Apple Music for Android beta hints at lossless quality streaming

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 14
Code within the latest beta version of Apple Music for Android corroborates rumors that lossless streaming might be coming soon to the platform.

Credit: TechCrunch
Credit: TechCrunch


A report from earlier in May suggested that a high-fidelity streaming option was in the works for Apple Music. The option is rumored to provide higher-quality audio streaming to users who pay an extra monthly fee.

Although it isn't clear when such a feature would launch, the Apple Music for Android 3.6.0 beta contains code strings that confirm the existence of a HiFi option. The code was first uncovered by 9to5Google.

One string tells users that "Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data."

Another piece of code warns Apple Music users that lossless audio files will take up more space on a user's device. For example, Apple says that users could store 1,000 songs with lossless quality, instead of 3,000 songs at "high quality."

There also appears to be a similar warning about data. In the code, Apple is warning that a three-minute song takes about 1.5 MB of data with high effiency, 6MB with high quality at 256 kbps, 36 MB with lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz, and 145MB with hi-res lossless.

"Support varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability," the code also reads.

Based on the code strings, it seems like Apple is planning on offering two varieties of "HiFi" audio: standard lossless and high-resolution lossless. It appears that the former will offer up to 48kHz, while the latter will offer up to 192kHz.

Apple would be fairly late to launching a high-fidelity streaming option when compared to other music platforms. Amazon launched a lossless audio planw back in 2019, while Spotify announced its own HiFi offering back in February 2021. Other services include Tidal, which debuted with high-fidelity streaming but has struggled to gain a foothold. Financial technology company Square acquired Tidal in March.

A separate rumor on Friday claimed that the "Apple Music HiFi" service could launch in May.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
     Apple would be fairly late to launching a high-fidelity streaming option when compared to other music platforms.”

    Better late than never. LFG
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 524member
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    edited May 14 MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    zimmie said:
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    Generally speaking, nobody cares.  That's not being dismissive, just realistic.  People buy most things with their heart, not their head.  They definitely buy "want" not "need"  There's a subset of music listeners who want higher quality music.  Whether or not the math says it's worth it is irrelevant.   The same types of arguments are made about TV's and size-to-distance ratios.  Those charts might as well be toilet paper for all the good they'll do.

    If Apple offers higher quality music for those who want it, good.  Those who don't want to avail themselves don't have to do so.  People who desire lossless are a small niche audience.  The "logical conclusion" arguments don't really work because the group isn't really large enough to make a profound impact.
    winstoner71
  • Reply 4 of 7
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 524member
    zimmie said:
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    Generally speaking, nobody cares.  That's not being dismissive, just realistic.  People buy most things with their heart, not their head.  They definitely buy "want" not "need"  There's a subset of music listeners who want higher quality music.  Whether or not the math says it's worth it is irrelevant.   The same types of arguments are made about TV's and size-to-distance ratios.  Those charts might as well be toilet paper for all the good they'll do.

    If Apple offers higher quality music for those who want it, good.  Those who don't want to avail themselves don't have to do so.  People who desire lossless are a small niche audience.  The "logical conclusion" arguments don't really work because the group isn't really large enough to make a profound impact.
    If it were simply pointless, sure. Just like Night Shift. Maybe they'll even get some psychosomatic benefits.

    This isn't just pointless, though. It's also extremely wasteful. They may as well announce that they accept cryptocurrencies.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    zimmie said:
    zimmie said:
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    Generally speaking, nobody cares.  That's not being dismissive, just realistic.  People buy most things with their heart, not their head.  They definitely buy "want" not "need"  There's a subset of music listeners who want higher quality music.  Whether or not the math says it's worth it is irrelevant.   The same types of arguments are made about TV's and size-to-distance ratios.  Those charts might as well be toilet paper for all the good they'll do.

    If Apple offers higher quality music for those who want it, good.  Those who don't want to avail themselves don't have to do so.  People who desire lossless are a small niche audience.  The "logical conclusion" arguments don't really work because the group isn't really large enough to make a profound impact.
    If it were simply pointless, sure. Just like Night Shift. Maybe they'll even get some psychosomatic benefits.

    This isn't just pointless, though. It's also extremely wasteful. They may as well announce that they accept cryptocurrencies.
    Sorry, but it's not extremely anything.  It's a niche offering for a niche group of users.  Classifying it as extremely wasteful is just hyperbolic and lacks perspective.  
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,050member
    zimmie said:
    zimmie said:
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    Generally speaking, nobody cares.  That's not being dismissive, just realistic.  People buy most things with their heart, not their head.  They definitely buy "want" not "need"  There's a subset of music listeners who want higher quality music.  Whether or not the math says it's worth it is irrelevant.   The same types of arguments are made about TV's and size-to-distance ratios.  Those charts might as well be toilet paper for all the good they'll do.

    If Apple offers higher quality music for those who want it, good.  Those who don't want to avail themselves don't have to do so.  People who desire lossless are a small niche audience.  The "logical conclusion" arguments don't really work because the group isn't really large enough to make a profound impact.
    If it were simply pointless, sure. Just like Night Shift. Maybe they'll even get some psychosomatic benefits.

    This isn't just pointless, though. It's also extremely wasteful. They may as well announce that they accept cryptocurrencies.
    Sorry, but it's not extremely anything.  It's a niche offering for a niche group of users.  Classifying it as extremely wasteful is just hyperbolic and lacks perspective.  
    Sorry - it is wasteful. The problem is, consumers all want to think they’re something they’re not. People spend $500+ on headphones to pretend they’re an audiophile when they can’t tell the difference. But they can say they have ‘audiophile gear’ and feel good about it. 

    The reality is 99+% of music is listened to in environments or using equipment that can’t even hope to distinguish the difference between standard and lossless encoding. Does it really matter in your car? Nope. In your kitchen? Nope. When working out? Nope. When having a beer with friends? Not a chance. 

    Beyond this, if you’re using Bluetooth gear, it depends on which codec is being used. If your Bluetooth headphones or speakers are using an older codec the they will instantly negate any benefit of lossless audio compression. 

    Of course, logic plays no role here. This is all about marketing and keeping up with the Joneses, and the Jones have lossless streaming, so I need it too, right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 524member
    zimmie said:
    zimmie said:
    24 bits is enough dynamic range to accurately reproduce a jet engine a meter from your head in an otherwise-quiet room. Nobody needs that. Additionally, DACs which can accurately reproduce more than 16 bits start at about $70k for 1k chips.

    Additionally, nobody needs more than 44.1 kHz. The only reason 48 kHz is relatively common is film, where it gives you a nice, round number of samples per video frame. Unless you are literally making music for cats, 192 kHz sample rate in a final record is profoundly wasteful.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does this, but it would be very anti-environment. Consumes 24 times the data for audio which is indistinguishable. More storage consumption on the servers (which means 24 times as many servers to store the same number of songs one stores today, 24x the network traffic, more computing on the client.
    Generally speaking, nobody cares.  That's not being dismissive, just realistic.  People buy most things with their heart, not their head.  They definitely buy "want" not "need"  There's a subset of music listeners who want higher quality music.  Whether or not the math says it's worth it is irrelevant.   The same types of arguments are made about TV's and size-to-distance ratios.  Those charts might as well be toilet paper for all the good they'll do.

    If Apple offers higher quality music for those who want it, good.  Those who don't want to avail themselves don't have to do so.  People who desire lossless are a small niche audience.  The "logical conclusion" arguments don't really work because the group isn't really large enough to make a profound impact.
    If it were simply pointless, sure. Just like Night Shift. Maybe they'll even get some psychosomatic benefits.

    This isn't just pointless, though. It's also extremely wasteful. They may as well announce that they accept cryptocurrencies.
    Sorry, but it's not extremely anything.  It's a niche offering for a niche group of users.  Classifying it as extremely wasteful is just hyperbolic and lacks perspective.  
    Twenty four times the resource consumption for no improvement in perceptible quality.

    TWENTY
    FOUR
    TIMES

    If that isn't extreme, what is?
Sign In or Register to comment.