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Rate control plays a very important role in bandwidth limited multimedia communication systems. In H.264/AVC, since the drawbacks in the GOP layer and frame layer rate control algorithms, the bits can not be allocated reasonably, sometimes flicker effects will occur and the video coding quality will be degraded. In this paper, a novel rate control algorithm for H.264/AVC is proposed, which integrates GOP-layer rate allocation and a content-aware QP prediction method. Comparing with the standard algorithm, the experimental results demonstrate the improvements in both the rate control efficiency and the reconstructed video quality, especially the visual quality.