AAC : A Format that is As Good As mp3

A few days ago after updating the firmware of my Apple iPhone to iOS 10.2, I noticed that the storage capacity has decreased to 11.82 GB. As a result, I was getting the “Storage Almost Full” pop-up on my phone. I had only 0 kb of available storage. This is one of the nightmares of an owner of a 16 GB iPhone but there is a workaround for this.

In the iTunes library of my computer, most music files are in MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) format with a bit rate of 320 kbps. These consist of high quality audio and hence take up a lot of space if synced to an iPhone. For a compromise between file size and sound quality, all music files can be synced into the iPhone with AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format. If you listen to an AAC audio file with a low bit rate (eg. 192 kbps), you can barely experience the difference in quality between that and an MP3 clip with 320 kbps bit rate, unlike an mp3 file with a low bit rate because the sound quality of an audio clip with a bit rate of 128 kbps will be very poor. However, I would not recommend AAC files with 128 kbps because the beats of certain songs cannot be heard the way they are meant to be heard.

screenshot

Figure 1 : iTunes Window indicating the position of the check box which has to be ticked for conversion of audio files

Here’s how you can sync all your music files in AAC format with a low bit rate while keeping the audio files as they are in your computer:

  1. Open iTunes and connect the iPhone to the PC / Mac.
  2. Click on “iOS device” button on iTunes
  3. In Summary page, check “Convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC” and select “192 kbps” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Finally, click “Sync”.

Here is a handy tip : You can gain some extra free space if you perform a Backup and Restore after syncing the music files in AAC format. More information on how to do this can be found in the following link : Storage: “I’m Out” !

I managed to get about 2.5 GB of free space after performing these procedures, thus making more room to install apps. Hope this helps.

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