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High-Definition Music Files May Be Coming to iTunes in June

April 14 2014 Published on #iTunes News

High-Definition Music Files May Be Coming to iTunes in June

Back in March we reported that Neil Young was trying to push his "PonoPlayer" to deliver "master quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible." Young targeted Apple's iPod in some of his marketing of the device, but now it appears Apple might be stepping up its game with a "dramatic overhaul" of iTunes by offering higher quality music downloads on iTunes than we've seen in the past.

That overhaul might include access from Android users, as well as an on-demand streaming service similar to what you find on Spotify or Google Play Music. But according to a source who allegedly spoke withmusic blogger Robert Hutton (via MacRumors), Apple may also start hosting lossless 24-bit audio files as early as June.

Hutton reports that Apple has asked labels to provide music files in 24-bit format for years now with a preference for either 96k or 192k sampling rates, leading him to state that the iPhone maker has "undeniably the biggest catalog of hi-res audio in the world."

Hutton goes on to say that the "Led Zeppelin remasters in high resolution will be the kick off event — to coincide with Led Zep in hi-res, Apple will flip the switch and launch their hi-res store via iTunes — and apparently, it will be priced a buck above the typical current file prices."

Those current files are currently 16-bit only, although Apple does, in fact, accept higher resolution files for its Mastered for iTunes program to "create more accurate encodes."

Perhaps Neil Young is on to something. After all, his Kickstarter project for PonoPlayer asked for a "mere" $800,000, and he's raised almost $6 million since the unit was shown at Austin's SXSW last month. And there's still four days to go.

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