OK, I’m definitely interested in Sony’s news that they will begin supporting AAC in their SonicStage application, which is the software I use to transfer audio from my computer to my Hi-MD Walkman. They already support MP3, WAV, and WMA in addition to their own ATRAC; if they would support Vorbis, they would please me even more.
However, this news combined with Ahead‘s (makers of Nero) release of a free, feature-filled, command-line AAC encoder for Windows (which mates nicely with FB2K) probably spells the end of Vorbis in my music library. I’d already made the decision to do new encodes with MP3 instead of Vorbis. I will continue to prefer to stream using Vorbis, but the format just isn’t supported in enough of the tools I use currently to do otherwise with it. The main tools I use to enjoy my music are FB2K, iTunes, and to a more limited extent, SonicStage and WinAMP. Discussion about the new AAC encoder is going on at Hydrogenaudio.
I’ve started a slow cull through my digital music morass to try to reorganize (especially through superior tagging), trash, and also delete & re-encode the inferior-sounding stuff that I want to keep online. Some of my Vorbis Q3 & Q4 encodes really sound like crap, but so did 128kbps MP3 at the time I made those decisions. The stuff I re-encode will not be Vorbis, but now I want to decide if Nero’s AAC encoder is superior in quality, flexibility, and compatibility as they pertain to my tastes and use versus LAME MP3.
As I’m approaching this I’m realizing that it’s nicer to have a smaller amount of nicer-sounding music that I actually listen to versus a bunch of badly-encoded stuff that I don’t like or never listen to. My collection will be higher-quality as a result, and will be more fun to jack into and play with in the various ways I do.