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(Pocket-lint) - Android users might not notice it as some drastic change, but Netflix has been making some changes to how audio playback works on their devices in recent weeks, and has now formally announced the change - it's adopted a new codec, xHE-AAC.

That slightly hard-to-prase series of letters designates some of the features that the codec is particularly aimed at, with the biggest two being loudness management and dynamic range control.


In simpler terms, it's all about making sure that sound levels are consistent between scenes - so that dialogue is always at the same level, if the characters are speaking with the same degree of force, and you don't get blown out by sudden spikes in noise.

Anyone who watches a lot of TV and movies will know that pain, and Netflix says it's been working really hard to ensure that those sudden spikes don't happen, or only happen if they really directly reflect the on-screen action. 

The other big benefit is that the codec is apparently better at matching its bit rate to the user's connection, meaning that your audio should adapt more quickly to reduce the chance of any buffering while you're watching, even on low-speed connections. 

The licensing deal was announced a couple of weeks ago by its creator Fraunhofer, but has now been confirmed by Netflix and explained at great length and in considerable detail in a post on its tech blog, which you can read here if you want to get in-depth on thing. 

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Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.