The Fraunhofer institute for integrated circuits introduced a new audio codec at the CeBIT, likely to soon overrun the MP3 format with its efficient and loss-free compression. The new development is called HD-AAC and it is a synthesis of the advanced audio coding (AAC) and scalable lossless coding (SLS).
In contrast to the standard 16 bit audio CD, HD-AAC generally encodes music with 24 bits and should obtain no worse results than other codecs. The constant bit rate allows for secure transfer over different bandwidths. What could also additionally secure the format’s success is its downward compatibility. HD-AAC compressed music is, thanks to its integrated layers, already supported by devices that already play AAC, like the iPod.