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Apple Music announces Lossless, Hi-Res and Spacial Audio support

Apple Music is joining the lossless, high-resolution, and spatial audio streaming club! Apple has just announced it is making its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Apple has their own proprietary audio format, ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), similar to FLAC, which preserves every single bit of the original audio file. Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio. Starting in June, subscribers can turn on Lossless Audio in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Users will be able to choose different resolutions for different connections such as cellular, Wi-Fi, or for download. Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz, and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. For the true audiophile, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.

Apple is also bringing Spatial Audio support with Dolby Atmos to Apple Music. Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary, immersive audio experience that enables artists to mix music so the sound comes from all around and from above. By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. While not all music has support for Spatial Audio, Apple Music will be adding new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly and will be curating a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists to help listeners find the music they love. The Apple Music streaming service is available for $9.99 a month, and currently includes a 3 month free trial for new subscribers.

In response to Apple’s announcement, Amazon has announced they will be adjusting their music streaming service to include lossless audio at no additional cost. Amazon had previously been charging extra for subscribers to access lossless CD-quality and high-resolution audio. Similarly, Amazon Music costs $9.99 a month or $7.99 a month for Amazon Prime members.

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