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Apple Music teases a special announcement as new references to lossless audio leak

Apple Music has begun displaying a teaser in the Music app, saying “music is about to change forever,” as references to “Hi-Res Lossless,” “Dolby Atmos” and more get discovered.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Apple Music teases something new that might be coming soon. 
  • An announcement is expected on Tuesday, May 18.
  • Apple Music Hi-Fi is said to cost $9.99 per month.

Apple Music teases lossless audio

You can view the teaser by opening the Music app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, then hit the Browse tab. The teaser is found underneath the heading “Coming soon,” with the headline saying “Get ready – music is about to change forever.”

Additionally, designer Stijn de Vries unearthed previously unseen logos for “Lossless” and “Hi-Res Lossless,” “Apple Lossless,” “Free Lossless” within ‌Apple Music‌ on the web. Other references to high-resolution audio were discovered within ‌Apple Music‌ on the web, including “Dolby Atmos,” an advanced surround sound format currently unsupported by Apple Music.

There’s also a video in the Music app teaser that shows an animated ‌Apple Music‌ logo.

 

Rumors and leaks have pointed to a new high-fidelity tier coming to Apple Music fans who wish to listen to lossless audio on the service, similar to what’s already offered to fans of Tidal, Amazon Music HD and Deezer. Some sources allege that Apple Music Hi-Fi will also support spatial audio, which may require newer hardware due to computational audio overhead.

MacRumors commented:

The animated ‌Apple Music‌ logo in the teaser has a spinning effect as it switches back and forth between white on black and black on white, perhaps suggestive of the surround-sound nature of Spatial Audio.

Apple has been stuck with 256Kbps AAC audio since 2007. The lossy codec provides better audio quality and compression at the same bit rate than MP3.

On Apple Music, for instance, a three-minute song encoded in 256Kbsp AAC consumes about six megabytes of data but that could rise to 36 MB with lossless coding and 145 MB with a hi-res lossless option, according to code unearthed from Apple Music for Android.

Doubters claim lossless audio is a marketing gimmick, saying that blind listening tests suggest there’s little to no discernible difference between lossy and lossless audio.

When will Apple Music Hi-Fi launch?

An official Apple Music Hi-Fi announcement is apparently due on Tuesday, May 18, according to a couple of different reports. On top of that, the official Apple Music for Android app has hinted at the imminent arrival of a lossless audio feature for Apple Music subscribers.

Some sources speculate Apple might unveil the next AirPods alongside Apple Music Hi-Fi.

That doesn’t seem to be very likely because more credible sources, including supply chain sources and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have said that a pair of third-generation AirPods earbuds wouldn’t be arriving until later in the year.

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