Apple has pushed a major update to its music streaming service that will once again change the industry. The company announced that all subscribers will now be able to enjoy lossless music streaming at no extra cost. It also announced the release of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos but that will only work with supported hardware (earphones or speakers).
The new lossless music streaming is now available to iPhone or iPad running iOS 14.6 or iPadOS 14.6, Macs running macOS 11.4, and Apple TV 4K running tvOS 14.6 software version. Apple claims that the lossless audio retains all the origins data of music as composed by artists. It calls its lossless audio compression technology Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC).
To be a new industry standard going forward
Most streaming services in the industry offer compressed music playback because of the constraints of data and storage. However, the industry is now moving towards lossless audio and other higher quality streaming options. According to Apple, its entire music catalog is now encoded using the new codec ranging from 16-bit/44.1 kHz to 24-bit/192 kHz.
Apple says that Bluetooth connections are not lossless, so streaming music through AirPods will not offer the best quality. To listen to lossless music, users will have to use wired headphones/earphones/speakers.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”