Apple has announced some big sonic upgrades for its Apple Music service, adding Spatial Audio - which offers support for Dolby Atmos - and Lossless Audio to the platform. These will all be coming in June 2021, and at no extra cost to subscribers.
Dolby Atmos is rapidly gaining traction in the audio industry - this immersive audio technology enables artists to mix music so that, with the right hardware, their listeners can hear it coming from all around them.
Apple’s Spatial Audio tech supports this format; by default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
At launch, “thousands” of Spatial Audio tracks will be available, and Apple says that it’s working with artists and labels to add more new and archive releases. All Dolby Atmos tracks will be labelled, and there will be dedicated Dolby Atmos playlists.
For many Apple Music subscribers, the support for Lossless Audio will be equally important - all 75 million of the service’s tracks will be available at this “hi-res” quality. These are encoded using ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec).
Listeners will be able to choose from three quality tiers: 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD-quality); 24-bit/48kHz; and 24-bit/192kHz.
Find out more on the Apple website.