Advanced Audio Coding

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Specification and reference source links.

Google has opensourced Android, which includes an Apache 2.0 licensed aac decoder:

Intel has source for its IPP based AAC decoder:

Real Networks has source for its Helix AAC fixedpoint decoder here:

Usually stored in an MP4 container.

See also Understanding AAC.

Extensions

HE-AAC

HE-AAC (also known as by the Dolby trade name aacPlus) is AAC-LC + SBR (Spectral Band Replication) and HE-AAC v2 (aacPlus v2) is LC-AAC + SBR + PS (Parametric Stereo). Standard AAC-LC decoders can decode HE-AAC encoded files/streams but without SBR and PS you do not get the full quality.

GAIN headers

See http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net and MP3 GAIN header.