Apple ‘Adaptive Streaming’ Format to Improve Music Downloads

Reports say Apple is working on a streaming technology that adjusts to the bandwidth of users to provide the best possible audio experience.


Reports say Apple is working on an “adaptive streaming” service that augments the audio quality of its iCloud platform.

By Robert Archer
March 01, 2012
A report from The Guardian says Apple is also working on a new audio format that will adjust to the connection quality consumers are using to provide an optimized listening experience.

The Guardian says Apple’s “adaptive streaming” will provide iCloud users with low- and high-resolution file streaming capabilities to enable them, based on their Internet connection and electronics, to listen to higher resolution audio files.

“All of a sudden, all your audio from iTunes is in HD rather than AAC. Users wouldn’t have to touch a thing; their library will improve in an instant,” an anonymous source tells The Guardian.

Details of the format’s release and other specifics, such as what quality levels the service will offer, are unclear. The Guardian speculates that Apple could debut the new streaming technology during the upcoming iPad 3 announcement, which takes place March 7 in San Francisco.

Ars Technica states that Apple is encouraging its music industry partners to provide 24-bit/96kHz audio files as a best case starting point for the delivery of music via iTunes. This request, The Guardian points out, is part of the Mastered for iTunes program, which along with adaptive streaming could be key components of an effort from Apple and the music industry to thwart illegal downloading of music through the ability to purchase high-quality music files on iTunes.

Related: Apple's Innovations Over the Years

Return to full story: