Amazon Music today announced the launch of Amazon Music HD, a new tier of premium quality music with more than 50 million songs in High Definition, and millions of songs in Ultra High Definition, the highest quality streaming audio available. At $12.99/month for Prime members and $14.99/month for Amazon customers, or an additional $5/month for current subscribers (Individual or Family Plan), Amazon Music HD makes high quality, lossless audio accessible to all music fans. Amazon Music HD is now available to stream in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. New subscribers to Amazon Music can receive a 90-day free trial, and current subscribers can try Amazon Music HD at no additional cost for 90 days at amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd.
“We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in a statement. “From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favorite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings.”
Amazon Music HD will always offer customers the best quality recording available for streaming, providing an unparalleled listening experience. Legendary albums including Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue become revelatory new experiences, almost as if the listener is sitting in on these storied studio sessions. Songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and St. Vincent’s “Digital Witness”, are also now available in Ultra HD, revealing nuances that were once flattened in files compressed for digital streaming.
“Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses,” said rock icon Neil Young, in a statement. “This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”
Amazon Music HD offers customers more than 50 million lossless HD songs, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality). In addition, customers can stream millions more songs in Ultra HD (better than CD quality), with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.
Amazon Music HD will play the highest quality audio the customer’s device and network conditions will support, and is compatible with a wide variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Amazon Music HD is also compatible with many third-party devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and many more.
More info: amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd.
MacDailyNews Take: Pono for the masses.
But, will the masses pay $14.99 per month when Apple Music coasts just $9.99/mo. ($4.99/mo. for students)? With history as our guide: No. Some will, but not many. However, this may just what it takes for Apple to offer an Audiophile tier for Apple Music, so this is good news for everyone. Good competition is good!