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Apple Music and Amazon Announce High-Fidelity Streaming at No Additional Cost

The streaming platforms join Tidal in offering lossless audio

apple music amazon high-fidelity streaming free
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    Apple Music announced on Monday that it will begin offering high-fidelity streaming at no extra cost to subscribers starting June 2021. In response to the move, Amazon announced it will no longer charge Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers for its lossless tier (via Billboard).

    Alongside the higher quality audio, Apple Music is adding support for spatial audio through Dolby Atmos. At $9.99 per month or $14.99 for family plans, subscribers will be able to listen to more than 75 million songs at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz natively on Apple devices.

    The streaming service also offers what it’s calling Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz, which will require external equipment like a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC). To enable hi-fi audio, subscribers must run the latest version of Apple Music and can go to Settings > Music > Audio Quality. From there, they can pick different resolutions for different connections, like cellular, Wi-Fi, or for download.

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    Amazon Music HD, which previously cost an extra $5, allows subscribers to stream audio at CD quality or above. It is now available at $9.99 per month ($7.99 for Prime customers). The service offers over 70 million songs at CD quality.

    In late February, Spotify announced it would be introducing a new high-fidelity tier, but did not specify the quality of the audio or whether there would be any additional cost. Tidal offers a hi-fi subscription for $19.99 per month with master quality audio that can even exceed high-resolution 96 kHz / 24 bit audio.

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