Netflix has released an update for its Android app, which aims to improve the sound quality on Android devices by adding support for the xHE-AAC(Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D DRC) audio codec. This is said to offer studio-quality audio on Android devices. The addition of the new codec will offer improved intelligibility in noisy environments, scale audio to studio-quality, and adapt to variable cellular connections which will, in turn, offer better listening experience on devices. The update is valid for devices running Android 9.0 Pie or above.
Netflix in a recent blog post stated that the new codec will offer better dynamic range control and loudness management to offer consistent audio output across its library of content. By improving the dynamic range control, users will be able to hear content loud and clear over background noise, while the volume of the loud content is brought down, without compromising on the quality of the audio.
The codec is also said to support seamless bitrate switching, which helps it deliver studio-quality audio in the presence of sufficient bandwidth and adapts to variable cellular connections to minimise buffers. Netflix had introduced the bitrate adaptive methodology for video back in 2019. Now the technology has been implemented for audio.
The new codec is also supported by iOS 13 and later as well as Amazon’s Fire OS 7 and later. Netflix also announced that it is planning to bring these features to other platforms that support the codec in the near future.
The video streaming service is also working on a Shuffle Play feature, which is said to roll out globally in the first half of 2021. The feature, when turned on, would shuffle “everything on Netflix” and would recommend content for users based on their taste and watch history