It’s that time again. It’s a slow news cycle, so some websites are reporting a rumor that Apple will start selling and/or streaming high-resolution music. Rather than spend too much time deconstructing this rumor, I’ll point you to an article I wrote in June, 2014, which looks it why this is unlikely.
It’s worth noting that, since then, Apple has released a new Apple TV. That device only handles audio at 16 bits and up to 48 KHz. So if Apple were planning to start dealing in high-resolution audio (generally considered to have a bit depth of 24 bits, and sample rates higher than 48 KHz), you’d have thought this device would be able to handle such audio.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple eventually does bring high-resolution audio to the iTunes Store and to Apple Music, but the only way they can do this is if the data doesn’t count against users’ mobile data caps (or static caps too, for those people who don’t have unlimited internet access). Even then:
the ambient noise surrounding listeners when they’re mobile would eliminate any such quality.
It’s hard to understand why the 1% of music listeners manage to drum up so much press, and so many rumors, about this topic. Most people couldn’t care less about high-resolution music. For the most part, it’s a marketing ploy, and hardly anyone can tell the difference between CDs and good-quality compressed audio.
But, hey, it’s Christmas this week, and there’s not much other news…