Apple Pushes Improved Digital Soundtracks in the Cloud

Though the difference of a compressed 16-bit digital music from a 24-bit original audio recording is barely obvious (unless you have such fiendish taste in music quality), Apple’s still going to take a step in retaining the 24-bit original audio quality on the iTunes. While this might not be that major for those who don’t care of music quality, it would be good news for the music elitists. Apple and other online music stores are negotiating with record labels for the right to sell “premium” quality tracks that’s never that far from original recordings quality-wise, says CNN.  The move comes days after Google’s music URL went live, though no dedicated music service through its mobile platform has been launched.

“What we’re trying to do here is fix the degradation of music that the digital revolution has caused,” chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope-Geffen-A&M Jimmy Iovine said at an HP news conference. “It’s one thing to have music stolen through the ease of digital processing. But it’s another thing to destroy the quality of it. And that’s what’s happening on a massive scale.”

As a matter of fact, the band Radiohead has already taken steps to distributing improved, uncompressed digital versions of their tracks. 16-bit compressed files from digital music retailers do sound much better compared to other free digital music sources out there, however, the quality still does not equal the ones straight from CDs.

Pushing this design won’t be that easy for Apple. Mac and iTunes can adapt to the change just fine, but the problem will be on the existing iPod and iPhone models. They can’t handle higher quality audio files, and insisting the design will mean product overhaul on the next generation of MP3 players. Only the new units will be benefited by this renovation.

“Paul McCartney can master The Beatles albums all he wants, (but) when you play them through a Dell computer, it sounds like you’re playing them through a portable television,” Iovine said to CNN.