Apple Music Spatial Audio feature launching today – 9to5Mac2 min read

Apple announced during WWDC 2021 keynote that Apple Music Spatial Audio is launching today for all users.

Announced in May, Apple Music said to bring lossless music quality options in its entire catalog at no extra cost, starting in June. But with lots of controversies and what Apple’s headphones would be able to take advantage of this higher quality (answer: none of them), the company’s focuses is on Spatial Audio support with Dolby Atmos.

Lossless audio compression reduces the original file size of a song while preserving all of the data. Apple Music is making its entire catalog of more than 75 million songs available in lossless audio at different resolutions in Apple Music, “Lossless” refers to lossless audio up to 48kHz, and “Hi-Res Lossless” refers to lossless audio from 48kHz to 192kHz. Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless files are very large and use much more bandwidth and storage space than standard AAC files.

Users will be able to listen to select albums with an immersive 3D sound-space on AirPodsAirPods ProAirPods Max and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip. Apple said it is partnering with artists including Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, and more for the initial launch of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music.

For the Lossless audio quality. files use significantly more space on the device. For example:

  • 10GB of space could store approximately: 3,000 songs at high-quality AAC, 1,000 songs with Lossless, and 200 songs with Hi-Res Lossless;
  • Lossless streaming will consume significantly more data. A 3-minute song will be approximate: 1.5MB with high efficiency, 6MB with high-quality at 256 kbps, 36MB with Lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz, and 145MB with Hi-Res Lossless at 24-bit/192 kHz. Support varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability.

This feature is rolling out today for all Apple Music subscribers with around 20 million songs with Lossless compatibility and by the end of the year, all the 75 million songs in the catalog will support this higher quality.

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