Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple offer hi-res 24-bit tracks on iTunes

Apple’s Major Overhaul of iTunes

Following a report, Apple is considering a major overhaul of iTunes and the company is making plans to enter into the high definition music industry with 24-bit track. It was reported that Apple will be launching hi-res audio sales in two months to coincide with the release of the three Led Zeppelin remasters and would probably charge an additional dollar for high resolution tracks and the new features would be offered in line with the usual iTunes track with the option of album purchase.

Presently Apple needs publishers providing 24-bit ALAC tracks along with high sampling price to improve sound quality for transcoding to lossy AAC format which is currently available on iTunes. AAC cuts a good amount of data from the original mastered version like the MP3 codec, trading subtle nuances in dynamic range, detail, fidelity with other sound quality metrics for small sized files.

Supporting the rumor is Apple’s Mastered for iTunes initiative providing studios along with specialized software, especially AU Lab, helping in checking how AAC conversion could affect the uncompressed masters. The studios could then pass the original 24-bit masters to iTunes at a varying sampling rate, creating files without loss and encoding them into 16-bit AAC tracks. This would mean Apple would have a huge repository of lossless music.

Music in a 24-Bit Format

Apple had been working on providing music in a 24-bit format for some time and a report of 2011 stated that the company was in talks to increase the quality of iTunes Music. Presently Apple has been selling audio files on iTunes in a 16-bit lossy AAC format encoded at 256 kbs to a minimum file and high definition 24-bit downloads would offer better details with greater depth with deeper bass response when compared to traditional 16-bit music downloads and the file sizes would be much larger.

Apple has been offering16-bit audio files presently but the company is encouraging artist to submit music in a 24-bit 96 kHz resolution which can be used to create more accurate encodes. Since Apple has accepted 24-bit files for years, it has a large catalog of high quality audio files which could be offered for sales at a premium of $1 over the traditional iTunes tracks.

Better Digital Music

Moreover Hi-res audio has been getting popular with the present generation and music sites like HDtracks are gaining deals with multiple major record labels. Popular artist like Credence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young and many others are putting out high resolution audio with an audio platform called Orastream pointing that the artist are working with technologies making the digital music sound better.

If Apple choose to start selling 24-bit audio tracks it would dominate the competing sites based on its existing user base and boost its digital downloads by appealing to audiophiles presently unhappy with the quality of iTunes tracks. Apple is asking sound engineers for 96 kHz, 24-bit WAV files with the possibility to process its very own `mastered for iTunes’, versions and also to start selling music in `better than CD quality’ resolution and format. Do check out for more refreshing technology information at Macmyth

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