Apple teases update to Apple Music, saying that 'music is about to change forever'

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 17
Apple has started to tease what could be the introduction of a lossless audio or 3D option for Apple Music with an animated video embedded in the macOS and iOS Music apps.




Added to the Browse section of Apple Music, a 15-second video displays the Apple Music logo, spinning around. As the logo spins, multiple copies of it are shown and sweep past the camera, as the screen background switches from black to white.

The video is accompanied by a "coming soon" message warning "Get ready - music is about to change forever."

Apple is rumored to be preparing a high-fidelity option in Apple Music, which could provide higher bitrate audio streams to subscribers. Thought to be called "Apple Music Hi-Fi," leaks claimed Apple was going to launch the option on May 18, alongside a revamped entry-level version of AirPods.

While rumors point to a lossless audio feature being on the way, the sweeping nature of the animation may also suggest some form of 3D audio. It is plausible that such a feature could take the form of music enhanced to work with Spatial Audio, a function offered by the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Record label sources told one report from May 1 that a high-fidelity audio streaming service was on the way from Apple. The option will apparently cost an extra $9.99 per user, on top of existing Apple Music subscription costs.

Music would be served at considerably higher bitrates than standard tracks. While Apple Music typically streams music at 256kbps, lossless audio services have far higher bitrates, such as Tidal's 1,411Kbps maximum bitrate.

Previous code references have also indicated that lossless tracks may take up triple the space on a user's device 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.

The third-generation AirPods could introduce new features to the lineup that brings it closer to its stablemate, the AirPods Pro. While full Active Noise Cancellation may not arrive in the model, it's plausible that Spatial Audio could be introduced in a new version.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    iadlibiadlib Posts: 58member
    They've decided to bring back the iPod, come on, duh!
    Beatsrepressthiswilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 15
    VermelhoVermelho Posts: 27member
    They’ve decided to let Apple Music play FLAC filez!
    Soooo annoying that flac plays natively in the finder preview, but not in app.
    gregoriusmwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 15
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 331member
    Apple bought Spotify and then kill it. 
    edited May 16 repressthisaderutter
  • Reply 4 of 15
    I'm trying to use Apple Music as a longtime Soundcloud user and occasional Spotify free user (thinking to get Apple One plan). But holy s**t it seems it's been made by boomer with 0 musical taste. I just can't find anything that's not some basic teenage girl would listen.

    I think the social aspect of Soundcloud + being able to listen hour long DJ mixes is so great that no one is going to beat this for ages. Quality is a bit lower, app is a bit ageing, but damn how can anyone bear Spotify and the like?
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 5 of 15
    I'm trying to use Apple Music as a longtime Soundcloud user and occasional Spotify free user (thinking to get Apple One plan). But holy s**t it seems it's been made by boomer with 0 musical taste. I just can't find anything that's not some basic teenage girl would listen.

    I think the social aspect of Soundcloud + being able to listen hour long DJ mixes is so great that no one is going to beat this for ages. Quality is a bit lower, app is a bit ageing, but damn how can anyone bear Spotify and the like?

    You are essentially saying a boomer with 0 musical taste is responsible for choosing music that appeals to teenage girls…

    That makes 0 sense.

    It is not at all difficult to discover music to your taste in Apple Music, but you have to put in more than 0 effort.

    williamlondonaderutterMacProVermelho
  • Reply 6 of 15
    roakeroake Posts: 739member
    I think Apple will have to offer more than lossless music to stand up to that “Music is about the change forever” claim.  After all, other services have been offering that feature for years.  Maybe this is when they push out virtual surround sound.
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 7 of 15
    -pete--pete- Posts: 1member
    If they could make a Windows client that isn't iTunes or a buggy website then that would be start.

    I love Apple stuff but my work doesn't and the current options are pretty poor compared to Spotify.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 15
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 210member
    I'm trying to use Apple Music as a longtime Soundcloud user and occasional Spotify free user (thinking to get Apple One plan). But holy s**t it seems it's been made by boomer with 0 musical taste. I just can't find anything that's not some basic teenage girl would listen.

    I think the social aspect of Soundcloud + being able to listen hour long DJ mixes is so great that no one is going to beat this for ages. Quality is a bit lower, app is a bit ageing, but damn how can anyone bear Spotify and the like?
    I can't speak for Apple Music, but after listening via Spotify for some time and creating s few playlists (thus letting their algorithms know what i like), i find their suggestions to be _really_ good.
    Not only music i already know, but enough new stuff and things on the edge of my comfort zone to be interesting.

    If you don't engage, you will probably get the lowest common denominator on both platforms (which may be suitable for teen girls, which i guess is an important customer group).
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Preposterous marketing for an extremely modest feature addition that other music services have had for years.
    elijahg
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Between Apple Music and free Pandora, I always find myself much happier with the selections Pandora provides versus Apple Music. I agree with the poster above who said Apple Music's curation is horrible. Its like they pick all the sucky songs on an artist's albums and they give you those, when all I want to listen to are the hits from a certain era, or genre. All B songs from B sides with the occasional song I enjoy.

    I've complained for years and Apple still can't get it right. Apple Radio has so much potential that they're wasting trying to make it stupid and unique. Just make it good.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member
    It occurs to me that it would be neat if Apple had an option for AI to look at your exisiting iTunes Library (as in your ripped CDs etc.) and make suggestions based on that.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,010member
    MacPro said:
    It occurs to me that it would be neat if Apple had an option for AI to look at your exisiting iTunes Library (as in your ripped CDs etc.) and make suggestions based on that.
    They’ve been doing that for years. It’s called “iTunes Match.”
    Vermelho
  • Reply 13 of 15
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,010member
    Preposterous marketing for an extremely modest feature addition that other music services have had for years.
    The teaser supports something I’ve been suggesting will be a part of this upgrade: surround sound formats. 

    Since the days of quad vinyl, surround music has been a thing, but it’s always been a niche thing, because it required the purchase of specialized hardware to play it, and specialized physical media as well. The added hassle and expense limited uptake, which limited any incentive to produce more content in those formats, which limited incentive to buy the specialized hardware, etc. 

    Now, Apple has already placed the hardware in the pockets of millions of consumers. iPhones with AirPods Pro can already play surround sound formats with spatial audio, including advanced formats like Dolby Atmos. AppleTV boxes hooked up to surround sound amps and speakers can as well. You have already been playing movies with surround audio. 

    So as soon as Apple turns on this content in Apple Music, a niche format will instantly be mainstream. That would justify the “music will be changed forever” hype. 

    Note: as I’ve also written elsewhere, Apple isn’t the first streaming service to make surround formats available. Tidal and Amazon have both already done that, but with abysmal implementation. Their apps actually bury the content, making it hard to find, and they limit where you can play it back. Tidal will play Atmos via AppleTV, but not on the iPhone. Amazon will play surround on iPhones (I think) but won’t on any device hooked up to your home theater system. 

    Once again, Apple may not be first, but may yet be the first to do it right, giving consumers a thing they didn’t even realize they want, but they will definitely want it when they hear it. 

    UPDATE: This turned out to be exactly what Apple has now announced it will be doing!
    edited May 17
  • Reply 14 of 15
    VermelhoVermelho Posts: 27member
    I can’t bevies idiots are complaining that Apple doesn’t pick their music for them.  There is a massive library of music right behind the search box.
    The up front interface is current pop - but that’s to be expected.  Get over it and drive the damn thing.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,010member
    Vermelho said:
    I can’t bevies idiots are complaining that Apple doesn’t pick their music for them.  There is a massive library of music right behind the search box.
    The up front interface is current pop - but that’s to be expected.  Get over it and drive the damn thing.
    Yeah. Meatspace record stores in days of yore always put the pop stuff front and center, because that was their bread and butter. Classical, jazz, bluegrass, blues, international music etc., was always deeper in the store. The people who wanted it could find it. There's no reason to expect Apple Music not to do that, too. Unlike the meatspace record stores, however, Apple Music has a "for you" tab, and once you've let them know what you like, you can click on that and skip straight to things that interest you. Ultimately, Apple will pick music for you, and do a good job of it. I can ask Siri to play some music and let that roll all afternoon, hearing a mix of favorites along with deep dives that include things I haven't heard before but am glad to hear now.
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