Spotify tests lossless streaming; Apple Music next?

“Reports suggest that Spotify is A/B testing a new lossless option on some users,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. ” A small group of Spotify users have been presented with an option to add lossless streaming to their subscription for an additional $5 or $10 a month. This would be the biggest lossless streaming service, if Spotify did go in that direction. But does this make any sense?”

“While a number of niche streaming services, and Tidal, offer lossless streaming, this higher-quality offering doesn’t seem to interest many people, and rightly so,” McElhearn writes. “It uses more data, and unless you’re listening on a very good stereo, you’re unlikely to hear the difference… (Want to find out? Test yourself.)”

“I think Apple will eventually offer lossless streaming, but it will be hard to sell it,” McElhearn writes. “This said, if Apple started selling lossless files in the iTunes Store, I think this would make a difference. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Lossless streaming would be as successful as Pono. As in: Not.

Lossless sales, though, we agree, would be welcome, if the music labels would allow it in the world’s dominant online music store.


  1. If you are listening to well recorded acoustic music the difference between lost and lossless is significant. If you are listening to a drum machine, an auto-tuned voice and little else it is a waste of time.
    Here is a short video:

  2. Why… what purpose? Sure it might have some more depth, but unless your routinely listening on something other than an iPhone or some other portable device, your really not getting any significant advantage,

    And while supposedly “unlimited” bandwidth is coming back around, if you don’t have it, how much more will a lossless stream consume? And if you can store it, how much more device memory is that going to consume over the regular file , and again, depending on what gear your listening with for a marginal improvement in quality..

    1. Plenty of people listen to streaming music on devices other than phones and tablets. There are several audiophile-quality network streamers that connect to hi-fi systems as a separate, which support Spotify Connect and which would certainly benefit from this. Bandwidth is negligible – something like Netflix consumes way more.

    2. Just as some people pay more for a Cadillac versus a Corolla, others sit down and appreciate Hi Fi on a proper sound system rather than just creating digital background noise with ultraportable electronic gadgets. Because it offers a better experience. Isn’t it great to live in a world where you can have choices?

      Though crappy sounding earbuds dominate sales, there are millions of audiophiles who take the time and effort to truly listen and appreciate great man-made music.

      Last evening, we enjoyed Eric Clapton’s superb “24 Nights” concert, recorded at Royal Albert Hall (“Clapton’s living room”). In decent surround sound for the era (1991), he delivered several superb sets with a 6-piece blues band, a 9-piece rock/pop group, and also with a full orchestra. No set of headphones playing compressed mp3 files would have revealed the impressive subtleties and dynamic range of the experience of such a master at the top of his game. Instead, with proper home equipment, we were practically transported to London for the vivid experience.

      That is why we still buy audio and video discs. Apple over and over has forgotten the value of giving the customer choices for high quality media. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is a superb technology that Apple could have been using as an option on iTunes for well over a decade; instead it sits on the shelf unused. Audiophiles have been asking for the option of paying more for better quality lossless music, and Apple refuses to listen. Thanks to Spotify for moving ahead. Maybe eventually some accountant will inform Cook how much money he’s leaving on the table by not serving the premium end of the A/V market.

    1. Pointless if you are using apples shit bottom of the barrel earpod poops, or those terrible sounding beats headphones..

      but if you are someone using something a little more professional lossless on an iphone makes a difference.

      i use professional grade in ears with custom moldings. apples earpods are like listening to an old grammaphone in comparison.

      1. If you noticed I said High res (24/44, 24/96, 24/192)
        None of these are handled by an iPhone DAC.
        You CAN use an outboard DAC, but why?

        Also, I have a pair if Beyerdynamic 990 Pro 250 ohm, which sound great even with my low-powered iPhone SE, but are still overkill for its output ability.

        1. Actually an iPhone and iPad is perfectly capable of recording and playing back 24/96. I am not sure where you are getting your outdated information from.

          And thats without an external DAC..

          I play back wave files all the time.

  3. I have only owned Mac computers/devices. Yet, I am not a fan of Apple Music. I tried it for 3 months. And it altered my music library/playlists in ways that created “a big mess”. While it may seem a good idea to have my owned music accessible to all devices via the Cloud, in real world matters, it’s not. With that said, I much prefer Spotify because it does not alter my music library. Rather it simply gives me a music subscription allowing access to an enormous library of songs on demand. Why didn’t Apple go this route, or at least offer the option of subscription only?

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