What Apple Music can do to catch up with Spotify

Jason Snell, Macworld:

Apple ignited the legal music-download revolution with iTunes, led again by dropping copy-protecting DRM from its music downloads, and in 2007 led a major upgrade in digital-music quality with the launch of iTunes Plus.

But more than a decade later, the company finds itself as a music-streaming laggard, to borrow a term that Steve Jobs used to throw around a lot. When it comes to music quality, Apple’s not streets ahead—it’s streets behind.


This week Spotify became the latest music service to jump on the high-quality audio bandwagon, joining Amazon, Tidal, and other services in offering lossless audio to subscribers.

I would definitely pay extra for a lossless Apple Music. The majority of my music listening is done via my AirPods Pro and the inherently bitrate limited Bluetooth AAC codec. So lossless audio would not have real value in that particular listening mode.


I also listen to music through my HomePod, through my Apple TV, and through my Mac speakers. Those modes are not inherently limited by codec.

No doubt, Apple knows how many people would pony up for lossless audio (they’ve gone down this road before). Question is, is there enough revenue out there to justify the expense of bringing it to market.

Interesting read from Jason Snell, especially the discussion of “Going beyond lossless”.