Over the past two weeks, a second round of AAC listening tests was carried out across five different AAC codecs at Rarewares . This test has been carried out due to significant quality improvement across most the codecs. The AAC codecs tested were Nero AACenc v.188.8.131.52, Compact! 1.2beta3, FAAC 1.23.5 (all three in 128kbps VBR), Apple iTunes 4.2 and Real Producer 10 beta (both in 128kbps CBR). The test closed on February 29th.
In 12 songs tested, iTunes had the best score on average with Nero close behind. The remaining three are closely tied in second place (or third place if Nero is considered second place). The scores did not vary as much as in the original AAC listening test which means that any recent AAC codec will produce a good quality encoding.