Apple Music, Amazon add high fidelity free. Spotify's is coming (and maybe soon)

Apple Music, Amazon add high fidelity free. Spotify’s is coming (and maybe soon)

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Amazon Music Unlimited has free high-fidelity streaming, with Apple Music launching next month – and Spotify may be imminent.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple music Customers will find that a large portion of the catalog sounds better next month, and Amazon Music Unlimited members already have it. We already knew that Spotify is on the way to adding high-fidelity, lossless audio this year – and the launch of Hi-Fi may be imminent.

On Monday, Apple stated that its music services are adding support for high-quality, lossless and spatial audio Dolby atmos No additional cost for its general membership starting in June. It will offer 20 million lossless audio songs to begin with, with 75 million available by the end of 2021.

Not to go further, Amazon on Monday also revealed that it will release its high-quality streaming tier known as Amazon Music HD, which is part of a standard Amazon Music Unlimited subscription at no additional cost, which Just starting It consists of 70 million lossless songs with a growing selection of tracks supporting Dolby Atmos.

The dual announcements essentially mean that Amazon is the first company to offer a $ 10-month high-fidelity streaming music service, with Apple Music at the turning point next month. Spotify, the world’s largest streaming service by both listeners and subscribers, plans to launch its own HiFi service sometime this year, but has not specified the time or price.

Spotify’s new Hi-Fi service may be imminent. The Spotify-focused Reddit board posted screenshots to show a glitch in Spotify’s iOS app, revealing HiFi branding and language explaining the high-fidelity service. Spotify did not immediately respond to a message comment. Spotify did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

When the company announced its plans earlier this year, Spotify’s HiFi was expected to have a competitive price of $ 20 per month. But Apple and Amazon’s decision to make lossless quality a standard part of their $ 10-month subscription will put extreme pressure on Spotify to follow suit if it hopes to remain competitive.

Although Apple and Amazon have not specifically revealed how many music customers they have recently, Apple is widely considered a service competing for dominance with Spotify.

Apple defines songs in lossless audio as “the way artists have made in the studio”. Apple describes spatial audio as “giving artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences … with true multidimensional sound and clarity.”

When lossless audio becomes available, Apple Music subscribers can try it out by updating to the latest version of Apple Music and going to Settings, Music, then Audio Quality. You can choose different resolutions for cellular and Wi-Fi connections, or simply download the track. The lossless tier starts with CD quality, which uses 16-bit encoding at a 44.1kHz sampling frequency and goes up to 24 bits at 48kHz. It is basically playable on Apple devices. If you use external audio equipment, you choose levels up to 24 bits at 192kHz.

Apple said that if you listen to Apple Music via AirPods or Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, or through built-in speakers in the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad and Mac, you’ll automatically get Dolby Atmos tracks. The album available at Dolby Atmos will have a badge so you can track them on service.

However, high-quality audio only faces real-world limitations in addition to hardware support. Humans generally cannot hear pitches above the 20kHz frequency, which means thanks to the laws of physics that Sound frequencies above 4.1 kHz do not improve sound quality, experts say.

Amazon said on Monday that Amazon Music Unlimited members can now upgrade to Amazon Music HD in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Spain at no additional cost. Its Amazon Music HD stream can stream at CD quality with a slight depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz. Customers can also stream more than 7 million songs in quality above CD – which Amazon calls Ultra HD – with a slight depth of 24 bits and a sample rate of up to 192 kHz. And for spatial audio, Amazon said it has a growing library of songs remixed in 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA.

Amazon Music Unlimited’s individual plan is $ 8 per month for Prime members and $ 10 per month for everyone else. Its family plan, at $ 15 per month, can be upgraded to high-quality audio at no additional cost. Previously, the Amazon Music HD tier was an additional $ 5 per month; Those who are currently paying a higher price will see that price drop in their next billing cycle.

See it all: Best music streaming service for 2021


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