CD-quality audio Apple Lossless format coming to iTunes Music Store?

“A new version of Apple Computer’s iTunes Producer software suggest that the company may begin to offer tracks through its iTunes Music Store that are encoded in its higher-quality lossless compression format,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider. “Apple introduced the format in 2004 as part of QuickTIme 6.5.1, saying it offered CD-quality audio in “about half the storage space.” The company later added support for the format to iTunes 4.5.”

“In a private release of iTunes Producer 1.4 this week, Apple said the software ‘now encodes music in Apple Lossless format, which produces larger audio files and will increase upload time.’ iTunes Producer is distributed to record labels by Apple as a tool for prepping and submitting their content for inclusion on the iTunes Music Store,” McLean reports.

The Apple Lossless format does not presently utilize a digital rights management (DRM), so it’s “unclear what role the Apple Lossless format will play on the iTunes music store,” McLean reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’d pay more for lossless versions via iTMS. Would you?

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  1. If they offered drm’d files at .99 a song, AND non drm’d lossless files at the variable rate the record lables want, nobody could really bitch about interoperability or restrictions or quality loss. Yeah you’d still have to convert aac to mp3 for some players, but aac is not a closed or licensed format is it?

  2. Yes! I’d definitely pay more for lossless versions!

    I hope this is true, as it really bothers me buying for almost the same price as CD music (if you buy the whole album, and on only some albums) but only getting a 128kpbs version!

  3. You realize if you answer yes to that question, this site will be plastered with iTuness lossless ads, in addition to the banners at the tops bottoms and sides, the green text ads with pop-up windows, the pop-under ads, the Google ads, the Amazon ads, and any other ads the MDN guy can cram in here with a shoehorn….

  4. This doesn’t really relate to the topic at hand, but it DOES relate to bit rates of files I got from iTMS. The last album I bought from iTMS, Avian’s “From the Depths of Time”, the tracks had bit rates that were quite variable from one another, not the 128 kbps they usually are. However, they were encoded as protected AAC files! In fact, I also downloaded Pyramaze’s “Melancholy Beast” and “Legend of the Bone Carver” from iTMS and while the latter, more recent album tracks all were 128 kbps, the older album also had variable bit rates in AAC protected format. The bit rates all range from 211 to 303 kbps.

    Anyone have any thoughts about this? I believe it may have been an experiment, to a certain degree, since all of the other iTMS music purchases I currently have use the 128 kbps rate.

    The variable bit rate files do sound a bit better (clarity on lows and highs) than the others, especially when comparing the two albums from the same group mentioned above.


  5. Absolutely not..

    Higher quality should not cost more. If the cost rises to $1.49, then an average 12 song album would cost $17.88. NO WAY!

    Give me Cd quality and keep the price at the magic .99 cents.

  6. “We’d pay more for lossless versions via iTMS. Would you?”


    Simply by being conditioned to pay $.99 for lower quality music shouldn’t promt us to volunteer to pay more for quality we should have been receiving all along. They should just upgrade the music and be done with it.

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