Apple looking to offer higher quality 24-bit music on iTunes - report

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 81
    24 bit would be great as long as they keep it that way throughout production.

    Most studios record and mix in 24 bit, but mastering is usually for 16bit output. Make a 24 bit master available and this would make sense.
  • Reply 22 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokrad View Post


    Why does no one know about Apple Lossless? Aka ALAC.... It is full lossless audio that is the same 24-bit sound and high kbps as regular FLAC. Plus ALAC is supported by all iPods by now. So basically theres no need for FLAC when Apple has its own coding .m4a so if Apple did start selling lossless then it would probably be ALAC and not FLAC. Though you can make the change between the two using the program XLD to how ever you may want.



    Oh and @Superbass this isn't really directed at you but more in general.





    LEARN ABOUT ALAC PEOPLE!



    Totally agree, ALAC is a proper loseless format. btw this guy Lovine is a muppet all iPhone/iPod player play 24bit loseless. Who cares about FLAC, you can swap between ALAC and FLAC easily without any lose. iTunes would need to support higher sample rates and a new firmware upgrade for the Airport Express too. But all in all I'd welcome this move by Apple as I won't buy MP3's or AAC's there crap on a high end system.
  • Reply 23 of 81
    I really don't understand Apple's indifference to FLAC. It's the most popular, stable, open, lossless format available for purchase online. Yet it is about the farthest away you can get from "just working" in iTunes or any iDevice.



    As to the 24-bit naysayers, there IS a big difference even if you haven't heard it. It's the difference between an image with a palette of 65,535 colors vs. 16,777,216. Maybe with a bigger push towards 24-bit we can finally get some of the dynamic range in music back that has been largely missing for the past 15 years.
  • Reply 24 of 81
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shrike View Post


    If Apple offers lossless audio in iTunes, I'll buy it from iTunes instead of ripping from a CD.



    My thoughts exactly. Offering lossless music woud be a better next step than 24-bit - you'd get more improvement.



    Most older albums have never been remastered in 24-bit, and the studios aren't going to remaster them now (except for the biggest performers). Many older albums have never even been properly remastered for CD - the studios just took the LP masters and copied them to make the CDs.
  • Reply 25 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    As opposed to the droves of customers demanding 24-bit songs?



    No.. Opposed to the hundreds of thousands who want Lossless music when they buy it.

    It's like high octane gass, for most people it won't matter, whatever junk they might drive, won't be able to makes any substantial use of it anyway, so why bother paying extra for it?

    But for those who drive a modern/sports/super car, it will matter, and they will buy it.

    So it is with Lossless music. If you've got the equipment to utilize it, it will matter, and you will buy it - even if it cost extra!



    Bring back iTunes Plus (this time with Lossless 24-bit music) Call it Apple LossLess Plus, I don't care, just make it Lossless and 24-bit
  • Reply 26 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Well the AppleInsider article suggests that new hardware would be required to support 24-bit audio as well.



    I don't believe this is true. As others have pointed out, various Apple hardware has been able to handle 24/96 audio for some time.

    Quote:

    And again, for a difference no one will be able to hear. Especially given the abysmal speakers Apple installs in their computers, displays and iOS devices.



    The aTV is designed to be plugged into a home stereo/theater system. iPods/iPhones can also feed digital audio out. Yes, if you're listening with Apple's supplied earbuds on the subway, there's no need for anything better than 128k MP3. But Apple is penetrating the living room and high fidelity audio would be a Good Thing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jotbolger View Post


    If Apple made true hi-fidelity recordings available through the iTunes Store I might be tempted to buy more through it. At the moment I prefer to buy CDs (which can often be picked up for less money than the download) and import using Apple Lossless to get true CD quality.



    Same here. I'm strictly an Apple Lossless kinda guy. I may down-convert to MP3 for portable listening, but my archives are all as high fidelity as possible.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 27 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by i386 View Post


    Totally agree, ALAC is a proper loseless format.



    ALAC sucks. It's proprietary, less efficient, and has inferior error correction vs. FLAC. All things that make it FAR less suitable for actual archival. You shouldn't have to convert FLAC to ALAC in the first place; shuffling bits around is a complete waste of time. And even if you did, why doesn't iTunes do it for you?
  • Reply 28 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokrad View Post


    Why does no one know about Apple Lossless? Aka ALAC.... It is full lossless audio that is the same 24-bit sound and high kbps as regular FLAC. Plus ALAC is supported by all iPods by now. So basically theres no need for FLAC when Apple has its own coding .m4a so if Apple did start selling lossless then it would probably be ALAC and not FLAC. Though you can make the change between the two using the program XLD to how ever you may want.



    Oh and @Superbass this isn't really directed at you but more in general.





    LEARN ABOUT ALAC PEOPLE!







    I know about Apple Lossless quite well. It is a proprietary lossless format that few use besides Apple.



    FLAC is far more widely used than Apple Lossless. And, frankly, I have tired of the need to convert files from FLAC to Apple Lossless when I want to listen to them. It would be much easier if Apple supported FLAC in the iTunes infrastructure. Because of Apple's lack of FLAC support, I will be moving on to another media playback platform at some point.
  • Reply 29 of 81
    As a musician, I hear things that most people don't. Most people can not tell the difference from the original recording to .MP3. Once I point it out, then they notice. One of the best albums to hear this difference is GnR Appetite for Destruction. I can tell the difference between 16 and 24 bit sound. It is not as noticeable as going from factory CD to .mp3, but, I can hear it.



    I also hate the way new music is recorded. Aside from the fact most bands are cookie cutter type bands, the problem is in the mix. They turn everything up to 10, then compress it like crazy. Sorry, an acoustic guitar should not be as loud as a snare drum. I like depth to my music.



    There is a difference between old analog recording and digital recording. Analog has an "air" to it. Especially when it is run through a real tube driven amplifier. Analog recording catches everything....what comes through the mic is what you get. Digital recording, seems to miss that nuance.....I can not put a finger on it....but, it's there....or should I say " not there " in this case? Solid state amps are great, but, they lack that "warmth" that a tube amp provides. Same with a guitar amp. Tube amps sound better than even the best solid-state, computer aided modelers out there.
  • Reply 30 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    Offering lossless music woud be a better next step than 24-bit - you'd get more improvement.



    Nope. The difference in dynamic range between 16 and 24-bit is way, way more audible than the minor compression artifacts of a reasonably high bitrate (192-256Kb) lossy file, *assuming* the recording uses that dynamic range.
  • Reply 31 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    Why do I get the sinking feeling that Apple would only offer 24-bit audio in a proprietary format?



    They have to use something other than ACC or the files will be too big. With the likely move towards SSD and the dip and storage capacity, file size is going to be an issue again.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Except for a very small, very vocal minority, I don't think anyone cares about having, or not having, Blu-Ray in Macs. It's just really not an issue for most people.



    Unfortunately watching movies on computers seems to be an non-issue.
  • Reply 32 of 81
    If Apple made true hi-fidelity recordings available through the iTunes Store I might be tempted to buy more through it. At the moment I prefer to buy CDs (which can often be picked up for less money than the download) and import using Apple Lossless to get true CD quality.[/QUOTE]



    I agree with you on the first part of your comment, but if you want CD quality audio, lossless does not cut it. An aiff uncompressed file is the real CD quality standard. Only then I would buy all my music from the iTunes store.
  • Reply 33 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    The numbers probably are vastly greater, but it doesn't exactly require them to install 24-bit song drives in their hardware, so it's not really the same thing at all.



    This would actually benefit Windows users. Windows users have been using 24bit hardware for a good while now.



    If it increased prices I am sure most would rather do without it.
  • Reply 34 of 81
    Quote:

    I agree with you on the first part of your comment, but if you want CD quality audio, lossless does not cut it. An aiff uncompressed file is the real CD quality standard. Only then I would buy all my music from the iTunes store.



    Don't feed the "troll"
  • Reply 35 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    I love film, studied it and worked in entertainment... that combined with being a gadget freak I probably should be touting BluRay. But I honestly can't understand some peoples unwillingness to let go of BluRay...



    The people still hanging onto this dying technology isn't that bad of a thing considering it'll only push pure-digital to move forward faster...



    But the idea of owning discs, one per film, is just so unappealing. It's such a waste! Have people forgotten how good it felt to give away all those CDs taking up space?



    Com'on Netflix/Apple & co. - Please make some 1080p strides this year! I'm patiently waiting



    p.s. buying physical discs = fail unless you're completely cut off from the internet.



    I've been enjoying virtually lossless picture and sound courtesy of the "dying technology" known as blu-ray for 3 years now, and will continue to do so while you wait for overpriced 1080p digital downloads that won't match blu-ray quality for at least a decade. In the meantime, keep living in the future with those overpriced worse-than-DVD quality digital movie purchases Apple sells on iTunes. That is, if they even have the movie you want.
  • Reply 36 of 81
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,602member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    I love film, studied it and worked in entertainment... that combined with being a gadget freak I probably should be touting BluRay. But I honestly can't understand some peoples unwillingness to let go of BluRay...



    The people still hanging onto this dying technology isn't that bad of a thing considering it'll only push pure-digital to move forward faster...



    But the idea of owning discs, one per film, is just so unappealing. It's such a waste! Have people forgotten how good it felt to give away all those CDs taking up space?



    Com'on Netflix/Apple & co. - Please make some 1080p strides this year! I'm patiently waiting



    p.s. buying physical discs = fail unless you're completely cut off from the internet.



    Sorry, I disagree with you. CDs still have several advantages: they're (currently) still higher audio quality, they come with liner notes and track documentation (I know that for the garbage music out there today, no one cares anymore about this, but for great historical recordings and for collectors, this is important), they serve as a backup and they're actually less expensive in most cases. You can buy a 12 to 22 track new release CD for $12 to $14 and a catalog CD for as little as $6 - that's far less expensive than iTunes. 98% of my iTunes library comes from purchased CDs.



    As for movies, if you only want to watch movies on a portable device, then Blu-ray is not for you. But if you want a close to movie theatre experience with the highest quality available today for both picture and sound, Blu-ray is the only way to go. I am so tired of seeing blocking on the screen in dark areas when I download video, even in so-called HD or getting "hesitation" and other digital artifacts. For a guilty pleasure movie that I know I'm only going to watch once, I watch it online. But for a great classic that I'll watch several times over the years that includes a director's commentary and other extras, I'll buy the Blu-ray.



    And buying a quality release of a classic film from a distributor like Criterion which includes wonderful graphics, package design and booklets provides great advantages to those who care about these things. Back in the LP days, great album artwork was part of the pleasure of owning the LP.



    Likewise, for a summer reading Sci-Fi novel, I'll read that on a portable device. But for a lushly illustrated large format coffee-table type book printed on fine paper with high qualtity reproductions, I'd rather have the printed edition.



    Just because there's a technology that you personally are not interested in doesn't make it a "fail". The one thing I'll give you is that physical media does take up a lot of space, but personally, I like being able to scan the spines of my CDs. People who prefer physical media generally don't voice the view that digital media shouldn't exist, but I frequently hear proponents of digital media who think that physical media shouldn't exist. That's the "fail".
  • Reply 37 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TwiztdWun View Post


    I also hate the way new music is recorded. Aside from the fact most bands are cookie cutter type bands, the problem is in the mix. They turn everything up to 10, then compress it like crazy. Sorry, an acoustic guitar should not be as loud as a snare drum. I like depth to my music.



    This will be a big issue. Your mass-pop music (Lady Gaga, rap, Metallica, etc.) is mastered in such a way to keep the volume maxed out as much as possible, through the use of expanders, compressors, limiters, and such. Playing music and engineering recordings are two very different things and, IMHO, many artists don't understand audio engineering and are at the mercy of their producers, recording engineers, and mastering engineers. I've even heard of cases where the master sounds great, but when it goes to the CD presser's it can be processed again, and what went to the duplicator's is not what comes out on the CD. Rush's "Vapor Trails" is an album known to be marred by poor mastering.



    See Wikipedia's entry on the Loudness War for more on the topic.



    - Jasen.



    P.S. FWIW, I run a 48 channel sound board for my church and record direct to CD. So 1) I know a little of what I'm talking about. 2) I'm probably more interested in this than most people.
  • Reply 38 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TwiztdWun View Post


    As a musician, I hear things that most people don't. Most people can not tell the difference from the original recording to .MP3. Once I point it out, then they notice. One of the best albums to hear this difference is GnR Appetite for Destruction. I can tell the difference between 16 and 24 bit sound. It is not as noticeable as going from factory CD to .mp3, but, I can hear it.



    I also hate the way new music is recorded. Aside from the fact most bands are cookie cutter type bands, the problem is in the mix. They turn everything up to 10, then compress it like crazy. Sorry, an acoustic guitar should not be as loud as a snare drum. I like depth to my music. .



    Blame the producers?
  • Reply 39 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    I wouldn't worry about Blu-Ray. It's not going to be long before the format is established enough that blu-ray-capable drives will be the norm. Once critical mass has been achieved, Apple will have no choice but to offer, at the very least, drives able to read blu-ray disks.



    The biggest obstacle to blu-ray succeeding has been removed. I own a PS3 and regularly purchase blu-rays for a reasonable price, usually below $20 Cdn. I think that the industry is moving towards reasonable prices for regular blu-rays, reserving premium prices for 3D blu-ray titles.



    Digital downloads are problematic. They require more compression and you have to deal with storing the file in potentially unstable ways. A blu-ray disk, on the other hand, will likely reliably hold a movie file for many years.



    If it's going to take years for digital downloads to approach the quality already available with blu-ray, why bother? My blu-ray library is already up to around 30 titles and most of those cost me less to purchase than the cost of an HD digital download off of iTunes. You have to shop around for deals but they are there.



    If this is about Apple rendering optical media like blu-ray irrelevant, it's not going to work. Once Apple realizes this, blu-ray drives for Macs will surely follow.



    Exactly. Except you cant purchase a movie in "HD" on iTunes even you wanted to; they're still rental only.
  • Reply 40 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    This will be a big issue. Your mass-pop music (Lady Gaga, rap, Metallica, etc.) is mastered in such a way to keep the volume maxed out as much as possible, through the use of expanders, compressors, limiters, and such. Playing music and engineering recordings are two very different things and, IMHO, many artists don't understand audio engineering and are at the mercy of their producers, recording engineers, and mastering engineers. I've even heard of cases where the master sounds great, but when it goes to the CD presser's it can be processed again, and what went to the duplicator's is not what comes out on the CD. Rush's "Vapor Trails" is an album known to be marred by poor mastering.



    See Wikipedia's entry on the Loudness War for more on the topic.



    - Jasen.



    P.S. FWIW, I run a 48 channel sound board for my church and record direct to CD. So 1) I know a little of what I'm talking about. 2) I'm probably more interested in this than most people.



    I understand the engineering part very well myself. I graduated from the Recording Workshop.
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