New Beta Code Suggests Hi-Fi Audio Coming to Apple Music

Lossless audio could end up on Android and iOS in the future

A new update to the Apple Music beta app on the Google Play Store appears to confirm that lossless audio quality is on the way.

Earlier this month, 9To5Mac reported that code in iOS 14.6 beta 1 showed the possibility of support for hi-fi audio in Apple Music, noting upcoming support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Audio. Now, code found in a newly released beta update for Apple Music on Android looks to confirm the feature’s imminent arrival.

Phone with music player open on corner of Macbook

Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

Based on the information that 9To5Google discovered while digging around in the application’s APK (short for Android Package) files, Apple plans to implement high-quality audio streaming and downloads in the future. This would put the subscription service on par with other high-quality streaming options like Tidal and Spotify’s upcoming hi-fi plan.

9To5google also managed to locate several prompts in the code for the new application, including a warning for users about the additional data usage that lossless audio can bring. The code reads, “Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data.”

The also mentions that 10GB of space would equate to roughly 3,000 songs at high quality, 1,000 songs at lossless, and 200 songs at hi-res lossless. That should give users a good idea of just how much more data and space higher-quality audio files can take up. This makes sense, as lossless audio attempts to perverse every detail of the original content, while MP3 and other audio compression formats sacrifice details to lower file size.

The code includes documentation for two different types of lossless audio, which will both use Apple’s ALAC codec, supporting up to 192kHz audio in the higher-quality instance, and 48kHz in the standard-lossless option. 

As of this moment, however, Apple has not made any official announcements about hi-fi audio support for Apple Music. The code in the beta is also no guarantee of future features.


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