The latest Apple Music for Android APK has revealed that the company is working on introducing two tiers of HiFi audio quality: lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz and hi-res lossless at 24-bit/192 kHz.
Apple Music is getting lossless and hi-res lossless formats
As per some digging done by 9to5Google by decompiling the latest Apple Music APK for Android, it has been revealed that Apple will be rolling out its high quality music formats for both iOS and Android. There will be two tiers of the lossless audio quality: lossless and hi-res lossless.
The lossless files will be around 36 MB in size while hi-res lossless files will be around 145 MB in size. To put things into perspective, regular music files in Apple Music are just 1.5 MB in size for a 3 minute song.
These details have been extracted from the recompiled APK file for the latest Apple Music beta for Android:
Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data.
Lossless audio files will use significantly more space on your device. 10 GB of space could store approximately: – 3000 songs at high quality – 1000 songs with lossless – 200 songs with hi-res lossless
Lossless streaming will consume significantly more data. A 3-minute song will be approximately: – 1.5 MB with high efficiency- 6 MB with high quality at 256 kbps- 36 MB with lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz- 145 MB with hi-res lossless at 24-bit/192 kHzSupport varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability.
These references also include details of the impact on storage space and data transfer if lossless music is streamed or downloaded. The messaging also clarified that lossless quality is dependent on song availability which means that there is a possibility that some music might not be available in higher audio quality.
Apple will be using ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) for the higher quality audio on both iOS and Android. However, it is unclear whether AirPods will receive any sort of upgrade to support lossless audio listening. Currently, none of the AirPods, including the expensive AirPods Max, support ALAC streaming.
iOS 14.6 beta 1 code had also hinted towards Apple Music HiFi with Dolby Audio. However, this was removed in latter beta updates. Note that Apple Music for Android does not mention Dolby Audio despite references to lossless streaming so it’s possible that it might only be reserved to iOS due to licensing.
Apple Music HiFi is expected to launch in the coming weeks, along with AirPods 3. It is possible that the new AirPods might support lossless audio, along with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, while the first generation AirPods might be left out since they don’t use an H1 chip but a W1 chip.