Apple wants 24-bit audio, unlimited re-downloads for iTunes

By on March 4, 2011, 8:30 AM
Apple is currently in negotiations with major music labels to give iTunes users more flexibility in how they access their music library by allowing "unlimited" downloads, according to a report on Bloomberg. This isn't the often rumored iTunes subscription service, where you'd get unlimited song downloads or streaming for a monthly fee. Instead, the iTunes Music Store would have the same model as iOS apps allowing re-downloads of previously purchased songs.

Itís only logical: if you buy an iPhone app and accidentally erase it, or buy a new iPhone, you can download it again. But currently you do not have the same flexibility with iTunes music and Apple is looking to change that. The move would allow downloads to iPads, iPhones and iPods linked to the same iTunes account, Bloomberg claimed, adding that it would also put Apple a step closer to offering universal access to content centrally stored on the Internet.


In other iTunes news CNN reports that Apple is in talks with record labels to improve the quality of song downloads available from the iTunes Music Store, making them available in a 24-bit high-fidelity format instead of the now standard 16-bit compressed format. This would certainly be good news for audiophiles looking to experience music the way it's supposed to sound, but such a move will require big changes in hardware and software to happen.

Many PCs and most portable devices do not support the high-fidelity audio format and getting the whole industry on board won't be an easy job considering the majority of people can't really tell - or don't care enough about - the difference between compressed and high fidelity audio. Then again, Apple has pushed for better quality before and led other major changes in the music industry like the elimination of DRM. Maybe high fidelity audio will give iPods a new lease of life.

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