Music streamer Rdio has upgraded it's streaming quality to 320KpBS and joined Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead's new "Artists For Quality" initiative to improve streaming audio quality. The upgrade, which puts Rdio on par with Spotify, Beats, Deezer and most other major music streamers, highlights the increasing public debate over improving the audio experience.
But it still remains to be seen just how much most consumers care about higher quality sound. Several fledgling digital music services, most notably Scandinavian music streamer WiMP and Neil Young's yet to launch PonoMusic download store and player, already offer music in the higher quality FLAC or 'lossless' format.
Rdio and Weir say their just getting started with their efforts to improve music streaming. "Our joint mission is to ignite and lead discussions on inequity in streaming audio quality, and to commit to both artists and music fans to establish the highest standard of streaming quality in the digital music space," Rdio wrote on their blog. "In addition, and as part of our ongoing commitment to the artist community, Rdio will work closely with artists and labels from around the world to continue to raise the bar higher on streaming quality where sufficient network bandwidth exists, and to improve stream delivery in markets around the world where network quality and bandwidth are often inconsistent."