Signs of Apple Music Lossless, Dolby Atmos content showing up for some users

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2021
With Apple Music Lossless streaming coming at some point in June, some users are reporting signs now that content is arriving on the service to support the launch.

Spatial Audio and Lossless formats showing up in Apple Music
Spatial Audio and Lossless formats showing up in Apple Music


Apple hasn't provided an exact date for the launch of the new Apple Music features, but with WWDC only one week away, it could launch at any time. Impatient users hoping to find the update live have discovered some albums are showing labels for Lossless or Dolby Atmos already, while others are being prompted to re-download albums for new formats.

AppleInsider cannot replicate any of these discoveries. Most discoveries appear to be in Europe and Asia. However, we have discovered that all music videos will show they are playing with Spatial Audio enabled within the Apple Music app.

One user in the Netherlands was prompted to download an album to experience it with Dolby Atmos with Lossless audio, but it didn't actually download.

So what's up with Apple Music? For a moment I got a popup saying I need to redownload an album to get Dolby Atmos. After doing so the music type went to HLS media. Now it's back at streaming AAC

-- Barry van Someren @ localhost (@bvansomeren)


Another user in Japan was able to see a video EP with the labels for Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Lossless, and Apple Digital Master.



The new music features require iOS 14.6 or later to work. Apple is likely working on getting the files ready in its servers, then will enable access at launch. Artists are likely preparing for the release as well by uploading new versions of albums and music videos.

With over 20 million songs gaining Lossless formatting and thousands in Dolby Atmos, a few are likely to slip by Apple's careful watch. Users have reported finding albums with the new formats listed, going back to Apple's announcement of the updates. The sporadic appearance of these labels and features show they are being worked on but do not indicate any imminent release.

iOS 14.6 adds support for Apple Digital Master 24-bit files in Apple Music. This means that the majority of Gaga's catalogue is now available in that format & labelled accordingly. The Fame Monster Video EP supports also Hi-Res Lossless & Dolby Atmos which enables Spatial Audio. pic.twitter.com/NJYQJr1jOm

-- HAUS OF FRANKIE (@frankiefermi)


Musicians are preparing for the new feature to become widely available as well. Apple Music isn't the only service gearing up for a Dolby Atmos music launch. K-Pop group Blackpink announced their new live album is mixed for Dolby Atmos and will launch with Vibe, Spotify, and Apple Music globally on June 1.

The label for Dolby Atmos or Spatial Audio doesn't have to appear for it to work. When wearing AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, listen to a music video and check the Spatial Audio setting in Control Center. If Spatial Audio is playing, the icon will be animating.

To see this icon, swipe down on the top right corner to reach Control Center, and long-press on the volume slider. The icon appears in the bottom right of the display.

Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio will launch on Apple Music sometime in June. Apple could release the features during its WWDC keynote on June 7 as a surprise, something it has done before.

Follow all the details of WWDC 2021 with the comprehensive AppleInsider coverage of the whole week-long event from June 7 through June 11, including details of all the new launches and updates.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    Incredible that Apple has not released any new hardware to capitalise on these new features?
  • Reply 2 of 6
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,647member
    Incredible that Apple has not released any new hardware to capitalise on these new features?
    About half of the WWDCs have hardware announcements (eg, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019) so you may not have long to wait.

    The WWDCs in 2005 and 2020 had generic announcements regarding CPU changes, so in my opinion those could also be counted as hardware announcements.

    New hardware often requires new software to support it, and vice versa, so it makes sense to have some hardware announcements at WWDC.

  • Reply 3 of 6
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,100member
    Incredible that Apple has not released any new hardware to capitalise on these new features?
    About half of the WWDCs have hardware announcements (eg, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019) so you may not have long to wait.

    The WWDCs in 2005 and 2020 had generic announcements regarding CPU changes, so in my opinion those could also be counted as hardware announcements.

    New hardware often requires new software to support it, and vice versa, so it makes sense to have some hardware announcements at WWDC.

    Presumably a decision is made based on the need to reveal hardware to developers in order for them to have lead time to take advantage of new features or create compliance updates. Also, if there are discoverable references to new hardware in new OS updates, a decision to go ahead and reveal would also be logical. A third factor would simply be taking the opportunity to make early announcements of new hardware to put a marker down. That gives consumers the option to hold out for release of an Apple product rather than purchasing a competitor's device that's likely to come out sooner.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    lwiolwio Posts: 110member
    Listening to a podcast I learned that all music is uploaded to Apple in lossless format. 
  • Reply 5 of 6
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    I'm far more excited about spatial audio for Apple TV paired with HomePods. I wonder what happens if you connect more HomePods?  Is it limited to a single pair? I currently have a pair at the front and a mini at the rear.
    edited June 2021
  • Reply 6 of 6
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,100member
    MacPro said:
    I'm far more excited about spatial audio for Apple TV paired with HomePods. I wonder what happens if you connect more HomePods?  Is it limited to a single pair? I currently have a pair at the front and a mini at the rear.
    To my knowledge, HomePods will only link as a stereo pair, at least at this point. With the configuration of multiple speakers inside the original HomePod, it's at least conceivable that some interesting effects could be created with Dolby Atmos source material, but it seems unlikely they'd bother with the necessary software tinkering for discontinued devices.

    HomePod Mini doesn't have the multiple speaker configurations inside the device, so they are essentially just a little mono speaker. To achieve anything like Dolby Atmos, you'd have to link up at least 6 or 7 minis, which seems somewhat improbable. An Atmos configuration with a regular powered amplifier requires at least 7 speakers and at least 1 woofer, and setup requires placing a microphone in the room and running a routine which measures the precise placement of your speakers, so that Atmos software knows where to direct signals to generate the object-oriented soundstage. I suppose it's at least possible to recreate that with a bunch of minis, but at a $600-$700 price tag to start, that's going to be a pretty small user base willing to go that direction rather than by purchasing a home theater setup that would probably have better sound quality than HomePod Minis. Plus, a powered amplifier with surround speakers can play surround sound content from any source, whereas a HomePod speaker configuration is only going to serve an AppleTV source. 
    edited June 2021
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