AAC (m4a) support on Android Phones

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I'm using songbird and have no problems listening to music on my PC, but I'm also using it to sync music onto my Android phone. This works great by the way, with the exception that I can't sync AAC (or m4a) files. I get an error say, "there is no transcoding for m4a files" or something like that.

Now obviously this may not be a songbird problem, but I thought I'd through this out to the community to see if anyone has a solution.

Any ideas?
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dpwilli

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  • just wishing this worked.

Posted 5 years ago

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alfred

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Which model of Android phone do you have? Does it support AAC file (I guess yes)?

The latest Songbird 1.7.3 release should support certain models of Android phones in MSC mode, including Moto Droid, a couple of HTC Hero and Nexus One. You might want to give it a try.
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malzfreund

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I have a closely related issue. When using auto-sync to sync playlists from Songbird 1.7.3 to my Nexus One, AAC files are transcoded (to ogg). This obviously doesn't make any sense, since Android has been supporting AAC for ages. (alfred: I am positive that AAC has been supported by Android since 1.5. This means that 98%+ of the stock of Android phones in the hands of consumers are capable of AAC playback.)

EDIT: and, btw, I confirmed independently that AAC is supported on my N1. I copied some 256kbps AAC files (purchased from the iTunes store) directly on my N1 using Windows Explorer. They play perfectly on my Android phone with the stock music app.
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alfred

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Ok, this makes sure that the Android phone does support AAC. The next step is to make sure that Songbird thinks that way.

Please right click the device node, choose "Get Info" in the context menu. Is m4a in the list of the "File Formats"? If yes, I would think the transcoding won't be necessary. If not, you'll have to write your own .SBSettings to make Songbird think so. The document might be a helpful reference for you in the later case.
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malzfreund

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alfred,

Thanks again. Interestingly, after putting in the .SBSettings.xml you provided, I get the same error as the OP (dpwilli) when trying to sync an .m4a file. That is, Songbird gives an error "One or more files were unable to be synced." Upon clicking the "Show Details" button, I get:

1 item was not synced to "Ding".

Details:

Songbird could not find an appropriate encoder to convert "title_of_the_song_i_tried_to_sync" to the device.
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alfred

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Sorry, looks like that I pasted the wrong file. Could you please try with this one again? I verified with my MSC device here and it works fine. m4a files can be transferred to the device successfully without transcoding. BTW, I'm using Songbird 1.8.0 beta, which you might want to give a try.
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malzfreund

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ok, for the record, it still doesn't work in 1.7.3 (same error: "One or more files were unable to be synced").

But it did work after doing a clean install of 1.8.0 beta 2. However, now non-AAC files (such as MP3s and FLACs) don't transfer. But I suppose that has to do with the .SBSettings.xml you wrote for testing purposes. So I'll try to figure the rest from here myself. Many thanks for your help!
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malzfreund

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last comment :)

I played more with 1.8.0 beta 2 and found the following: the bug is *not* present in 1.8.0. I deleted my songbird profile and the .SBSettings file you provided and started afresh. I don't have any probs with my N1 whatsoever anymore. Sorry that I didn't had the idea to try 1.8.0 beta myself...
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alfred

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Great. 1.8.0 to be the rescue :)
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Austin

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Just to chime in, make sure the files are not DRM protected. Android will not play DRM files.
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Austin

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Also, Motorola Droid (according to some Moto page) will not play RAW AAC (I don't think this applies to us) or AAC files over 160 Kbps... Strange, no?
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Mark Moorcroft

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For the record making the suggested changes to .SBSettings.xml in fact allows m4a files to transfer unmolested BUT now jpg and mp3 are no longer supported. Does someone have a full featured .SBSettings.xml with support for jpg, mp3, m4a and in this case 3gp.
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ruppel

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Hi there Mark,

Go ahead and take a look at this example for the Nexus One - http://wiki.songbirdnest.com/Develope... .

You can also try using this addon, http://addons.songbirdnest.com/addon/..., if that works better for you.

Cheers.
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Mark Moorcroft

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Am I correct the Nexus SBSettings has no video support? The device itself surely supports many video formats.
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Mark Moorcroft

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Thanks, not far to go from there to get a good DroidX SBSettings. Maybe just a matter of adjusting the device name. I wonder if the DroidX will do stuff the Nexus won't? Probably depends on 3rd party apps installed. Also, presumably Froyo (Android 2.2) will have an effect.
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TonyVov

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Still not working on my RAZR android 2.3.6