Apple to download 24 bit in iTunes?

"We've gone back now at Universal, and we're changing our pipes to 24 bit. And Apple has been great," Iovine said. "We're working with them and other digital services -- download services -- to change to 24 bit. And some of their electronic devices are going to be changed as well. So we have a long road ahead of us."


Hopefully they use 96khz if they go through with it.
I just read about this myself on Gizmodo, and was curious what people thought about the article Why 24-bit Audio Will Be Bad For Users

I personally think 24Bit 96hz SACD rips played through my Wavelength DAC sound significantly better than regular old 16bit FLAC CD rips, but the author of the above article seems to think it will be a bad thing, what are you guys thoughts?
I don't, for one minute, believe that the record companies are doing this for the benefit of consumers. We've seen this before - trying to convince us that we need to replace our current music collection with CD and then SACD/DVD-A (although they dropped the ball on that one) and our movies with DVD and now Blu-Ray. There's also the possibility that the hardware vendors (Apple?) are hoping to cash in on sales of a whole new generation of players since they've run out of new features in the current players to keep people upgrading.

Then there's the issue I was griping about in another thread where the music industry thinks they need to charge more for the higher resolution format when, in actuality, they have to do more work to DOWNSAMPLE the music from the native format it's stored in.

How are you ripping SACD's?
The author writes:
"CDs are 16-bit, and the sonic quality of a CD is an accepted definition of consumer-worthy HD quality."
Not to Audiogoners!
"The author Tom Davenport is a recording engineer and writer from the farmlands of England,"

Reading the gizmoto artical Tom Davenport is and idiot. Anyone with a real system can clearly hear how much better 24/96 files are when they are recorded well.

It is all about dynamic range. He argues that the "sheep" will buy 24 bit and not hear the difference. I say let people at least have a choice of hi rez.

Having a choice will be a good thing for people. The download market has always worried me. Not because of digital but because 99% of people think mp3 is ok. The way I see it High Rez down loads are the future for audiophiles and the fact that the biggest name (apple) is on board is a blessing.

The real question for me is will 24/96 file compete with vinyl? From my understanding many of the newer vinyls are made from 24/96 bit tracks. 24/96 bit tracks are the only way the would EVER get me to pay for a download.

Anyway I hope they fallow through and I will would love to have more 24/96 options.
It’s gonna be a while still… from the CNN story a Sony Exec said something akin to “most people don’t care about the quality of the content, they simply want it now… quick and easy.”

It seems to be as well the take Sony now has with upper end audio. They’ve scratched off their top CD players, and the replacements have not bettered their predecesors…. I’m not too sure that they even kept up with the former upper tier Disc players Sony used to make.

If indeed these new HD tracks are provided to consumers routinely, it’s gonna be by download or Blu Ray issues, most likely. Those techs are all in place and no designing of new gizmos needs be pursued.

….but they will…. Probably. Although they shouldn’t. the high res aspect appeals only to a very small section of the buying public. To chase after a new format for high res audio delivery is therefore, nonsense. Just load up and open up the servers and let us have at tem… finally!

But non none of that rehashed redubed junk. Straight off the masters… should be a simple enough matter!
24/96 is no real benefit to most people, as most do not have a system capable of peaks well in excess of 120 db SPL nor can they hear the "roll-off" from brick wall filters for CD.

The problem is badly mastered CD's with heavy compression.
The 24/96 and the 24/176 and the 24/192 audio sounds stellar through my PefectWave DAC/Bridge. You can definitely tell it from CD quality (which is very good too!), and some of what I have sounds as good as or better that the vinyl I have of the same music. YMMV
agree with James and Woot. maybe the general public can't tell the difference but any audio head that does some critical listening on a "good" system will hear it imho. a well recorded 24/96(+) sounds better then a well recorded 16/44..... it was pretty obvious to me.

gimme more bits!
Shadorne hit the nail on the head IMO. The mass market won't care much if at all about high-rez, as their systems aren't resolving enough to hear the difference. Throw them on an iPod with ear buds, and there's far less too care about.

The limiting factor is rarely, if ever the redbook standard IMO. Until everything gets recorded with the sound quality of something like Dark Side of the Moon, the high-rez issue is a gimmic at best in mainstream music.

Then again, even if very few will hear the difference, yet they're paying a premium for it because they think 'HD music' will be better, I'm all for it. I'll take all my music in 'HD quality.' Hopefully it won't just mean more bits to brickwall and make 'louder.'

If Bose and Monster get on board with marketing 'HD music,' we could have a winner on our hands, provided they're not the ones dictating what 'HD music' really is.
You do not have to have a top notch system to hear an improvement with higher rez audio. In my low-to midfi system, my SACDs have a huge advantage when compared to the general CD release. Maybe it is the lack of compression or the way they were mastered, it seems the music breathes so much better
How are you ripping SACD's?

I've never ripped any personally I've only downloaded them. This article describes the process I guess technically it is a recording and not a rip but the albums I have sound pretty awesome piped through my DAC.

It sounds like a serious pain to do yourself.
Then there's the issue I was griping about in another thread where the music industry thinks they need to charge more for the higher resolution format when, in actuality, they have to do more work to DOWNSAMPLE the music from the native format it's stored in.

Djohnson, that's very interesting I never thought of it like that. I'm curious why digital music outlets haven't released tracks in 24bit from the git go...
Shadone has hit the nail on the head with compression being limiting factor in sound quality. Files were compressed because storage devices were limited in capacity, be it hard drive, ipod, mp3, etc. The smaller the file, the more songs could be purchased for any given device.
In the case of iTunes, they went from 128K songs to iTunes+ songs to Apple lossless. Each the upgrade extracted a price increase. Where do they go next, obviously 24 bit downloads. File size has increased as storage capacity has increased.
Sales of songs have flatlined so these companies need a new marketing strategy. If the new strategy is 24 bit, I say don't look a gift horse...This is what audiophiles have been waiting for. Just say thank you!
Yeah I don't care why they are pushing 24 bit (we all know why...). In reality 24 bit may not sound any different than well recoded red book but at least if it is 24 bit maybe they will not screw up the recording and the loudness wars of popular music will come to an end some day.

I bet it will be 24 bit lossless so the file may not be that large.

Does apple still have DMR? I have never downloaded anything from them.
I ment DRM digital rights management.
I'm curious why digital music outlets haven't released tracks in 24bit from the git go...

I think it's due to the fact that not much mainstream hardware (i.e., iPods) exists to play it. Those of us who crave it are a niche market at best. A 24/96 copy of the master (which may have only been 24/96 to begin with) would be pretty awesome assuming they didn't feel the need to mess with/compress it. Hopefully HDTracks has started something with their sale of the uncompressed 24/96 remastered version of Paul McCartney's Band on the Run.

Even though I think it's ploy for the music industry to make more money, we audiophiles certainly stand to benefit from its success.
The DRM is vacant now from iTunes downloads, and the rates are doubled to 256 from 128. Their 128s w/DRM used to be able to be 'adjusted' up and the DRM vaporized. I'm not sure if they are still doing that.

Hopefully they won't get the notion to create a completely new file format for this endeavor, forcing everyone to acquire new software at the very least... or some plug in to add onto current media players.

Sober thinking says iTunes/Apple likely will go with their lossless codec cimilar to FLAC... Apple lossless... rather than AIF.

It could be exactly the other way round too and AIF is the big dog instead.

Whatever, it'll be interesting... especially the price for these files/albums.

Meanwhile, HDTracks is having a great sale on 24/96 content.