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Article: Apple Music Lossless, High Resolution, and Dolby Atmos Announced


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4 minutes ago, Marco Klobas said:

It's an "elegant/smart" answer about iTunes purchases to inform that it's not possible to upgrade owned purchases to ALAC, inviting users to subscribe to Apple Music if they aren't already. 🙂

 

That's my interpretation.

Mine too. It's a very circuitous way of saying "no."

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I have an old iPhone 7 that I just pulled out of a desk drawer, and it is going to become my dedicated Apple Lossless streaming device. I totally wiped it and disconnected it from my iTunes Match library.

 

With regard to iTunes Match, I know that matched tracks can't be redownloaded in lossless, but I am at least hoping that they can be streamed in lossless from my main phone so that I can take advantage of my existing playlists.

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It's so sad to read here and and on other audiophile forums just how many 'audiophiles' who have invested in niche, small company, 'boutique' audio gear are ready and willing to throw the niche, small company streaming services under the bus to try and save a few dollars (or to 'simplify' - yeah right) with the gigantic corporations that really don't give a shit about audio playback beyond numbers (number of users and now the resolution numbers as marketing).

 

Vote with your minds, hearts, and conscious and please continue to support the likes of Qobuz and/or Tidal (despite their MQA nonsense). Qobuz may struggle to grow with the advent of Apple, Spotify, and Amazon hi-res, but they can stay stable if their core users do the right thing and stop with the bandwagon, knee jerk responses and continue to support them even if it's a 'whopping' $50 more per year (pretty much the cost of a lunch in these times). 

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LIVING ROOM: Sonore opticalRendu Roon version (Sonore Power Supply)> Shunyata Venom USB>Naim DAC V1>Witchhat DIN>Naim NAP 160 Bolt Down>Chord Rumor 2>Audio Physic Compact Classics. OFFICE: opticalModule> Sonore microRendu 1.4> Matrix Mini-i Pro 3> Naim NAP 110>NACA5>KEF Ls50's. BJC 6a and Ghent Catsnake 6a JSSG ethernet; AC cables: Shunyata Venom NR V-10; Audience Forte F3; Ice Age copper/copper; Sean Jacobs CHC PowerBlack, Moon Audio DIN>RCA, USB A>C. Isolation: Herbie's Audio Lab. 

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Also, and I say this as an AirPods Max owner...
 
Womp womp.
 
Can I listen to lossless audio using AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max?
AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.
 
Can I listen to lossless audio using the AirPods Max Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable?
The Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable was designed to allow AirPods Max to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings with exceptional audio quality. However, given the analog to digital conversion in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless.
 
 
I don't think that Apple has ever been very specific about what the AirPods Max Lighting to 3.5mm Audio Cable does, and there is apparently some A→D→A action going on there.
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31 minutes ago, Marco Klobas said:

It's an "elegant/smart" answer about iTunes purchases to inform that it's not possible to upgrade owned purchases to ALAC, inviting users to subscribe to Apple Music if they aren't already. 🙂

 

That's my interpretation.

Yes. This is very clear to me as well. 

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Also, are people following the Epic Games/Apple lawsuit? The reason I ask, is because one Apple upper manager stated that the reason there is so much malware on Apple computers is because people can download and install software for anywhere on the internet. They want to be able to control that and hence, control what can be used on Apple PC's. This may eventually affect the whole Apple Ecosystem, meaning if you can't get it from the Apple store, you can't use it.

 

Hence Apple is closing wanting to close their system, rather than actually fixing the flaws that are in the OS, to me.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

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On 5/20/2021 at 7:47 AM, wklie said:

Spotify HiFi at lossless CD quality when that becomes available

 

Are you allowed to say something about the release? 

Will it be in summer or later?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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44 minutes ago, botrytis said:

Also, are people following the Epic Games/Apple lawsuit? The reason I ask, is because one Apple upper manager stated that the reason there is so much malware on Apple computers is because people can download and install software for anywhere on the internet. They want to be able to control that and hence, control what can be used on Apple PC's. This may eventually affect the whole Apple Ecosystem, meaning if you can't get it from the Apple store, you can't use it.

 

Hence Apple is closing wanting to close their system, rather than actually fixing the flaws that are in the OS, to me.

I think Apple way overstated the malware on macOS thing because it bolsters their argument in the lawsuit. As soon as it’s over, look for Apple to shows facts detailing how little malware actually exists on the platform. 

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Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Actually there is plenty. I remember the Adobe acrobat fiasco several years ago in which Linux and MS both had patches out in 2-3 days of the announcement - it took Apple 1 year to get out the patch.  After all, Steve Jobs once said, that malware and viruses are for MS and Linux, not Apple.

 

Just because it can't be detected, does not mean it isn't there.  I mean, the human genome is full of virus information - hence what Chicken Pox to Shingles occurs.

 

When I was in LA, I got to to meet an Apple OS developer, met at a bar, and he was saying that Apple is planning to totally close their OS systems (with the M2/M3 chips coming out) so they can protect their IP more and also to control who and what develops apps for them.

 

Just saying.

 

Use what you will but with open eyes.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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16 minutes ago, botrytis said:

Actually there is plenty. I remember the Adobe acrobat fiasco several years ago in which Linux and MS both had patches out in 2-3 days of the announcement - it took Apple 1 year to get out the patch. 

Yes, there is plenty, but I think there’s more to it than “it took Apple a year to patch the flaw.” If the company really wanted to or saw an immediate need, it would’ve been done it a couple days. There’s no shortage of cash at Apple. 

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Apple has become the gold standard of controlling the conversation and flipping an issue upside down.

 

I am curious how they'll do this with the recent bombshell piece in the NYT regarding encryption and data access to users in China.

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7 minutes ago, loop7 said:

Apple has become the gold standard of controlling the conversation and flipping an issue upside down.

 

I am curious how they'll do this with the recent bombshell piece in the NYT regarding encryption and data access to users in China.

I don’t think it’ll matter one bit. 
 

I thought everyone just assumed that to do business in any country you have to follow the laws of that country. In China that means the Government has access to everything. Nothing really new. 

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So, you can stream hi-res to your computer and play it through your DAC.

Or you can download it to your computer, iPhone, or iPad for later listening, or remove the DRM with one of the many tools available and do what you will with the result?

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Homepod and Homepod mini will receive an update to support lossless, hurray!
By the way, iOS 14.6 and macOS 11.4 are out and some albums now have the Apple Digital Master badge, a quick listening comparison between the two using my Airpods Pro, Marshall Minor II and HyperX Cloud II (to remove any DAC difference out of the table) makes me prefer the ADM versions, they sound a bit fuller, nothing about when they activate lossless yet tho

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On 5/22/2021 at 7:07 AM, Mike Rubin said:

This is in Apple's FAQ and it is clear as mud:

 

"Can I redownload my iTunes purchases in lossless?

"If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can redownload music in lossless only from the Apple Music catalog." 

 

Does this mean that Apple Music acts like iTunes Match to extent the content is now available in the Apple Music catalogue, so you can play the downloaded file on devices that are not linked to Apple's infrastructure?  Or does it just mean that, so long as you remain an Apple Music subscriber, you can download any Apple Music material (including your iTunes purchases) for offline playback in Apple Music?  Or does it mean something else altogether?

 

I worked at Apple for 12 years.  Helping Apple avoid transparency for the sake of liability avoidance was a chunk of my job.  That culture hasn't changed, so I doubt that Apple will be much more forthcoming about this and we will just have to wait and see what works and what doesn't. 

 

That said, if being a subscriber means being able to upgrade to lossless my purchased files and be able to play them after my subscription ends, this streaming-service-non-fan happily will subscribe to Apple Music for as long as it takes to upgrade my purchased content. 

I was wondering about this, too.  This story answers the question:

 

https://www.idropnews.com/news/sorry-itunes-fans-apple-wont-be-offering-purchased-tracks-in-lossless-formats/159594/

 

To save people time, the answer is "no."  Instead, low resolution Apple 256 aac files that are redownloaded in high res will only be available for Music subscribers.  When you cancel your subscription, your music goes "poof."

 

That limitation rules out this option for me, as I don't stream.  I only purchase downloads.  In the last few years, I have purchased downloads nearly 100% from Bandcamp and Qobuz.  I used to purchase from HDTracks and a few others.  I have around 9,200 tracks.

 

I use JRiver for my music player at home and jetaudio for my iPad and iPhone in my car.

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12 minutes ago, Wilderness said:

I was wondering about this, too.  This story answers the question:

 

https://www.idropnews.com/news/sorry-itunes-fans-apple-wont-be-offering-purchased-tracks-in-lossless-formats/159594/

 

To save people time, the answer is "no."  Instead, low resolution Apple 256 aac files that are redownloaded in high res will only be available for Music subscribers.  When you cancel your subscription, your music goes "poof."

 

That limitation rules out this option for me, as I don't stream.  I only purchase downloads.  In the last few years, I have purchased downloads nearly 100% from Bandcamp and Qobuz.  I used to purchase from HDTracks and a few others.  I have around 9,200 tracks.

 

I use JRiver for my music player at home and jetaudio for my iPad and iPhone in my car.

Thanks for this.  I guess that's that.

 

However, one thing in the article contradicts what I have read elsewhere:  "While everyone else has offered a two-tier system, with Apple Music there will be no tiers at all — everybody gets Lossless Audio, assuming of course your hardware can handle it."  That seems to contradict the notion that the Apple Music 192khz files will take a surcharge.

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In their documentation, Apple states that on the Mac, you need MacOS 11.4 for lossless/high-res lossless (+ a suitable DAC, obviously). Which kind of sucks for me, as my late 2012 Mac mini can’t be upgraded to Big Sur….only as far as 10.15.7. I can play my ALAC CD rips 16/44.1 and my high-res downloads (ALAC 24/92) all part of my iTunes/Apple Music library, thought the Apple MIDI controller makes it awkward. (Was using Bit Perfect but it doesn’t seem to work with Apple Music). So why can’t they just update the Music app in MacOS so I can play Apple Music lossless tracks instead of having to update MacOS to 11.4? And yes, an Apple Connect feature would be nice too. 

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3 minutes ago, Mc-ornell said:

In their documentation, Apple states that on the Mac, you need MacOS 11.4 for lossless/high-res lossless (+ a suitable DAC, obviously). Which kind of sucks for me, as my late 2012 Mac mini can’t be upgraded to Big Sur….only as far as 10.15.7. I can play my ALAC CD rips 16/44.1 and my high-res downloads (ALAC 24/92) all part of my iTunes/Apple Music library, thought the Apple MIDI controller makes it awkward. (Was using Bit Perfect but it doesn’t seem to work with Apple Music). So why can’t they just update the Music app in MacOS so I can play Apple Music lossless tracks instead of having to update MacOS to 11.4? And yes, an Apple Connect feature would be nice too. 

Oh wow, that’s not cool. Lossless and high resolution audio don’t require much power and work totally fine on far weaker and older hardware. 

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16 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Oh wow, that’s not cool. Lossless and high resolution audio don’t require much power and work totally fine on far weaker and older hardware. 

Even though I worked at Apple for a dozen years and was a fan of the platform in general, I moved to Windows (and Linux for Roon) because of stuff like this.  Managing the industry-standard FLAC and DSD even with third-party applications and dealing with output configuration seemed complicated for reasons that appeared more of benefit to Apple than me and I never found that Macs sounded any better than did Windows machines with JRiver. (This was before JRiver ported MC to the Mac.)  I guess that anyone still using a Mac for hi-res these days isn't likely to switch if he or she hasn't already done so, though. 

Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7> Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > xfinity Xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Tier 2 > Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC > Wyred4Sound STI-500 > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Basement:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7>Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > Xfinity xfi Router > Netgear GS348 Switch >TrendNet FMC>Sonore OpticalModule> UltraRendu > NuPrime IDA-8 > KEF LS50's

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The weird thing is, in my current Apple Music settings I can choose a resolution for video playback/downloads (up to 4K/HD), so why they can’t enable lossless/high-res lossless for my current version of MacOS doesn’t make sense. I’m hoping the information Apple is currently putting out re: lossless on the Mac is incorrect. If not, I guess there will be one of the other lossless services in my future. 

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54 minutes ago, Mc-ornell said:

The weird thing is, in my current Apple Music settings I can choose a resolution for video playback/downloads (up to 4K/HD), so why they can’t enable lossless/high-res lossless for my current version of MacOS doesn’t make sense. I’m hoping the information Apple is currently putting out re: lossless on the Mac is incorrect. If not, I guess there will be one of the other lossless services in my future. 

 

Same thing. My only guess is that it wont be available until June.

No electron left behind...

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6 hours ago, Mc-ornell said:

In their documentation, Apple states that on the Mac, you need MacOS 11.4 for lossless/high-res lossless (+ a suitable DAC, obviously). Which kind of sucks for me, as my late 2012 Mac mini can’t be upgraded to Big Sur….only as far as 10.15.7. I can play my ALAC CD rips 16/44.1 and my high-res downloads (ALAC 24/92) all part of my iTunes/Apple Music library, thought the Apple MIDI controller makes it awkward. (Was using Bit Perfect but it doesn’t seem to work with Apple Music). So why can’t they just update the Music app in MacOS so I can play Apple Music lossless tracks instead of having to update MacOS to 11.4? And yes, an Apple Connect feature would be nice too. 

 

I'm sort of in the same boat. I have a 2019 iMac, but I am clinging to macOS 10.14.6 (Mojave) because I run BIAS Peak Pro 7 all the time, which is a 32-bit app. If I upgrade any further, I won't be able to use it.

 

I'm not too worried about it, though. I will continue to play my own library of CD rips and hi-res files from the Mac and use an old iPhone to play lossless and hi-res files from Apple Music.

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On 5/17/2021 at 10:02 PM, One and a half said:

Hmm. The footnote mentions to play higher than 44.1/48kHz, the defacto for Bluetooth,  an external DAC is necessary, which also means it will show up in Audio Midi for example and Apple will play to it. Guess that the Apple music program will detect the DAC and play to it, but how does it know that it's a Dolby atmos capable for example. This is the domain of network AV receivers which have protocols already built in, big audience.

 

Bring on the Apple DAC'S. (Or 3rd party partners like Apogee?)

 

The Apple stores will surely be selling something for it?

 

And how about a new Apple hi res Bluetooth codec? (To compete with LDAC)

 

And everyone having buy all new Bluetooth headphones / earpods to use it? 

Hifi: Qobuz, Roon, Weiss 501, ADAM Audio A5X  + sub. Portable: iPhone 12 pro max, Qobuz, THX Onyx DAC, Empire Ears Nemesis iems. 

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