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Apple is looking to release 24-bit music tracks

Here’s something to make the audiophiles out there scream with delight. When you buy a CD or an mp3 from a music store, the audio recording is compressed. This is done to conserve space, as without compression, you can end up with rather large files. Yes, you can rip a CD in a �lossless� format, but it is still only going to sound at best, as good as the CD. So what kind of compression happens? Specifically, studio recordings are generally captured as 24-bit files. Tracks on a CD (and mp3s as well) are compressed down to 16-bit files.

So where am I going with this (very) brief overview of audio compression? Well it would seem that Apple is considering offering tracks that are 24-bit, just the same as the master recordings. This comes from Universal Music Group chairman Jimmy Iovine, who says that they have been working with Apple on providing the higher-quality tracks to consumers.

Unfortunately this change isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. Many audio devices don’t actually support 24-bit music. Granted, much of Apple’s own hardware offerings do, but if you’re listening to tracks on your PC, or most mp3 players, you aren’t going to be able to hear the difference. Either way, it’s a change that does need to happen. Just like with HD movies and TV, higher quality is almost always better.

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