Apple and Amazon to offer HiFi/Lossless music to their base service at no extra charge

This is friggen awesome!

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Maybe they’ll finally add FLAC support and exclusive mode support to iTunes? The only silver lining.

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Not hugely surprising if they are trying to own the space, still not interesting to me unless we get Roon support.

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Thanks for sharing. This could be quite a shakeup.

This announcement has me wondering what the music streaming industry will look like in 10 years. The model of on-demand streaming delivery of content is clearly where market forces have gone and are going for the masses for both video and audio content, so it will be around in 10 years, and probably even more prominent than it is now. But, I foresee a content-provider war. Who wins?

Some musings…

Typically when a new tech reaches some level of market maturity there is an expansion of the market as numerous players emerge to provide that new product/service. Then, that large number of competitors, you know, compete. In time some of them fold, some grow large and buy out the others, and generally 2-3 major competitors remain. A somewhat recent example is the cellular phone market. Back in the late '90s and early '00s when cell phones were first becoming ubiquitous there were a ton service providers: AT&T, Verizon, Nextel, Alltel, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cingular…just to name a few. Eventually some folded, some got bought by others, etc. Now basically 3 stand: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile..

In music streaming we’ve had Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer all offering at least lossy content for several years and soon they will all be offering “lossless” and/or hi-res content (depends on how you want to interpret MQA to some degree here). My guess is that will be too many market players.

To compete we’ll see different takes on UIs, recommendation algorithms, playlist curation, hardware compatibility, home electronic ecosystem compatibility, etc. But…and this is the part that worries me a bit…maybe ‘worry’ is too strong(?)…to really set themselves apart from other services these companies are likely going to have to do what Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, HBO, etc. have already done on the video side: offer and create exclusive content.

My guess is over the next decade or two you’ll see the companies above start buying up record labels, buying rights to the catalogs of individual artists (Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks being recent examples of selling their catalogs), or just outright signing their own artists and songwriters. Then they’ll offer exclusive content and/or charge an exhorbitant amount of money to their competitors to provide the content they’ve funded. At this point…advantage Amazon and Apple because they are essentially trillion-dollar enterprises that can flex some serious capital muscle, and squeeze out the smaller ones.

As an audiophile that last bit is what worries some. Qobuz and Deezer and Tidal (once upon a time) had at least been audiophile-oriented in part. What will be left when the dust settles? :woman_shrugging:

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This is not out of the realm of possibility.

Apple’s Lossless requires an external DAC.

DACs by DRE announcement to follow I’m sure.

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Even worse, Apple buys MQA :smiley:

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And it all comes full circle, since there would be MQA stickers on apple iPhones the audiophile community would immediately realized that it’s mainstream technology and immediately abandon it.

EDIT: actually just read the full announcement. Replace MQA with Dolby Atmos Spacial Audio… same difference. ENTIRELY a marketing ploy.

This is a necessary condition for me to switch to either.

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They’re unlikely to offer it, I know Sony ended up letting Netflix write their own app for the PS Store, because Netflix didn’t want to have it’s content hosted by a 3rd party app.
The big content providers see their apps as a part of the branding and value add.

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Agreed, Apple dictates to auto manufacturers that the car company’s logo can’t appear in color when they integrate Apple car play in the OEM head units. They would never allow their brand to be a part in a 3rd party’s ecosystem.

I’ve long been an Apple user, first out of necessity (because of graphics software), and when they came out with iTunes, I purchased quite a lot before streaming subscription services were offered. Now, I do most of my portable listening using a HiBy Android DAP, and though I tried the Android Apple Music app on it, I couldn’t find a way to stream my purchased music… maybe that bit is limited to only other Apple devices (or I’m just not finding the correct settings). As it is, I’ve got an SD card with all my iTunes purchases, so I’m not missing anything. For streaming, I’ve tried Tidal and Qobuz, and prefer Qobuz. I might try Apple’s hi-res when it comes out in June, but I’m pretty happy with Qobuz…

Does anyone know if Amazon also increased availability for Hifi/Lossless?
Was only available in a limited amount of countries before.

As much as I hate Apple (was an Apple authorized repair tech back in the day), that would be just fine with me…

Awesome. Still buy copies. Technology has made content creation accessible to the people at home “mixing in the box”.

Artistry will thrive.

:boom: :arrow_heading_up: This a million times over.

I really didn’t want to pay for redundant streaming services since I’ve got YT premium. But $8/month (prime members) or $79/year for flac & Hi Res is a killer deal. If their selection is good, I think going with Amazon. I see they have a proper desktop client, so they’ve already got YT music beat there lol

I’d take surround sound music which actually does something as a bit of a novelty over MQA any day.

:rofl:

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