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Rafe Arnott  |  Jun 04, 2019
With Monday’s formal announcement from Tim Cook at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote speech in San Jose that the company was knifing iTunes and slicing it into three separate applications, many users of the dated service breathed a sigh of relief.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 08, 2015
Of course we care about sound quality at AudioStream so it's kinda pointless for me to dig into the Apple Music service because you can get better sound quality from Tidal Hi-Fi, Qobuz, Deezer, and others including hi-res streaming from Naxos/OraStream. But seeing as I lasted the 3 hours+ of the Apple Show, I'll say some more.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 22, 2015
I was holding up on talking about this story until it seemed like a real story. Well it does. Here's the crux of it; Apple charges a 30% fee to streaming services for every iOS customer that signs up for their service through the Apple App Store. So services like Spotify, Tidal, and Rdio bump up their regular $9.99/mo pricing to $12.99/mo in the App Store so they don't take the 30% Apple hit. Which makes Apple Music's $9.99/mo competitive streaming service a comparative deal. To add insult to injury these same streaming services cannot point out on the Apple App Store that you can get their service for $9.99/mo if you just buy direct. Nor can they include a link to their respective websites, offer a free promo (Apple Music does), or a family plan (Apple Music does) according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Is this fair?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 02, 2014
Are you going to watch? I am! Will they talk 24-bit? Maybe surprise us with CD-quality streaming? For some reason I have my doubts at this late date. We shall see.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 17, 2012
Reader Chris P. sent me an email worth sharing:
I've been scouring the web to see if anyone is reporting new audio features on the latest apple tv. Apple is very light on their audio spec page and I've been secretly hoping Apple would quietly enable higher res streaming to the updated device (to go with the higher res video).

Guessing this wouldn't be a public announcement until Apple itself offered higher res music via iTunes. Probably just wishful thinking but would appreciate any news or thoughts if there are in fact any new features or benefits.

Thanks!

Following on the heels of rumors suggesting that Apple may offer 24/96 streaming from iCloud or downloads from iTunes or perhaps endow the latest version of Apple TV with the same higher resolution-ness, Apple's recent events and new product releases have come and gone not with a bang but a whimper.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 28, 2011
"The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is a lossless audio codec developed by Apple and deployed on all of it's platforms and devices for some years now. Apple is making the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) available as an open source project." MAC OS Forge
If this was a chess game, I'd be keeping my eye on Apple's Queen who appears to be positioned to finally offer 24 bit downloads through the iTunes Store. As it stands with ALAC going Open Source, music download sites can now offer high definition music in an iTunes and iOS device compatible format. No more converting FLAC to MAC-happy formats.

How big is this news? It depends. But I envision a room within Apple HQ with nothing in it but a big switch labelled "ON".

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 27, 2014
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's iTunes music sales are down nearly 14% year over year, echoing download sales in general that showed mid-year digital album sales down nearly 12% year over year (see report). Meanwhile streaming is up, up, up. Perhaps Apple's Beats acquisition is looking like a good deal after all. The Journal also reports that Beats will be integrated into iTunes sometime next year. Let's keep in mind that Apple has 800 million plus iTunes account holders so they have quite the captive audience when they roll out their streaming service.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 05, 2014
The Mac rumor mill is abuzz again. This time, a report originating on 9to5Mac (see report) suggests that Apple's Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program will be adding the specifications to allow OEMs to make headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector. The report also suggests that this will allow for 24/48kHz playback from iOS devices with a simple software update for iOS 7.1. Perhaps of even greater appeal is the ability to deliver iOS-based DSP solutions as well as app control of headphone features.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 10, 2014
If you want a high res music player in your pocket and you own an iPhone, you'll have to go with two devices since Apple decided not to make the new iPhone 6's High Res ready. With High Res-capable phones already on the market from Samsung, HTC, and LG and Apple's stated commitment to music, you'd think it was about time that Apple bit the High Res bullet. Instead during yesterday's press event we got bigger iPhones, a free U2 album in lossy quality, and a new watch. Sigh.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 11, 2014
Apple reaffirmed their commitment to music at the big Apple Event on Tuesday by giving away a crappy sounding lossy version of U2's new album Songs of Innocence. Gee, thanks. While I'm not a big U2 fan, I did download the album and gave it a listen on the hi-fi and it was disappointing to say the least. Congested, cramped, and lifeless just the kind of recording that would benefit from a higher resolution release.
Rafe Arnott  |  Feb 08, 2019
I can’t tell you how many times I have to correct “Room” back to “Roon.” Both the word-processing applications I use have Spell-Checkers built in, and both always change Roon to Room. Sigh.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 30, 2012
The Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm with You was one of the first "Mastered for iTunes" albums

A few months ago, Apple's "Mastered For iTunes" PDF made the rounds and made some WAVs causing speculation that Apple may be looking at offering lossless downloads sooner than later. Speculation, as is often the case, proved premature. But this did not ebb Ars Technica's Chris Foresman's interset in the dodgy subject—is the "Mastered for iTunes" approach pure marketing B.S. or does Apple's process actually offer a guideline whereby the end result offers better sounding music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 11, 2013
The video from my RMAF 2012 Ask the Experts Q&A session is finally available. The panelists include Steve Silberman of Audioquest, Mark Waldrep of AIX Records and iTrax.com, Rob Robinson of Channel D, Andreas Kock of Playback Designs, Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio, and David Chesky of Chesky Records and HDtracks.com. You can check it out here (after the click) or head on over to the RMAF website.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 20, 2013
And the list goes on (and on) and appears to include the complete Bad Seeds catalog. Coming in 12 days from Boomkat.
Rafe Arnott  |  Apr 10, 2019
For those looking at upping their Audio Research high-res digital/Redbook game, the Minnesota-based company has just announced the CD9SE and CD6SE transport/DACs which feature fully-redesigned faceplates to match ARC’s Reference and Foundation Series.

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