Audiophile alert: Apple and Amazon launch higher sound quality for music streaming

Posted on: May 20, 2021

“Amazon Music and Apple Music have announced that they will provide hi-fidelity streaming to subscribers at no added cost,” writes Dylan Smith in Monday’s (5/17) Digital Music News. “Both companies unveiled their hi-fi streaming options this morning, via formal releases…. Unlimited subscribers in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany can now upgrade to Amazon Music HD for free. Amazon Music HD—which previously cost subscribers an extra $5 per month—encompasses north of 70 million lossless, high-definition songs…. Additionally, Amazon Music HD currently offers seven million tracks in Ultra HD, which is ‘better than CD quality.’ … Apple Music, for its part, ‘is bringing industry-leading sound quality to subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos’ beginning next month. Plus, Apple—which recently revealed that it has 660 million subscribers across all services … won’t charge Apple Music users to access some 75 million songs in ‘lossless audio.’… The release also contains statements from Gustavo Dudamel, Giles Martin, Manny Marroquin, and J Balvin in support of spatial audio and Dolby Atmos…. Apple utilizes ‘ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file.’ ”