AC3 File Extension

Have a problem opening a .AC3 file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what AC3 files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .AC3 file type?

The .ac3 filename extension stands for the AC3 Audio File (.ac3) file type and format. AC3 is one of the multiple names of a proprietary audio compression technology developed by Dolby Laboratories and best known as Dolby Digital (DD). The key feature of the AC3 lies in the support of multiple discrete 48 kHz channels (up to 6, translated into the popular 5.1 formula), with the total bitrate up to 384 kbit/sec. AC3 is part of DVD, HD DVD, BluRay, and other standards.

An .ac3 file is an AC3 audio stream saved as a file. The most frequent occurrence of standalone .ac3 files is related to external movie sound tracks that can be loaded into a media player on top of a movie and played in sync with it. External .ac3 sound tracks are commonly used to provide dialogs in different languages.

Apart from being often used as external sound tracks, standalone AC3 files also serve the purpose of storing multi-channel music, best played on a Dolby 5.1/7.1 sound system. Although .ac3 audio files can be directly played by most major media players, some sound editors and players require AC3Filter (a DirectShow filter) to be installed.

Software to open or convert AC3 files

You can open AC3 files with the following programs: 

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