Apple Music Hi-Fi: New beta confirms lossless audio streaming is on the way

Earlier this month, 9to5Mac reported that Apple Music would be gaining “Hi-Fi” streaming options, possibly as soon as the release of iOS 14.6. Now the Apple Music app for Android in beta form carried lossless audio streaming.

Apple Music on the web
Apple Music on the web

Kyle Bradshaw for 9to5Google:

As it stands, the Apple Music app offers only two quality options: one for higher quality and one for reduced data usage. These options are available as a simple toggle, generally allowing you to use less data when streaming while off Wi-Fi. As spotted in the iOS 14.6 beta, Apple Music is set to gain Hi-Fi streaming options in the near future.

With Apple Music 3.6.0 Beta, rolling out now via the Google Play Store, we’ve found similar signs of high-quality audio streaming and downloading options coming to Apple Music for Android. As you’d expect, Apple includes a prominent warning of how much data and storage high-quality audio uses.

Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data.

Lossless audio files will use significantly more space on your device. 10 GB of space could store approximately: – 3000 songs at high quality – 1000 songs with lossless – 200 songs with hi-res lossless

Lossless streaming will consume significantly more data. A 3-minute song will be approximately: – 1.5 MB with high efficiency- 6 MB with high quality at 256 kbps- 36 MB with lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz- 145 MB with hi-res lossless at 24-bit/192 kHzSupport varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability.

Notably, where our colleagues at 9to5Mac saw references to things like “Dolby Atmos” and “Dolby Audio,” the Android app only mentions lossless audio, with no signs of Dolby integration.

MacDailyNews Take: Imminent.

The intern’s duty is already done. That keg is tapped. Partaking is occurring. Prost, everyone! 🍻


  1. I will be (pleasantly) stunned if they offer anything over CD quality (16/44),
    ESPECIALLY if Apple offers to upgrade previously bought music like they did from 128 kbps to 256.

    1. CD quality has been the gold standard for decades. I remember when people considered digital MP3s to be of a worse quality than even vinyl records. This sounds like a fantastic development!

      1. Some people still think vinyl records provide the best recordings. After all vinyl records provide true analogue signal, whereas CD and MP3 are digitized and when you digitize there is always a loss, at least from my understanding.

  2. Who cares about streaming. It’s for losers. Will they sell lossless for people with more than half a brain that like to own, not rent, their music. (ie not millennials)

    1. Into Attack Mode, much? I own over 1500 CDs, and I’ve lost count of the number of digital tracks I have purchased. Streaming offers me the opportunity to try out and listen to tons more music than I would actually want to buy and keep. We’ve all had the experience of buying an album (or track), playing at once and then never listening to it again. What’s the value in “owning“ that? Streaming is definitely useful.

  3. OK guess I’ve never understood the digital/vinyl divide any more than the owning/streaming wars.
    Or the MQA/ 24/96 skirmish
    Or the solid state/ Tube feud.
    And don’t get me started on the Type A/AB or D amplifiers!

    Jesus people, it’s just entertainment and all good depending on the needs and wants of whoever consumes.

    I own $15-20k worth of equipment (insane amount to some, pitiful basics to others).
    Do I want AAC or MP3s playing on my mains system? No!

    Do I need 24/192 streamed to my AirPods? Why would I?

    Do I need 15″ floor standing speakers with separate amp, pre-amp, CD transport and Denafrips DAC in the garage instead of a used Realistic (Kenwood made) receiver and Dayton Audio (disposable) speakers with an Airport Express? IT’S A GARAGE!

    Do my records sound better than my CDs? Depends on who pressed them, their condition and of course the system, but by and large yes, they DO sound better, and some of the DSD files or MQA streams sound better than other records, and many CDs end up being better than any of their other mixes.

    Seems like everybody’s got to have a cause…

    1. I think this move is in response to the popularity of Tidal based on its stream quality. Tidal is the only streaming service I listen to at home for its quality and ease of use. It doesn’t matter what I listen to anywhere else. This is all a matter of taste and what you like and vinyl rules in my opinion, but as you said not all vinyl rules.

  4. Streaming lossless resolution and bit rate over the internet to a device is good news and a long time coming. But it won’t be much good if the wireless transmission from device to ear/headphones is not also lossless. At the moment it’s not above CD quality (I don’t think), so it will be interesting to see if Apple has end to end lossless transmission enabled.

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