[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Networks are getting more and more heterogeneous. Scalable codecs are especially suited for such a context as they permit the bitrate to be lowered in a simple way, at any point of the transmission, for adaptation to network conditions and to terminal capacities. Classically, scalable codecs are organised in layers and scalability is obtained by sending more or fewer layers to the decoder. The obtained granularity depends on the layer sizes, and the available bitrates are fixed and limited in number. The paper presents a novel scalable audio coding scheme where the bitrates vary continuously between a minimal and a maximal value, allowing free modification of the bitrate. With this novel approach, all bitrates are valid, sending even one more bit results in different output signal with statistically growing quality. Test results show that this method provides quality as good as or even better than that of a non-scalable version.