Apple has joined the ranks of delivering music fans higher quality streaming services by announcing support on its Apple Music platform for lossless and immersive Dolby Atmos audio capabilities.
More good news for audiophiles and Apple loyalists is that the company is adding this upgrade to its Apple Music service at no additional cost to subscribers. Apple offers three tiers of subscriptions – student ($4.99/month), individual ($9.99/month) and family ($14.99/month).
After being long rumored, the company has followed in the footsteps of Tidal (which Jay-Z recently sold to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for nearly $300M), Qobuz and Amazon among listeners who want to stream 16-bit CD quality and 24-bit high-resolution audio in their systems. Spotify users can look forward to CD quality streaming later this year.
Apple Music will also make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in what the company called “Lossless Audio” in its announcement. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file (non-Apple users will be more familiar with FLAC, or Free Lossless Audio Codec).
Update Apple Music Settings for Lossless Audio
To start listening to Lossless Audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality, the company explains of the settings – and a good thing for custom integrators to know if their customers have high-resolution audio questions.
In this setting, listeners can 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/44.1kHz, and goes up to 24-bit/48kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices; the high-resolution support goes up to 24/192.
For multichannel audio fans, Apple refers to its immersive surround-sound as “Spatial Audio” with the support for Dolby Atmos. The company says thousands of tracks will be coded for Atmos at launch and more added regularly.
“Today marks the introduction of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music — a new music experience that is transforming how music is created by artists and enjoyed by their fans,” says Kevin Yeaman, Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO. “We are working with Apple Music to make Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music.”