Apple Music spatial and lossless audio
Apple Music has been in a lot of news lately. Firstly, the ‘Browse’ tab in the Music app across iOS devices getting a teaser making the launch of Apple Music THE major announcement.
The ”Coming Soon” heading had a headline that said “Get ready- music is about to change forever” and it was accompanied by a video that displayed an animated Apple Music logo.
After that, Apple went on a spree of quoting “lossless audio”, so much so that they had different references such as Apple Lossless, Free Lossless, Hi-Res Lossless, and even Dolby Atmos. After which, rumors started flying around that Apple is launching a new Hi-Fi tier music app which could possibly go live on the 18th of May.
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What is Lossless Hi-Fi Audio?
Basically, what it means is that the quality that you get will match that of an actual CD-quality i.e. 16bit audio at 44.1kHz, or 24bit at 48kHz, or 24bit at 192kHz depending on the volume of data you want the app to consume. All of the 75million songs on Apple Music will be available in lossless quality. When a song goes live on Apple Music, the creator/distributor has to upload the original track anyway, so all that apple has to do is to make both ends meet and bring that original quality to the user.
With the support for Dolby Atmos, spatial audio will definitely be something Apple will be emphasizing on. It seems Apple likes Lo-Fi.
What makes this lossless audio bandwagon lose its ground is that even Apple’s AirPods, AirPods Pro and even the Airpods Max can’t play lossless audio. This is because of the absence of a proper DAC to keep the signal intact which gets converted from digital to analog and is re-digitized again. The solution to that might be either some high-end headphones or making the headphones connect over WiFi. Which as of now is not present on the AirPods (OG/Pro/Max) and not even on Homepod and Homepod Minis.
P.S. They do support spatial audio though.
Lastly, Apple has announced that the new Apple Music will be available sometime in June. Till then, the lossless audio concept seems as lackluster as it sounds; not enough facts to solidify it.