Difference between AAC and M4A file

5 pts.
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AAC file
M4A file
What's the difference an AAC and M4A file (specifically the video part of it)?

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  • TheRealRaven
    Most "M4A" is "AAC", but some "AAC" is not "M4A".

    That is, M4A is just a container that (usually) holds AAC-encoded data. But AAC-encoded data might be carried in container formats that aren't M4A. (And M4A can hold other data, but it's not common to see it.)

    M4A generally refers to audio(-only) content, M4V refers to video(-only) content, and MP4 refers to audio+video content. They're pretty much the same container format and are mostly interchangeable; and as file extensions, they merely 'hint' at what data is enclosed.

    So there's seldom any point to discussing video content in M4A.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    AAC stands for either Mpeg2 Advanced Audio Coding/Mpeg4 Advanced Audio Coding. The Mpeg2 audio encoding standard of the format is not backward compatible with earlier version of Mpeg audio. Basically M4A is based on AAC. While M4A can produce better audio quality than Mp3 using less physical space for the files.
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  • ToddN2000
    They are basically the same. Most references I find only are referencing the audio aspect. 
    AAC is an audio encoding scheme popular with ITunes ,while M4A is only a file extension.

    An AAC encoded audio can have the AAC, MP4 and M4A extensions and still play.

    For a good write up check out Difference Between AAC and M4A

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  • Subhendu Sen
    Moreover, M4A does not have only to contain AAC audio, but there are other options as well. Here is a good article for the same, please link here: https://whatis.techtarget.com/fileformat/M4A-Unprotected-AAC-audio-file

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