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Advanced Audio Zip (AAZ)

Perfect fidelity, perfect compatibility and a perfectly small file

Music buffs who download audio files and stream audio from the internet often face the following dilemma: the music they get is not as good as the original CD; but to have music sounding as close as possible to the original CD, they need to put up with enormous file sizes. And unless they have a high-speed internet connection, downloading time can be lengthy.

If their storage and playback devices do not have enough memory, they will have to make do with smaller files and poorer quality music. To get higher-fidelity sound, the number of files stored is greatly reduced.

But thanks to Advanced Audio Zip (AAZ), it is now possible to have both small audio files and exact CDquality music. AAZ is a flexible audio coding tool that can compress any music file (such as a CD track) to less than half its original size, and also restore every bit of the original data during playback without any loss or distortion. Because no data is lost, AAZ is a good tool for storing and archiving audio files. Moreover, it offers perfect scalability as it can customise file sizes to suit any requirement.

What this means is that even with an internet speed that is crawling, home users can still receive premium digital sound when audio streaming or downloading. It also means that they no longer need the highest-end home entertainment systems or portable media devices for the perfect audio playback.

Developed by the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), AAZ is the first “Made-in-Singapore" technology adopted as a reference model in the Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG) standardisation effort.

Compatible with advanced audio coding (used in Apple’s iPod), it was also published as an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a significant achievement for a Singapore institute as standards are typically dominated by prominent industry players such as Sony and Philips.

AAZ is licensed to and deployed by Soundbuzz, Asia’s largest online and mobile music company. Potential applications include professional audio, consumer electronics, broadcasting, mobile entertainment, streaming, storage and internet music.

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Last Updated on 18 October 2009

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