Apple may have bigger plans for next week than originally thought. The new iMac, iPad Pro and Apple TV 4K are expected to ship to customers with pre-orders starting May 21. Now there seem to be two surprising announcements: a HiFi streaming tier from Apple Music and possibly even AirPods 3.

The Apple Music part seems very likely when you take this into account a report from 9to5Google. While searching for the latest beta app for Apple Music for Android, they discovered direct references to high-resolution audio that didn’t exist before

These are the prompts that are included in the app’s code, although they are not yet fully turned towards the user:

Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. If you activate this option, considerably more data will be used.

Lossless audio files take up significantly more space on your device. 10GB of space can store approximately: – 3000 high quality songs – 1000 lossless songs – 200 lossless hi-res songs

Lossless streaming uses significantly more data. A 3-minute song is approximately: – 1.5MB with high efficiency – 6MB with high quality at 256 kbps – 36 MB with lossless 24-bit / 48 kHz – 145 MB with lossless Hi-Res at 24-bit / 192 kHz support varies and depends on the availability of songs, network conditions, and the capabilities of the connected speakers or headphones.

It couldn’t be more direct or clear. Apple warns of both the higher data consumption when streaming lossless music and the additional storage space required to download for offline listening. The fact that Apple has now added this data to its Android app suggests that this could all happen sooner rather than later. I say this because Apple’s Apple One bundle showed up in Apple Music for Android just days before its public announcement.

The Android app code also shows that Apple Music has two options for lossless playback:

Lossless
ALAC up to 24 bit / 48 kHz

High resolution lossless
ALAC up to 24 bit / 192 kHz

So it sounds like Apple intends to achieve what Tidal, Amazon Music HD, and services like Qobuz are currently delivering. It’s also worth noting that there has recently been evidence of Dolby Atmos spatial audio in Apple Music on iOS. according to 9to5Mac.

Apple has stuck to its usual 256 kbps AAC files for iTunes and Apple Music for years. When iTunes Plus debuted back in 2007This was a significant upgrade over highly compressed MP3s downloaded from peer-to-peer apps like Napster and Limewire during the height of music piracy. And it is still perfectly adequate. Mastering tracks has as much impact on the listening experience as coding details, and Apple has tried to address this aspect with its “Apple Digital Masters, “That aim to get the greatest possible dynamic range and the best detail of songs on its platform.

When it comes to pure music fidelity, Apple has been objectively surpassed in recent years by companies like Tidal and Amazon. My friend Micah Singleton did a great piece over there Billboard on how we are entering the hi-fi era of the streaming music wars. Amazon Music HD is showing strong performance with subscriptions up 100 percent year over year. Spotify also promised the start of “Spotify HiFi” for later that year.

There’s money to be made, and the ingredients are all there: Apple is now selling premium headphones in the AirPods Max, and carriers continue to talk about the promise and speed of their growing 5G networks. I can’t imagine it will be 5G required For lossless Apple Music streaming, but it’s a nice flex of technology in the middle of the iPhone 12 cycle.

What about those AirPods 3?

There have already been a few leaks that revealed details Apple’s next iteration of AirPodsbut the real question was release timing. Yesterday a report was accessed from a site AppleTrack suggested that the new AirPods could be announced alongside this new lossless tier of Apple Music. I myself don’t quite follow logic; Nobody really thinks regular AirPods are the right choice for audiophile listening, but maybe Apple just wants new hardware to be introduced along with the new service.

On its own, the AirPods rumor seems “sketchy” 9to5Mac said. But the sudden discoveries of lossless audio in Apple Music for Android seem to be adding some fuel to the fire.

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