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Apple Music announces Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos; Lossless Audio to entire catalog

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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The next generation of sound on Apple Music is coming to subscribers June 2021 at no additional cost


"CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced Apple Music is bringing industry-leading sound quality to subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. Spatial Audio gives artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences for their fans with true multidimensional sound and clarity. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to listen to more than 75 million songs in Lossless Audio — the way the artists created them in the studio. These new features will be available for Apple Music subscribers starting next month at no additional cost.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”

Spatial Audio with Support for Dolby Atmos

Apple is bringing Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to Apple Music. Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary, immersive audio experience that enables artists to mix music so the sound comes from all around and from above. By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple Music will be adding new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly and will be curating a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists to help listeners find the music they love. In addition, albums that are available in Dolby Atmos will have a badge on the detail page for easy discovery.
At launch, subscribers can enjoy thousands of songs in Spatial Audio from some of the world’s biggest artists and music across all genres, including hip-hop, country, Latin, pop, and classical. Apple Music is working with artists and labels to add new releases and the best catalog tracks, as more artists begin to create music specifically for the Spatial Audio experience. Together, Apple Music and Dolby are making it easy for musicians, producers, and mix engineers to create songs in Dolby Atmos. Initiatives include doubling the number of Dolby-enabled studios in major markets, offering educational programs, and providing resources to independent artists.
“Today marks the introduction of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music — a new music experience that is transforming how music is created by artists and enjoyed by their fans,” said Kevin Yeaman, Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO. “We are working with Apple Music to make Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music.”
J Balvin said: “I’m really excited to be part of this project with Apple Music because I always want to be a step ahead and I think this is one of those steps. With Lossless, everything in the music is going to sound bigger and stronger but more importantly, it will be better quality. Hearing myself and my music in Dolby Atmos for the first time, it was just crazy, it blew my mind, it’s indescribable. I think fans will really love this new experience.”
Gustavo Dudamel said: “There are no words to describe the immersive, overpowering experience of being a conductor, leading a performance of Mahler’s towering ‘Symphony of a Thousand.’ But now, technology is advancing to bring that experience closer to our ears, our minds, and our souls. Share with me this monumental, live performance with my beloved Los Angeles Philharmonic, remastered in Dolby Atmos audio technology for the first time on Apple Music alongside my collection of Deutsche Grammophon recordings with the LA Phil, in rich, remarkable 3D sound.”
Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, and composer Giles Martin said: “Since recording began, artists, producers, and engineers have tried to paint pictures with sound, transporting listeners to worlds they never knew existed, even when the sound came from a single speaker. Now with the dawn of immersive audio, we can take the music lover inside the music. From the feeling of hearing your favorite artist in the same room as you, to the experience of sitting directly in the middle of a symphony orchestra, the listening experience is transformative and the possibilities for the creator are endless. This is a quantum leap in technology – I have so far had the pleasure of mixing some of the greatest artists in history in Dolby Atmos. With this work I have found myself falling into albums I love. There is a unique experience of being able to fully immerse myself in music that, although is familiar, suddenly sounds new, fresh, and immediate. As a creator, it is beyond exciting that we can now share this incredible experience through Apple Music.”
Mixing engineer Manny Marroquin said: “Spatial Audio gives music a new identity. Every time I mix in Atmos it gives me goosebumps. The future has arrived.”

Lossless Audio

Apple Music will also make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio.
To start listening to Lossless Audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Here, they can choose different resolutions for different connections such as cellular, Wi-Fi, or for download. Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. For the true audiophile, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.1
Producer Piper Payne said: “The soul and life of the mix is sitting in the extra bits of data that are stored in the lossless file. As a mastering engineer, having the ability to convey the music to the listener at its highest quality is the end goal of what I work for every day.”
Availability
  • Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio will be available to Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost.
  • Thousands of tracks will be available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at launch, with more added regularly.
  • Apple Music’s catalog of more than 75 million songs will be available in Lossless Audio.
More information, including a comprehensive list of compatible devices, is available at apple.com/apple-music."
 

Korranator

Member
Jun 7, 2004
1,114
254
1,520
The next generation of sound on Apple Music is coming to subscribers June 2021 at no additional cost


"CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced Apple Music is bringing industry-leading sound quality to subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. Spatial Audio gives artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences for their fans with true multidimensional sound and clarity. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to listen to more than 75 million songs in Lossless Audio — the way the artists created them in the studio. These new features will be available for Apple Music subscribers starting next month at no additional cost.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”

Spatial Audio with Support for Dolby Atmos

Apple is bringing Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to Apple Music. Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary, immersive audio experience that enables artists to mix music so the sound comes from all around and from above. By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple Music will be adding new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly and will be curating a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists to help listeners find the music they love. In addition, albums that are available in Dolby Atmos will have a badge on the detail page for easy discovery.
At launch, subscribers can enjoy thousands of songs in Spatial Audio from some of the world’s biggest artists and music across all genres, including hip-hop, country, Latin, pop, and classical. Apple Music is working with artists and labels to add new releases and the best catalog tracks, as more artists begin to create music specifically for the Spatial Audio experience. Together, Apple Music and Dolby are making it easy for musicians, producers, and mix engineers to create songs in Dolby Atmos. Initiatives include doubling the number of Dolby-enabled studios in major markets, offering educational programs, and providing resources to independent artists.
“Today marks the introduction of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music — a new music experience that is transforming how music is created by artists and enjoyed by their fans,” said Kevin Yeaman, Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO. “We are working with Apple Music to make Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music.”
J Balvin said: “I’m really excited to be part of this project with Apple Music because I always want to be a step ahead and I think this is one of those steps. With Lossless, everything in the music is going to sound bigger and stronger but more importantly, it will be better quality. Hearing myself and my music in Dolby Atmos for the first time, it was just crazy, it blew my mind, it’s indescribable. I think fans will really love this new experience.”
Gustavo Dudamel said: “There are no words to describe the immersive, overpowering experience of being a conductor, leading a performance of Mahler’s towering ‘Symphony of a Thousand.’ But now, technology is advancing to bring that experience closer to our ears, our minds, and our souls. Share with me this monumental, live performance with my beloved Los Angeles Philharmonic, remastered in Dolby Atmos audio technology for the first time on Apple Music alongside my collection of Deutsche Grammophon recordings with the LA Phil, in rich, remarkable 3D sound.”
Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, and composer Giles Martin said: “Since recording began, artists, producers, and engineers have tried to paint pictures with sound, transporting listeners to worlds they never knew existed, even when the sound came from a single speaker. Now with the dawn of immersive audio, we can take the music lover inside the music. From the feeling of hearing your favorite artist in the same room as you, to the experience of sitting directly in the middle of a symphony orchestra, the listening experience is transformative and the possibilities for the creator are endless. This is a quantum leap in technology – I have so far had the pleasure of mixing some of the greatest artists in history in Dolby Atmos. With this work I have found myself falling into albums I love. There is a unique experience of being able to fully immerse myself in music that, although is familiar, suddenly sounds new, fresh, and immediate. As a creator, it is beyond exciting that we can now share this incredible experience through Apple Music.”
Mixing engineer Manny Marroquin said: “Spatial Audio gives music a new identity. Every time I mix in Atmos it gives me goosebumps. The future has arrived.”

Lossless Audio

Apple Music will also make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio.
To start listening to Lossless Audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Here, they can choose different resolutions for different connections such as cellular, Wi-Fi, or for download. Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. For the true audiophile, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.1
Producer Piper Payne said: “The soul and life of the mix is sitting in the extra bits of data that are stored in the lossless file. As a mastering engineer, having the ability to convey the music to the listener at its highest quality is the end goal of what I work for every day.”
Availability
  • Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio will be available to Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost.
  • Thousands of tracks will be available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at launch, with more added regularly.
  • Apple Music’s catalog of more than 75 million songs will be available in Lossless Audio.
More information, including a comprehensive list of compatible devices, is available at apple.com/apple-music."
Sounds amazing.

Wonder how long they will keep that $9.99 a month price.
 
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AJUMP23

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Sep 29, 2020
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This is the type of news that would possibly get me to subscribe. I just need much better car speakers. I have really good home speakers though.

I remember downloading FLAC files just so I could get a better sound at times from some songs. If I can stream the equivalent of FLAC over a Cell connection that is beautiful.



EDIT: just did some reading ALAC is still compressed. :messenger_neutral:
 
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AJUMP23

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Something that would be nice would be on the site a comparison of the different bitrate and compression of the tracks. I have good headphones so I would like to hear the difference more than just read it.
 

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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Something that would be nice would be on the site a comparison of the different bitrate and compression of the tracks. I have good headphones so I would like to hear the difference more than just read it.
I suspect there will be some analysis done either by enthusiasts on audiophile forums or the YouTube audiophiles. Given the performance of AAC vs MP3, I have high hopes. No shame in waiting it out to see.
 

hollams

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Dec 12, 2007
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I tried out Tidal a couple of months ago just try out the dolby atmos tracks and found out the number of songs was pretty limited. I wasn't exactly wowed by what I heard because it was mostly music that I don't normally listen too.
 

20cent

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Aug 10, 2011
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This is the type of news that would possibly get me to subscribe. I just need much better car speakers. I have really good home speakers though.

I remember downloading FLAC files just so I could get a better sound at times from some songs. If I can stream the equivalent of FLAC over a Cell connection that is beautiful.



EDIT: just did some reading ALAC is still compressed. :messenger_neutral:
ALAC, like FLAC use compression. Like a zip, it doesn't affect the file. Both are still lossless.
 

Hatemachine

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I'm predicting in the near future the music services will start to sign deals for exclusive artists forcing people to decide between subscribing to multiple services or going back to MP3s.
 
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Rikkori

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May 9, 2020
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This is unfortunate. Glad I did not buy a pair.
It makes perfect sense the wireless wouldn’t support it. I’m more surprised a wired connection would not make it feasible.

No lossless for iTunes purchases. :(

That's hilarious, and fitting. It's what buying Apple gets ya.
 
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Guess we need to wait for the next AirPods for lossless streaming.
To the core Apple user, what's the big deal? lol

I just googled how much the headset costs. Around $200 cdn for the ear buds and $750 cdn for the headset. Drop in the bucket.

Just buy upgraded audio gear later.
 
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Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
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I still use an iPod touch for apple music and download everything. Wonder how much bigger the file sizes will be?
 

Darko

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What headphones that are currently available support this?

I don’t want to use the lightning adapter thing either, Bluetooth preferably
 
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Burger

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I had a visit to Dolby a year or so ago, and part of the demo they were doing was to turn the lights off in the theatre, it was pitch black and they played the Dolby Atmos version of Rocket Man. To this day, it is the most incredible audio experience I've ever had. Simply indescribable.
 

AJUMP23

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I had a visit to Dolby a year or so ago, and part of the demo they were doing was to turn the lights off in the theatre, it was pitch black and they played the Dolby Atmos version of Rocket Man. To this day, it is the most incredible audio experience I've ever had. Simply indescribable.
You just described it though...
 

Burger

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You just described it though...

Not really. I didn't describe how not only were the backing singers sort of to the rear and behind me, but you could almost point to them individually and make out distinct voices. It was a level of clarity, on a song I must have heard hundreds of times that made me feel if it had been rerecorded rather than remixed. It's indescribable because I would need hundreds of words to even begin to describe how transformative it was.
 
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AJUMP23

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Not really. I didn't describe how not only were the backing singers sort of to the rear and behind me, but you could almost point to them individually and make out distinct voices. It was a level of clarity, on a song I must have heard hundreds of times that made me feel if it had been rerecorded rather than remixed. It's indescribable because I would need hundreds of words to even begin to describe how transformative it was.
You just described my home audio setup. And described the experience. When I listen to my system I feel like i can tell where the guitar was in the booth or where the singer was standing. The spatial sense was unreal, but I have had this setup for 20 year.
 

Hatemachine

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I had a visit to Dolby a year or so ago, and part of the demo they were doing was to turn the lights off in the theatre, it was pitch black and they played the Dolby Atmos version of Rocket Man. To this day, it is the most incredible audio experience I've ever had. Simply indescribable.
Won't sound anything like that on headphones.
 

Burger

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You just described my home audio setup. And described the experience. When I listen to my system I feel like i can tell where the guitar was in the booth or where the singer was standing. The spatial sense was unreal, but I have had this setup for 20 year.

I don't really think I have described your home audio setup, unless your home audio setup consists of 36 speakers, 28 stereo Crown amplifiers and a Dolby Lake EQ system.
 

Trogdor1123

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Wonder if Google will announce something today?

Btw, the Google io thing today is literally the worst thing ever... They currently talking to a paper airplane.
 

Korranator

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There is an obvious bias to the article, but after Golden Sound’s MQA argument I think this article might add perspective.
Yeah, that did come out biased as hell. DSD should not be threatened by this IMO. Two different markets. One casual and the other niche.

Although, he did make good points about hardware upgrades. New phones and earbuds required.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
 
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"Bluetooth connections aren't lossless."

What you need:
  • A wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers
  • The built-in speakers
lol at everyone wanting lossless on their AirPods. even if they did support it you're not gonna hear the difference.

Apple is right to say you need wired connection/receivers/powered speakers cause that's where you will hear the difference. it's just hilarious that they ditched 3.5mm and pushed bluetooth headsets then they come out with this. like 99% of people with an iPhone/iPad won't be able to access lossless on their iPhone. yeah, you can use the speakers on your iPhone or iPad and as good as they are they just aren't good enough that you'll hear a difference with lossless.
 
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Just checking in to remind everyone that to truly appreciate Dolby ATMOS, you need an actual 5.1.2 (or 5.1.4) home theater system. Headphones, no matter how fancy they claim to be, will never ever give you the same sound quality. ATMOS is great, but you need a proper home theater to run it on.
 
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T8SC

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It still won't sound as good as vinyl.

I'm not feeling the "spacial audio". I like the idea of uncompressed audio, but music is generally recorded for stereo use, not 3d/surround/spacial use.

I'd like to hear it against SACD or DVD-A on a good quality setup.
 
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Mistershine.

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"Bluetooth connections aren't lossless."

What you need:
  • A wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers
  • The built-in speakers
lol at everyone wanting lossless on their AirPods. even if they did support it you're not gonna hear the difference.

Apple is right to say you need wired connection/receivers/powered speakers cause that's where you will hear the difference. it's just hilarious that they ditched 3.5mm and pushed bluetooth headsets then they come out with this. like 99% of people with an iPhone/iPad won't be able to access lossless on their iPhone. yeah, you can use the speakers on your iPhone or iPad and as good as they are they just aren't good enough that you'll hear a difference with lossless.
Even with 3.5mm you likely wouldn't get the full benefit from lossless. Cramming a player, a DAC, and an amp into a single phone sized device, along with all the other gubbins needed to make said phone function means you end up with a jack of all trades type of scenario. Something like a Chord Mojo is what you'd need, and at £400 it's not expensive, especially compared to an iPhone.

 
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RoboFu

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What headphones that are currently available support this?

I don’t want to use the lightning adapter thing either, Bluetooth preferably
No Bluetooth headphones.

Apple are working on WiFi enabled lossless audio for all their wireless devices that support WiFi. That’s the only way to get it over wireless.
 

RoadHazard

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Lossless only on Apple devices, or am I misinterpreting that? I was thinking of possibly switching to Apple Music (even though I'm an Android user), because they are the only service outside the absolutely fucking terrible YouTube Music (how I miss GPM) that offers uploading your own files to fill in any gaps (correct me if I'm wrong about this). But if they're locking lossless quality to Apple devices they can fuck right off lol.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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This is unfortunate. Glad I did not buy a pair.
It makes perfect sense the wireless wouldn’t support it. I’m more surprised a wired connection would not make it feasible.

It's just an example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, which I am afraid is something Apple has fallen into lately.

The new TV remote doesn' have a built in airtag, neither has a socket for one.
The lossless won't be supported by the homepods available right notw.
Etc...
 
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