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U2 is working with Apple to create a new digital music format

By Shawn Knight ยท 27 replies
Sep 19, 2014
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  1. During a recent interview with Time, U2 front man Bono revealed his band is working with Apple to create a new digital music format. The singer believes the new format will be so irresistible, it'll tempt consumers to once again...

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,862   +1,183

    Reallllly compressed lossless music would be nice. And so would a player that wasent a triangular prism (cough ponoplayer cough)
    Mandark57 likes this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,489   +3,485

    Given the problems the music industry has been experiencing in recent years, I think they're putting the cart just a little bit ahead of the horse. Just by a smidge.
    trgz likes this.
  4. j05hh

    j05hh TS Booster Posts: 154   +33

  5. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,362   +67

    Sony did that with atrac and failed. Maybe they'll make it at least 5 channes so we can use all those features of those motherboards who I know had 5 channel as early as 2008. Brother dave gave me a 5 channel speaker system too, so I'm ready. That will sell them.
  6. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 360   +105

    Just 5 channels? Why not go all 7 channels already?! </sarcasm> ;)

    It's all just a ploy really, because Apple is losing their iCrap music purchases. MP3's are great but really, even with FLAC or another format. I'm not going to jump onto that, not because it's Apple but really do we need more unimportant things? There's a limit to what those silly earbuds and such can reproduce, without going to great lengths of cost.

    Unless you're some serious audiophile, wanting all the quality there it's not important to someone. Music is music to someone, just it needs to be clear enough for it to be an enjoyable experience. I'm not an expert on music by a long shot, but going from speakers to a headset was enjoyable. Of course it's not as distracting to others, so you can enjoy your comforts of music while keeping others happy too.

    So long as it's an enjoyable quality to me, I'm not all that phased by it. Of course I might change my opinion, provided I actually wanted to spend $200+ on a headphone + separate mic combo. Or is there some headset, that someone can recommend to me?
    trgz likes this.
  7. trgz

    trgz TS Booster Posts: 185   +35

  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    No thanks. Knowing apple, it wouldn't be open source (subject to royalties). And I'm pretty sure it would be redundant (not like the average consumer needs it)
    robb213 likes this.
  9. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 70   +30

    What is wrong with AAC? Nothing, they just want to resell you all the music you've already bought.
    robb213 likes this.
  10. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,135   +624

    I'm guessing U2 is just sponsoring it since they don't know anything about music format, bunch of posers imo.
    trgz and EClyde like this.
  11. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    U2 are doing the coding and Apple are taking care of the advertising.
    trgz and BlueDrake like this.
  12. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Hold on here, I would like to see U2's techical credentials because this just seems to be yet another marketing scam by Apple.

    Seriously, there really isn't a need for a new format unless it offers the same quality with better compression.
    robb213 likes this.
  13. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 328   +98

    Or...you know...you could just use FLAC and make the majority of customers happy.
    trgz and SNGX1275 like this.
  14. Bobs Yer Uncle

    Bobs Yer Uncle TS Rookie

    You know, I was thinking just the other day how desperately the world at large is in need of a new Apple proprietary music format to fully compliment the nascent proprietary Headphone Lightning Connecter that Apple's introducing (albeit 1st on, I believe, a set of Panasonic cans). The next logical sensory experience for Apple to target with proprietary magic is that of vision. Perhaps something called APPLEns:

    A - pple
    P - atented
    P - -roprietary
    L - uminosity
    E - ngagement
    n - eurological
    s - system

    The introduction of this groundbreaking technology will "Truly Change Everything" as it will establish Apple's legal status as the sole owner of the whole "visual realm thing" & will vest Apple with the legal standing to sue any human who has not shelled out licensing fees for the right to "look at stuff" (NOTE: "Look At Stuff", or LAS, is a specific technical terminology recently copyrighted by Apple)

    As it happens, Tim was recently watching a streaming version of Mel Brooks' comedy classic, Young Frankenstein. When Gene Wilder (aka Victor Frankenstein) shouts the curse "Damn your eyes!) at Marty Feldman (aka Igor ... or perhaps "igor"?) igor's spontaneous reply is "Too Late!). It suddenly struck Tim that, "No. In fact it's NOT TOO LATE!" Hence Apples brilliant capitalist ploy to patent "vision (aka, eyesight).
  15. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Posts: 284   +49

    A new format would be appreciated as U2 sounds terrible at present.
    trgz likes this.
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I didn't like the PonoPlayer idea, and I don't like this idea.

    Well, no thats not true... I like the idea of a better format, we should always be for making something better. Just personally, I think the music industry is pretty well saturated with options. We have already figured out how to make stuff sound as good to us as the speakers we listen to can replicate. Audio is ridiculously small compared to video, so any storage space savings is meaningless. This is chasing something down the wrong road - maybe you do get something better than what exists now, but in this case, I think what is available now is the right answer. Until speaker technology improves, this is not important.
  17. Lossless compression in the current approach is at it's limits: there either weren't codec updates at all, or they were incremental, or unrelated to compression itself. For lossy, IMO opus has set a new level that will be hard to reach, even harder to surpass (though not impossible).

    My guess is that they try to reinvent music renting, something along there lines:
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,501   +2,295

    I think you've missed the point. They're trying to figure out a new codec that does exactly the same f***ing thing that all the others do. Except for the fact they'll try to make it proprietary, and the only way you'll have access to this, "major breakthrough", is to buy yet another Apple device. Hey, maybe you'll be able to store it on your iPad, use a cable to hook it to your iPhone, which in turn will transmit it to your iWatch, which will then sync to your MacBook Pro, and transmit it to your new, coming this ear, "Apple Earbuds". Or is that what the "Dr. Dre" sh!t is for? Never mind, I get so confused....:confused:
    robb213 and trgz like this.
  19. I don't want their stupid mainstream **** instantly on my apple itunes...
    They can keep their new format too
    Mandark57 likes this.
  20. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,161   +548

    LOL, new format? For what? Hip-hop, or the pop garbage that is on the air today?
    Heck, the best music was from the 50's to the early 90's, then it all became rap crap,
    pre-programmed lip-sync'd garbage. I've got all my vinyl or CD's converted to MP3's.
    In a car, or on your smart device, given the noise & other outside problems, MP3's are about
    as good as you'll get. Now, at home, the amp and a couple good Klipsch speakers, that's hard
    to beat.
    Mandark57 likes this.
  21. PonoMusic! Sounds a bit too close to 'Porno music', which ironically is the worst sounding music in the world, or so a friend told me!
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,501   +2,295

    Well, don't know about "the ugliest", but "most inappropriate", would probably be closer to the truth. Some packaged music for films is sold license free, or rather royalty free. Then it's up to the film maker to match the mood of the music, to the on screen action.
    Although personally, I'd be willing to try Mussorgsky's, "Pictures at an Exhibition", as the backing track to a little romp in the hay.

    At any rate, I, (or rather a friend), saw a young lady doing a strip tease in a soccer outfit, to K'Naan, "Wavin' Flag", and Oliver Poocher, "Schwarz und Weiss", sort of a German fight song, It was truly comical, and truly entertaining. But then, perhaps my "friend", has strange tastes.

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  23. Randomthom

    Randomthom TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +17

    Cue the DRM-laden new proprietary apple audio format backed by excellent marketing.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,501   +2,295

    Mercifully, I simply don't get U2, The Police, Sting, Justin Timberlake, plus so many other pop and hip hop rabble of the last two decades, (or so). Hence, this "new codec" would be completely wasted on me. I don't get Apple in general either. So, save the spiel Timbo, it's not happening. And BTW, Bono hasn't saved the world. He only gives himself credit for doing so.

    Which give me pause to ask, "does anybody in U2 know enough about writing software to pull this off"? Or will they just be putting their name on it, as would any other vacuous celebrity?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  25. No thanks. I think I'd rather stick with being able to listen to music on whatever I want rather than have to pay thousands to listen to it in some new format on tech charged way over the odds because of a logo.

    I continue to hold out hope that Joe Public will one day realise that apple are overcharging and under-delivering and people are playing right into it.
    Mandark57 likes this.

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