More clues appear pointing to lossless audio for Apple Music
At the beginning of this month, we passed along a rumor about Apple Music. Namely, the music streamer apparently plans on adding a new tier of service with enhanced audio quality, something that the competition has already been doing. In the iOS 14.6 Developer Beta, code was discovered that mentioned keywords like "Dolby Atmos," "Dolby Audio," and "Lossless."
Strings of code discovered by 9to5Google in the Android version of the Apple Music Beta app says, "Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data." A 3-minute song in non-lossless high-efficiency digests 1.5MB of data. In non-lossless high-quality, 6MB of data is consumed. 36MB of data is spent during a 3 minute song in lossless, and 145MB in hi-res lossless.Apple will reportedly charge an additional monthly fee for the enhanced tier.
There could be three or four options for sound quality once the Apple Music app is updated: high-efficiency, high quality, lossless, and high-res lossless. 10GB of space will store up to 3,000 songs at high-quality, 1,000 songs at lossless and only 200 songs at high-res lossless.
High-res Lossless streams at up to 192kHz audio with 48kHz used in standard Lossless. Both will use Apple's lossless ALAC codec while the high-quality service will employ Apple's non-Lossless AAC codec.
If the new tier of Apple Music isn't released by May, we should hear more about the lossless audio options during the virtual WWDC 2021 developer conference that will kick off on June 7th.