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Apple Music to get Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio at Zero Additional Cost

Apple announced today that Apple Music subscribers will have access to two new features: lossless audio and Dolby Atmos tracks.

Apple announced today that Apple Music subscribers will have access to two new features: lossless audio and Dolby Atmos tracks. Both features will be available at no additional charge in June.

Apple will make its entire library of 75 million songs available in a lossless format. The ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), which is open-source and royalty-free, is Apple’s preferred codec. The lossless tracks will begin at CD-quality (16-bit, 44.1kHz) and progress to 24-bit, 48-kHz, depending on the tracks. All recent Apple devices and other compatible devices will be able to play these tracks.

Apple Music

There will also be a Hi-Resolution Lossless tier, which will support 24-bit at 192kHz. The Hi-Resolution Lossless option will need to be enabled separately through settings due to the large file sizes and additional hardware requirements and will require an external DAC.

Apart from that, Apple will offer a limited number of tracks in the new Dolby Atmos audio format, which Apple refers to as Spatial Audio. Spatial Audio currently has “thousands” of tracks, but more will be added on a regular basis.

All AirPods and Beats headphones with the H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers on recent iPhone, iPad, and Mac models, will automatically play tracks available in Dolby Atmos in Spatial Audio mode.

It’s unclear whether Dolby Atmos will be available to all Apple Music subscribers or just those who own an Apple device. While Apple’s Spatial Audio is exclusive to the iPhone, Dolby Atmos has been available on other platforms, including Android, for some time.

Apple’s music streaming service is the latest to adopt the lossless audio and surround format. For a few years, Tidal, for example, has offered both lossless audio and Dolby Atmos tracks. Others, such as Amazon, Spotify, and Deezer, have also made lossless audio available. However, all of these services have charged extra for it, whereas Apple is the first to include it in the base subscription.

Lossless audio is audio in which all of the information from the source file is preserved. Most of the audio we stream or download today has been compressed using lossy techniques to reduce file sizes. These compression techniques strategically remove parts of the audio that the human ear cannot hear easily, but the limitations of compressed audio can be exposed depending on the techniques and equipment used, as well as the listener. There is no quality loss with lossless audio because the files are identical to the source audio.

On the other hand, Dolby Atmos is an audio format that shifts away from traditional channel-based audio and toward object-based audio. Instead of a specific channel, the audio can be mapped to a discrete point in a 3D space around the listener while mastering the content. When the sound is played back on a compatible Atmos system, the connected speaker approximates and reproduces the sound in that location without having to be programmed to do so. This means that instead of being trapped between your two ears, the sound is more three-dimensional and natural.

Beginning in June 2021, all Apple Music subscribers will have access to lossless audio and Dolby Atmos at no additional charge.

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Sakshi Jadav
Sakshi is currently doing something she is adoring, by stepping out of her box to create who she wants to become. Other than that, she studies Psychology.
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