- Apple teases major Music announcements as lossless streaming rumors mount.
- The high-fidelity option will provide higher bitrate audio streams to subscribers
- The option will apparently cost an extra $9.99 per user, on top of the existing subscription.
Apple Music is a streaming service that allows you to listen to over 75 million songs. It features the ability to download your favorite tracks and play them offline. It also shows lyrics in real-time and listening across all your favorite devices. All this is in addition to the exclusive and original content. Apple teases major Music announcements as lossless streaming rumors mount.
Apple Music has started teasing a special announcement coming soon, on the main Browse tab in the Music application. The teaser comes as Apple is rumored to announce a new lossless audio tier for its music subscription service, perhaps with Spatial Audio enhanced 3D music. We’ve already heard rumors that Apple was planning to launch a new hi-fi music tier imminently, possibly alongside new AirPods on May 18th.
The beta Android version of Apple Music somewhat tipped the hat on the news, with the app readying support for 24-bit/48kHz and 24-bit/192kHz lossless music streaming. References to Dolby Audio were also spotted in early iOS 14.6 betas.
The lossless tier will support music streaming at 24-bit/48Hz:
Apple Music typically streams music at 256kbps. The lossless audio services have far higher bitrates, such as Tidal’s 1,411Kbps maximum bitrate. Experts warn that these higher-quality tiers will require more storage space and data to stream compared to existing quality. Apple Music’s current high-quality tier consumes 6 MB of data for a 3-minute song. But, this could rise to 36 MB with lossless, and 145 MB with hi-res lossless.
Code references have indicated that lossless tracks may take up triple space on a device as compared to high-quality versions on average. But the data usage may be much greater in practice. While streaming a three-minute song will use 1.5MB of data with high-efficiency or 6MB for a high-quality 256kbps stream, lossless at 24-bit/48kHz could use up 36MB of bandwidth, rising to 145MB for hi-res lossless.
The launch would put Apple against other similar options provided by its rivals. Both Tidal and Amazon Music currently provide lossless audio streams, but while Spotify HiFi was announced in February, it has yet to roll out to consumers.