Get Ready for Apple Music Hi-Res Audio Streaming

Apple Music
  • Save

If details leaking from the Portable Audio Festival in Japan are true, Apple Music’s fidelity is about to dramatically improve.  According to information from multiple industry sources at the show, Apple may be launching a new, higher-quality audio streaming upgrade to Apple Music.

Of course, the Festival is reigniting historical rumors, but if this batch is true, Apple will launch its new, HD-level improvement in 2016.

“There’s talk that Apple plans to ditch its standard 3.5mm headphone jack altogether…”

Reports also suggest that the new hi-resolution streaming will be delivered via the future iPhone’s Lightning port.  That will enable a 96kHz, 24-bit sampling rate, and an important push for better-quality audio.  Additionally, there’s talk that Apple plans to ditch its standard 3.5mm headphone jack altogether, and use the Lightning port exclusively for audio output.

By offering high-resolution audio, Apple could gain significant competitive advantage.  HD will differentiate the iPhone from other smartphones that cannot guarantee such a high-quality listening experience, and directly benefit Apple Music subscribers and iTunes Store buyers.

As a company, Apple has always been at the forefront of the digital music revolution, with a storied history that includes iPods, iPhones and iTunes — and most recently, Apple Music.  So, it was obvious that Apple would at some point produce its own high-quality audio service.

Despite an early blanket of criticism, Apple Music has gained millions of subscribers since its launch in June.  At present, whisper numbers put paying Apple Music subscribers past 8 million, with all paying full, $9.99 fare (or more).  Indeed, 2016 could be the year when Apple turns to the Lightning connector and the promise of higher-fidelity audio to seriously attract and retain Apple Music adherents.

10 Responses

  1. Name2

    HTC, Sony, Samsung, and others all produce specific phone models capable of 96/24 audio. FYI.

  2. Remi Swierczek

    Just another prayer method in cashless music MEDIEVAL!

    Mr. Cue attempting to hijack Pandora, Spotify and TIDAL freeloaders into his Apple cult!
    No matter what he does global subscription and advertising music swamp has only $20B for grabs.

    UMG initiated music suicide has to stop! Let’s have some respect to yourself and music.

      • Remi Swierczek

        Sorry, to me subscription streaming means free.
        To humans with little bit less logic it will be semi-free.
        For CLUELESS music distribution NERDS it is the greatest monetization method since the collapse of CD Empire. To me again digital MEDIEVAL!

  3. Anonymous

    Read that other DMN-headline: 55% of Americans prefer their music through computer speakers! 🙂

    So we can forget all about hi-res once and for all.

    Now, we need to figure out how we make people understand that headphones are the only cost-effective way to actually hear our music.

    • pbody

      hi rez is a VERY small percentage of people. most people cant tell the difference between 12 bit and 16 bit unless you pointed it out to them and the difference there is quite audible. Some struggle with 8bit and 16 bit.

      Above 16 bit though and there very few people who can hear a difference. At that point its more of a feeling than anything actually audible. I truly believe I am hearing a difference if you play me a 24 bit and a 16 bit file. In a blind test though, this difference is difficult for me to decipher indicating it is purely a placebo effect. These blind tests are all over the web and the percentage of audio engineers who can guess correctly is extremely miniscule. The ones guessing correctly appear to have above average physical listening ability. The general public has no idea which is which.

      I do think 24 bit for recording music has its advantages. Mixing many layers of tracks and that extra headroom can be helpful in the final result. As far as 24 bit mixes, its arguably a waste of hard drive space.

  4. Lydon

    One problem, though: how is one supposed to charge one’s device and listen to music at the same time?

    • Me

      Somebody will most likely make an adapter (either apple or a third party) for that.

      • Name2

        If Apple intends to send the data stream through the Lightning connection, then the DAC must lie somewhere between the Lightning connection and one’s ears/speakers.

        Thus, pretty much any “third party solution” constitutes a circumvention device, and so is against the law under the DMCA.

        Merry Christmas!!!