Apple appears to be preparing to launch a lossless audio plan for its Apple Music streaming service, and a new app teardown reveals some new details about this as-yet-unannounced lossless option.
The hints were discovered during a teardown of the Apple Music 3.6.0 Beta app, which included warnings about the amount of data required to stream lossless music when not connected to WiFi.
Notably, Apple’s explanation of how much data will be required to stream lossless audio over cellular data reveals that there may be two different HiFi options: lossless audio at up to 24-bit/48kHz and high-resolution lossless at up to 24-bit/192kHz.
Both of these lossless options will use Apple’s ALAC codec; it’s unclear whether the HiFi option will be divided into two plans or if there will be a single plan that includes both lossless streaming options. These will be added to Apple Music’s existing high-quality, data-saving compressed audio options.
According to 9to5Google, the Apple Music beta for Android includes a number of warnings within the app informing users that streaming audio at lossless, another term for high-fidelity streaming, will consume more data and bandwidth.
Lossless audio files preserve all of the original file’s details. Turning this on will result in a significant increase in data consumption.
Apple Lossless Data
Lossless audio files will take up a lot more space on your device. 10 GB of storage space could hold approximately: – 3000 high-quality songs – 1000 lossless songs – 200 songs in high-resolution lossless format
Lossless streaming will consume a lot more data. A 3-minute song will be roughly: – 1.5 MB of high-efficiency storage – 6 MB of high-quality data at 256 kbps; – 36 MB of lossless data at 24-bit/48 kHz – 145 MB of high-resolution lossless audio at 24-bit/192 kHz.
Support varies and is dependent on song availability, network conditions, and the capability of the connected speaker or headphone.
A report from Hits Daily Double earlier this month sparked the idea of a lossless audio tier for Apple Music. According to the report, the new tier will cost the same $9.99 as the current individual Apple Music package; however, it is unclear how existing customers will be able to upgrade to HiFi.
Apple is currently testing iOS and iPadOS 14.6 with developers, and the upcoming update appears to be more subdued in terms of new features and changes when compared to iOS 14.5 released in April.