so there is no more confusion about GPLv2 compatibility, supported Third party committed AD Blackfin, and fixed minor bugs.

On 10 February 2009, FAAC 1.28 was released by Menno, with these changes compared to the previous one,

  • Prevent out of range scalefactors,
  • Updated to latest mpeg4ip mp4 file format library,
  • Added -s option to make the encoder output optimized mp4 layout,
  • Improved JPEG detection for album art,
  • Lot's of compilation issues solved.

On the same day, FAAD2 2.7 was released by Menno, with these changes,

  • DAB+ support,
  • Use public headers internally to prevent duplicate declarations,
  • Explicitly typedef all types as signed,
  • Made sure MAIN prediction can't be started after the first frame,
  • Lot's of compilation issues solved,
  • Bug-fix in SBR envelope border calculation.

On 5 July 2017, FAAC 1.29 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel, with code being migrated from CVS to Git and CVS Root being archived in Files/cvsroot.

On 6 July 2017, FAAD2 2.8.0 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel.

On 17 July 2017, FAAD2 2.8.1 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel.

On the same day, FAAC 1.29.2 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel, with new mp4 output format and many small things fixed.

On 21 July 2017, FAAC 1.29.3 was available with MP4 tag options being improved, fixing MP4 'meta' atom bug, and new option to set verbosity (-v0 to silence output).

On 14 August 2017, FAAC 1.29.4 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel, with these changes,

  • DAB+ support,
  • Rewritten quantizer: faster, different quality, different bit-rates,
  • ftyp atom: set brands like iTunes does, should be more compatible,
  • New option(--tag) to add named tags (iTunes '----'),
  • Faster and better short/long window type switch,
  • Fixed bugs (rounding in QuantizeReflectionCoeffs (tns.c), use +60 value for scalefactor, and use clipped diff instead of original value (huffman.c)).

On 17 August 2017, FAAC 1.29.5 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel, with these changes,

  • Updated manpage,
  • Check if output file exists; --overwrite option added,
  • Help/usage options reorganized,
  • Block switching is now tuned to match quality/bit rate,
  • Give more quality to lower frequencies (less to highs),
  • Quantizer updated again.

On 18 August 2017, FAAC 1.29.6 was released by Krzysztof Nikiel with just minor bugs fixing,

On 16 October 2019, FAAC 1.30 was available with a bunch of new features.

  • Fix Joint Stereo coding,
  • Code cleanup and compilation fixes,
  • Fix endianness conversion functions,
  • Fix compilation with GCC < 4.6,
  • Fix compilation on big endian systems,
  • Fix division by zero errors,
  • Fix compilation with GCC <= 4.7.3,
  • Change pointer type for proper arithmetic,
  • Fix logic error in compiler detection,
  • Revert back to some more generic SSE2 code,
  • Fix a memory leak,
  • Fix some cppcheck warnings in the Cfaac code,
  • Check index ranges before dereferencing book arrays (CVE-2018-19886),
  • Clean up stdint.h header inclusions,
  • Consistently use stdint.h types,
  • Update Visual Studio 2017 projects,
  • Add stdint.h header inclusions,
  • Port over ac2ver tool from faad2 to generate PACKAGE_VERSION, when compiling with Visual Studio,
  • Memory allocations redefined.

Since August 2020, Audiocoding.com has been not accessible.

What is FAAC

FAAC, or Freeware Advanced Audio Coder, is an audio compression program running on Windows and Linux. It helps people generate AAC (MPEG-2 AAC/MPEG-4 AAC) sound files from other formats (usually, CD-DA audio files). It contains a library (libfaac) that can be used by other programs, like Avidemux, FFmpeg, and so on.

Some of the features that FAAC has are: cross-platform support, "reasonably" fast encoding, support for more than one "object type" of the AAC format, multi-channel encoding, and support for Digital Radio Mondiale streams. It also supports multi-channel streams, like 5.1. The MPEG-4 object types of the AAC format supported by FAAC are the "Low Complexity" (LC), "Main", and "Long Term Prediction" (LTP). The MPEG-2 AAC profiles supported by FAAC are LC and Main. The SBR and PS object types are not supported, so the HE-AAC and HE-AACv2 profiles are also not supported. The object type "Low Complexity" is the default and also happens to be used in videos meant to be playable for portable players (like Apple's iPod) and used by video-hosting sites (like YouTube). For more details about its features, you can find them in the history part.

As for its quality for encoding AAC files, we are afraid of that is not up to par with the currently best AAC encoders available.

What is FAAD2

FAAD2, or Freeware Advanced Audio Decoder, is a very complete MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 AAC decoder library. It is the successor to FAAD. In the current version it supports the Main, LC, LTP, LD and ER AAC profiles. The easy to use library interface gives the user a simple and powerful way to access AAC files in any program. Uniqueness about FAAD2 is the fact that it is licensed under the GNU General Public License, although paying of patent royalties may be needed before using it. For commercial usage other licensing terms than the GPL can be negotiated.

FAAC and FAAD2 Are Still Available or Not

Even though Audiocoding.com is not accessible, we can get them from Sourceforge.net, since the FAAC and FAAD2 projects are open source. Besides, we can also see FAAC and FAAD2 being used in many video and audio editing software products and libraries, such as,

  • Avidemux video editing software uses FAAC encoder.
  • CDex uses both FAAC encoder and FAAD2 decoder.
  • FFmpeg supports AAC encoding through external library libfaac, and using its experimental native encoder.
  • fre:ac uses FAAC and FAAD2 for AAC support.
  • GStreamer multimedia framework uses FAAC and FAAD.
  • MPlayer uses FAAD2.
  • VLC media player uses the FAAC (encoder) and FAAD (decoder) to provide support for AAC audio.
  • Music Player Daemon uses FAAD2.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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