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The paper addresses a bitstream scalable coder based on the MPEG-4 scalable lossless (SLS) coding system where, in contrast to SLS, the bitrate of the enhancement layer is not fixed but instead an attempt is made to create a quality-fixed enhancement layer. With a PCM audio input, the proposed structure is able to produce an audio version with near-transparent quality on top of the existing low-quality version. In particular, the proposed fixed quality enhancing process with checking procedures is able to provide the minimum amount of enhancement for the low-quality version to obtain a near-transparent quality that is almost indistinguishable from the CD quality. In addition, a bitrate estimation model is proposed. The model enables the direct estimation of the enhancing bitrate from two parameters extracted from the encoding process of the low-quality version. Evaluation results indicate that a better defined quality level is guaranteed compared to a fixed bitrate setting and that in the mean a lower (approximately 20%) bitrate is attained. It is also shown that the estimation model proposed is able to accurately predict the necessary enhancing bitrate and at the same time, reduce the complexity by around 17%.