Apple Reportedly Developing High-Definition Audio Format with 'Adaptive Streaming'

The Guardian reports that Apple is currently working on a new audio format that could allow the company to offer "high definition" audio via iTunes. The format would also integrate an "adaptive streaming" component that would allow music being accessed from iCloud and iTunes Match by portable devices to be automatically adapted to fit bandwidth or storage constraints.

Apple is working on a new audio file format that will offer "adaptive streaming" to provide high- or low-quality files to users of its iCloud service. [...]

The new system would adjust itself to the bandwidth and storage available on the receiving device.

It is believed that Apple will use the new file type to upgrade its iTunes Match service, which allows users to re-download music from iCloud to their Apple devices.

According to the report's source, Apple has asked one London music studio to prepare audio files in the new format, which would allow Apple to instantly and automatically improve the quality of iTunes Match content. The source is unclear, however, on whether Apple would transcode the higher-quality files on the fly to match a given bandwidth/hardware setup or if it would simply maintain several versions of the track at different qualities and serve the most appropriate one for a given situation.

Given the timing of Apple's work, the source suggests that the company is likely preparing the new format for a demonstration at its iPad media event rumored for next Wednesday, March 7.

The new report comes less than a month after Neil Young revealed that he had worked with Steve Jobs on a high-definition music format for the iTunes Store but that "not much" had ended up happening with the effort. Apple has also recently begun a significant expansion of its Mastered for iTunes program. The initiative encourages recording professionals to utilize high-quality master recordings of songs and albums as the initial source material for iTunes Store submission, processing them using Apple's guidelines and tools to achieve file compression allowing for the highest-quality sound available.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
113 months ago

Because I need the highest quality sound for Apple's craptacular earbuds that come with all of their products... :p


Because I'd like the highest quality sound for plugging iPods/iPhones into my high-end home system, and even my high-ish end car system when I can't be bothered changing CDs.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
This would be great. Having a higher quality audio is always better.

Although now with the 64GB iPhone i was just starting to think I could carry a majority of my music... looks like I'll have to decide which is better more music or higher bitrate...

... giveth and  taketh.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
I have been waiting for this for a long time. The concept of storing a flac or other high quality format file for home use and an mp3 always annoyed me. Being able to use one format that works for both in an iTunes library would be fantastic!!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

Actually if you wear them the way they were designed to be worn they’re perfectly adequate, most people don’t though.


You're holding it wrong
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
Please just natively support at least 24/96 with Airplay / the AppleTV2/3....
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
A better compression scheme is always welcome. Can't wait to hear it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...