Music Tech

Apple Music To Stream At 20% Below Industry Standard 320kps

Beats DealJimmy Iovine may pontificate about the importance of audio quality when he's selling Beats headphones and speakers, but apparently he's less concerned with the quality of the music streams delivered by Apple Music. Either that or someone else at Apple is calling the shots. 


Apple-logoApple Music will stream at 256kps or 20% below the 320kps industry standard usually delivered by Beats Music, Spotify and other music streamers.  All streamers admit to delivering some songs at 256kps, but say they strive for 320kps.

While Apple confirmed 256kps quality to TNW, there remains some confusion over whether Apple Music will deliver streams via mp3 technology or its own AAC.

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  1. I think Apple’s “Mastered for iTunes” tracks, at 256k are the perfect balance. 256k AAC has been proven in tests to be indistinguishable from WAV (or any other PCM) files. With “Mastered for iTunes” we get AAC files made from 24 bit masters, that were tested (by the mastering engineer) to make sure they won’t clip during the conversion process. One could argue that we’ve never had it better! Why waste any bandwidth above 256?

  2. @Scott McDowell: I agree 100%. 256k “Mastered for iTunes” is great. Listen to iTunes Radio to hear how good it is. Not that most people can tell the difference, as NPR discovered.
    HypeBot is really pushing the FUD about Apple Music.

  3. AAC 256k is actually much better than MP3 320k. So if they confirm it’s AAC, they will actually provide better quality than exsisting services.

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