Every few months I go check out Oddsock’s site and leech the latest version of his fine Oddcast for Foobar 2000 and the Win32 build of Icecast. I went out checking this week and found and installed Oddcast 3.1.2 and Icecast 2.3.0. This combo supported AAC streaming a while ago, but the free AAC encoders available didn’t sound better than MP3 at 64kbps to me, so I didn’t implement AAC. Vorbis at 64kbps (quality 0) is quite formidable. When I read that Winamp 5.1 included a free AACplus encoder DLL that the new Oddcast could take advantage of, I was immediately intrigued and had to try out a 64kbps, 44.1kHz, stereo AACplus (which I found out is high efficiency advanced audio coding plus parametric stereo – HE-AAC+PS) stream.

Foobar 0.8.3 refused to play the stream. I don’t think it supports AACplus natively. However, the FB2K 0.9 betas do support it, but while it plays the audio beautifully, it doesn’t show the metadata. Winamp 5.1 supports the stream fully, and sounds almost as good as Vorbis Q0 to my ears. I hear just a little more high-end warbling with AACplus, but it’s very listenable.

One hope I had was that I’d finally be able to stream a 64kbps 44.1kHz stereo stream to my Mac ICYG brethren, but it turns out iTunes 5.0.1 doesn’t support AACplus. Ugh. Two steps forward, one step back.