Some Apple Music Hi-Res Lossless content is already showing up on the service

Source: What HIFI? added 02nd Jun 2021

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(Image credit: 0gniRincha, Twitter)

With Apple Music CD-quality, Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless streaming announced at no extra charge to Apple Music users (and at an unspecified date in June) certain users have reported actual lossless and hi-res icons appearing on the streaming service ahead of its official the launch.

With Apple’s annual (coronavirus permitting) Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicking off in just five days on 7th June, Apple may well be readying hi-res content for the big reveal and leaving a few early treats for its loyal users. 

As first reported by Apple Insider, keyed up users hoping to spot a few early-access Easter eggs have allegedly discovered albums showing labels for Lossless or Dolby Atmos, and others are apparently being prompted to re-download albums for new formats.

What Hi-Fi? tried to follow suit but is unable to replicate any of these experiences. A user in Japan was apparently able to see a video EP with the labels for Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Lossless, and Apple Digital Master (main image, thank you @0gniRincha) while another subscriber in the Netherlands was prompted to download an album to experience it with Dolby Atmos with Lossless audio, although they claim that when they tried to do this, it didn’t actually download.

So what’s up with Apple Music? For a moment I got a popup saying I need to redownload an album to get Dolby Atmos. After doing so the music type went to HLS media. Now it’s back at streaming AACJune 1, 2021

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Apple Music空間オーディオやロスレス、デジタルマスターはまだMVだけの模様 31, 2021

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The new features will require iOS 14.6 or later to work. Apple will actually offer three tiers of higher resolution audio: CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz), Apple Music Lossless (24-bit/48kHz), and Hi-Res Lossless (up to 24-bit/192kHz). You will be able to choose your quality through the Settings > Music > Audio Quality section of Apple Music.

At launch, all of Apple Music’s 75-million-strong music catalogue will be available in CD quality or Apple Music Lossless. Also on the day Apple officially releases the upgrade, 20 million tracks will be accessible in the highest quality Hi-Res Lossless format, with the whole catalogue following “by the end of 2021”.

With thousands of tracks arriving in Dolby Atmos too, could a few have slipped through the net and been leaked to some users early doors?

Apple Insider has also reported a fresh new discovery: all music videos in Apple Music now signify that they are playing with Apple’s proprietary Spatial Audio enabled within the Apple Music app – and the label for Dolby Atmos or Spatial Audio doesn’t have to appear for it to work. To try it out, when wearing your AirPods Max or AirPods Pro, listen to a music video and check the Spatial Audio setting in Control Center. If Spatial Audio is playing, the icon will be animating.

To see this icon, swipe down on the top right corner to reach Control Center, and long-press on the volume slider. The icon should appear in the bottom right of the display. 

Apple has told What Hi-Fi? that post-launch, Apple Music Dolby Atmos will also work with third-party headphones – as long as you manually enable it. To do this, go into Settings on your iPhone or iPad and then to Music. A new Dolby Atmos option will be available. This is set to Automatic by default (which means Dolby Atmos tracks will play correctly when you’re listening via any W1- or H1-enabled pair of Apple or Beats headphones such as the AirPods Max, AirPods Pro or standard AirPods), but not when you’re using third-party headphones. However, if you switch this option to Always On, even these non-Apple headphones will play back the Dolby Atmos tracks correctly.

iOS 14.6 adds support for Apple Digital Master 24-bit files in Apple Music. This means that the majority of Gaga’s catalogue is now available in that format & labelled accordingly. The Fame Monster Video EP supports also Hi-Res Lossless & Dolby Atmos which enables Spatial Audio. 25, 2021

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Still no official date on the Apple Music Lossless launch, but Apple Music subscribers should mark the 7th-11th June in their diaries – and keep checking for those icons in albums from big-hitters such as Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X or Drake.


Further good news: HomePod and HomePod Mini will support Apple Music Lossless

Check out 30 Apple Music tips, tricks and features

See also 10 Apple Music playlists to listen to right now

Read the full article at What HIFI?

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