Lossless streaming option for Apple Music may launch within weeks



  • Reply 41 of 44
    GG1GG1 Posts: 443member
    Curious if Apple is offering 1K411 or ALAC formats?

    Love to see 24/44 ALAC.  Sounds amazing but the files are only about the same size as 1K411.
    What is the 1K411 format?
  • Reply 42 of 44
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,280member
    thedba said:
    sevenfeet said:

    Streaming lossless puts a considerably higher load on the servers and to give lossless without a premium would result in a very high user uptake.

    256K AAC music files are about 5-8 MBs in size. Lossless ALAC files usually run 25-35 MB in size. So bigger?  Sure. But these are the same networks that handle video streaming (much bigger file load) without breaking a sweat. I think Apple (and the cell networks) can handle it.
    Actually you 5-8 MB AAC files will translate more to 35-55 MB ALAC files,
    I'm pretty sure that your home or work WiFi network can easily handle this just like your cell LTE network can.
    The problem is when you stream on the road. Five tunes alone will eat through 200-250 MB of your monthly high speed plan. If you listen to 10 that's 400-500 MB per day. 
    May not be a problem for some but these can quickly eat through your cell monthly plan say 5GB per month. Then you get bumped down to Edge speeds and you can't even open up Maps. 
    Ok, so looking at a bunch of tracks in my all-ALAC music library, the file sizes do vary, but they're not really getting into the 50MB+ range unless they're long tracks. What I find affecting the file size more are the crushed dynamics of modern music (you know, the ones competing in the "Loudness Wars"). CDs from the 80s and 90s tend to be "quieter" and have greater dynamics. These 16bit / 44.1k tracks convert roughly at about 850-950 kbps (eg; a 4:24 track at 882 kbps = 30.9 MB, a 5:22 track at 904 kbps = 36.4MB).

    The newer tracks with squashed dynamics (again, 16bit / 44.1k) tend to convert roughly at 950-1100+ kbps range (eg; a 4:06 track at 1,118 kbps = 34.5MB, a 6:33 track at 1,048 kbps = 51.6MB). Another example like Metallica's "Death Magnetic" album which has heavily compressed dynamics goes from 43.6MB for the shortest track of 5:00, and goes as high as 84.3MB for the longest track, but it's 9:58!

    So, just scanning through dozens of albums, I'm not seeing the average track file size go much beyond 40MB. That said, I find Sevenfeet's estimate of 25-35MB size range to be more accurate. Now, if you get into 24bit / 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96k, etc. tracks, then file sizes will obviously increase dramatically.

    As for streaming on the road, most audio apps allow for reduced bitrates when not on Wifi / local network. My Spotify app will do the current max of 320 kbps when on WiFi, but drop to 160 kbps or lower when on cellular. I can't imagine Apple would roll out a lossless option, and not allow for similar capabilities.

  • Reply 43 of 44
    saarek said:
    Just placed an order for a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 and had just googled if Apple offered High Res Audio for Apple Music. Fingers crossed they do release this.

    I can see a lot of people talking about a waste of bandwidth, but as someone who works from home and is usually on wifi that's not an issue. Even outside of home I have a healthy death package each month and would happily use twice the data for a higher quality audio.
    I have a pair of XM3:s just laying around — same sound quality as the XM4:s. You could have had them for free, saarek. I don’t use them at all since I got the AirPods Max.
    edited May 7
  • Reply 44 of 44
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,070member
    GG1 said:
    Curious if Apple is offering 1K411 or ALAC formats?

    Love to see 24/44 ALAC.  Sounds amazing but the files are only about the same size as 1K411.
    What is the 1K411 format?
    Standard uncompressed CD audio at 16 bits and 44.1 kHz is 1411 kbit/s. 

    All of Apple's devices support Apple Lossless, and AirPlay is ALAC, and it's exactly identical in terms of data content, so there is no reason whatsoever to stream at 1K411. 
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