“Apple and other digital music retailers are in discussions with record labels to improve the quality of the song files they sell, executives involved in the talks say,” Mark Milian reports for CNN. “As a result, online music stores could eventually offer songs that sound truer to their original recordings, perhaps at a premium price.”
“Professional music producers generally capture studio recordings in a 24-bit, high-fidelity audio format. Before the originals, or ‘masters’ in industry parlance, are pressed onto CDs or distributed to digital sellers like Apple’s iTunes, they’re downgraded to 16-bit files,” Milian reports. “Why don’t record labels at least give retailers the option of working from higher-grade recordings? ‘Why?’ Jimmy Iovine, a longtime music executive, asked rhetorically. ‘I don’t know. It’s not because they’re geniuses.'”
“‘We’ve gone back now at Universal, and we’re changing our pipes to 24 bit. And Apple has been great,’ Iovine said. ‘We’re working with them and other digital services — download services — to change to 24 bit. And some of their electronic devices are going to be changed as well. So we have a long road ahead of us,'” Milian reports.
“Many models of Mac computers can play 24-bit sound, and the iTunes program is capable of handling such files. But most portable electronics, and many computers, don’t support 24-bit audio,” Milian reports. “To make the jump to higher-quality music attractive for Apple, the Cupertino, California, company would have to retool future versions of iPods and iPhones so they can play higher-quality files.”
“‘Paul McCartney can master The Beatles albums all he wants, (but) when you play them through a Dell computer, it sounds like you’re playing them through a portable television,’ Iovine said… ‘What we’re trying to do here is fix the degradation of music that the digital revolution has caused. It’s one thing to have music stolen through the ease of digital processing. But it’s another thing to destroy the quality of it. And that’s what’s happening on a massive scale.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Better late than never.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]