Apple Music has announced the launch of “Apple Digital Masters”, a new program that combines all of its “Mastered for iTunes” offerings into the global catalog.
According to the company, Apple Digital Masters will offer “uncompromising studio sound, virtually indistinguishable from the original master recordings.” The Mastered for iTunes program was started in 2012, allowing engineers to optimize music for the digital download format by encoding from high-resolution masters.
Apple will provide this premium quality audio without any additional cost on Apple Music and the iTunes Store to all customers. All former Mastered for iTunes songs will continue to be available under the Apple Digital Masters program. The company said that 75 percent of the Top 100 songs in the U.S. are Apple Digital Masters, and 71 percent of the Top 100 global songs are also part of the new program.
“By encoding from high-resolution masters, Apple music engineers are able to capture all of the detail of a recording in a size that is convenient for streaming and downloading. Using 24-bit files means less noise and higher encoding efficiency,” added Apple. Jay-Z’s company TIDAL started a “HiFi” subscription tier back in 2015 for $19.99 month ($10 more than a normal subscription) that offered higher quality for audio streaming. Spotify is yet to formally launch a similar service.