Today, media and hardware giant Apple announced some big changes coming to their Apple Music streaming service. According to the company, starting in June, they will make their catalog of 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio, meaning subscribers will stream in either CD-Quality (16/44.1) or Better than CD-Quality (24/48). That tier will stream natively on Apple Products.
Beyond that, Apple will also have some songs available in a special Hi-Resolution Lossless tier that goes all the way up to 24/192. To play that, the subscriber will need to connect a DAC capable of handling that quality.
Unlike some other streaming services that use the FLAC file format for their lossless streaming, Apple will use their own Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), which should come as no surprise.
Apple describes their new Lossless Tier as follows:
Apple Music will also make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio.
To start listening to Lossless Audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Here, they 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 at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. For the true audiophile, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.
Along with the Lossless music tiers, Apple also announced the upcoming availability of new Spatial audio music powered by Dolby Atmos. For those who have headphones or earphones with Apple’s H1 or W1 chips inside (AirPods and Beats), they will be able to hear songs wirelessly in a virtual surround format.
You will also be able to experience it with the speakers on the latest iPads and iPhones.
While all that is cool, probably the best part is that all of this will be included at no extra charge over the current Apple Music subscription fees. That is truly great news for Apple Music fans.