Apple Music now offers lossless audio for free, spatial audio too


Apple Music is getting support for lossless audio and the feature will be made available to all existing subscribers starting June 2021 at no extra cost. Apple is also adding support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos. This will also roll out in June.

“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality. 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, ” Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats said in a press statement.

Spatial Audio with Support for Dolby Atmos

With spatial sudio support for Dolby Atmos, Apple Music will automatically play songs, which are Dolby Atmos-supported on all AirPods and Beats headphones which come with a H1 or W1 chip. For the latest iPhone, iPad and MacBooks, Apple Music will rely on the built-in speaker to give the spatial audio experience. Spatial audio ensures a 3D effect when a user is listening to music.

Apple says it will add new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly. It will also curate a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists for listeners. Albums that are available in Dolby Atmos will have a badge on the detail page for easy discovery.

Apple Music, Apple Music Lossless, Apple Music Lossless Audio, Apple Spatial Audio support, Apple Music Spatial Audio Apple Music will have playlists to highlight Dolby Atmos content. (Image source: Apple)

The company says it will also work with artists and labels to add new releases and the best catalog tracks to bring music specifically for the Spatial Audio experience.

“We are working with Apple Music to make Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music,” Kevin Yeaman, Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO said in a statement.

Lossless Audio

Apple Music is adding lossless audio support for its entire catalog of 75 million songs. It will use its own ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. Lossless audio means that Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio. There’s no drop in audio quality at all.

Apple will offer this feature in different resolutions, and users will be able to choose depending on connectivity options as well, whether they are on cellular or WiFi. Lossless audio will also require more space when downloaded and consume more internet data when being streamed.

Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz). It will go up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.

To start listening to Lossless audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Here, they can choose different resolutions base on either cellular or Wi-Fi, or for download.

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