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Thread: ITunes goes hi-fi?

  1. #1

    ITunes goes hi-fi?

    Apple and other music retailers purportedly looking at 24-bit, high-fidelity audio downloads

    Apple and other music retailers purportedly looking at 24-bit, high-fidelity audio downloads
    February 23, 2011 01:03AM by Darren Murph

    Digital downloads, at least pertaining to music, have come a long, long way. The iTunes Music Store in particular has surpassed Walmart as America's leading seller of music, and it's evolved from a DRM-laden mess to a restriction-free(ish) marketplace with higher-than-average bitrate support. But it seems that 256kbps simply isn't high enough. According to unnamed "executives involved in talks," Apple -- as well as a few other digital music retailers -- are currently in discussions with labels to "improve the quality of the song files they sell." Essentially, these retailers are hoping to hawk 24-bit audio rather than the compressed 16-bit files available today, possibly with a price premium attached. The real trick, however, won't be coercing the labels to cooperate, but to retool future devices to actually play back 24-bit files. iTunes itself is already capable of handling 'em, but the iPod, iPhone and a slew of other handheld devices aren't. The report doesn't mention how close to a deal anyone is, but we're guessing it'll be sooner rather than later. Here's hoping the iPhone 5 ships with 128GB of capacity -- we're going to need an awful lot of space to handle those lossless Police albums.

    Source: CNN
    "Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too."

  2. #2
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    I think it's cool that they're offering lossless formats, but I don't see the use of 24bit (other than a marketing tool and way to generate cashflow for apple).
    AFAIK, no i(device) can support 24bit.
    The appletv down converts to 16bit.

    So, the only way I can think of to get any benefit is to either burn a copy (can you do this with DRM files) or take your computer everywhere you go.


    Edit: Apparently, I'm wrong. It seems the idevices can play 24/48 but not 24/96.
    Last edited by ErinH; 02-23-2011 at 09:02 AM.
    Your ears: The best tools you have... and they're free, too!

  3. #3
    That's because you haven't thought that the only reason they would introduce something like this is if they introduce new hw that supports it. I'm guessing Apple TV replacement.
    "Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too."

  4. #4
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    No, I definitely considered it. I'm sure we can expect "rumors" to start popping up soon if not already. However, with no news on the herizon regarding this, I just find it odd.
    Your ears: The best tools you have... and they're free, too!

  5. #5
    Founding Member The Drake's Avatar
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    Lossless I am definitely interested in, but like Erin said, 24-bit is pretty useless, even if the hardware supported it, just a marketing thing.

    Some nice reading:

    24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! - Head-Fi.org Community

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    "are currently in discussions with labels to "improve the quality of the song files they sell."

    They are worried about bit depth (which has been a standard for many years without issue) vs actual dynamic compression where benefits can be realized immediately and with no alterations needed to current equipment? Idiots.

    :dw::wtf:
    Last edited by durwood; 02-25-2011 at 03:00 PM.

  7. #7
    If Apple will deliver a Lossless format, I could give a rat's ass if they call it "24 bit" to give themselves cover. I do not expect them to reverse course now on bitrates. I am glad they are having discussions. revisiting the topic could be good.
    "Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too."

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    umm...I thought apple was selling their own version of lossless called aac?

    But really, the crap today is already lost...i.e. compressed to shit dynamically. More bits or lossless really doesn't matter at that point, it's still going to sound compressed (not file size compresed).;) High def crap is still crap.

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    Maybe Drake's link showed this (dunno I haven't checked) but a 24bit/xkhZ file is sample for sample identical to a 16bit/xkHz file. When you compare the samples of one to the inverted samples of the other they cancel out completely, down to the -144dB dynamic range of a digital work station.

    I can't see them selling anything other then the same high resolution track available elsewhere. Are they going to go from compressed 16bit/44kHz to lossless 24bit/96kHz AND DRM free?! That will be the day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    umm...I thought apple was selling their own version of lossless called aac?

    But really, the crap today is already lost...i.e. compressed to shit dynamically. More bits or lossless really doesn't matter at that point, it's still going to sound compressed (not file size compresed).;) High def crap is still crap.
    Yup..

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