Apple reportedly looking into higher-quality audio files for iTunes, Apple Music

According to the Japanese language website Mac Otakara — as noted by MacRumors — Apple is preparing to offer higher-quality audio streaming in 2016. 

“According to several insiders familiar with Apple, whose products are exhibited at PORTABLE AUDIO FESTIVAL 2015, the company has been developing Hi-Res Audio streaming up to 96kHz/24bit in 2016,” the article says. [For comparison’s sake, CDs provide 44kHz/16-bit]. “The Lightning terminal with iOS 9 is compatible up to 192kHz/24Bit, but we do not have information on the sampling frequency of Apple Music download music.”

It’s been rumored for some time that Apple planned to introduce higher-quality audio formats (at 96kHz/24-bit) on the iTunes Store. A 2015 rumor said Apple planned to introduce an upgraded Lightning cable to accommodate hi-def audio playback on Made for iPhone (MFi) audio accessories.

A Hi-Res Audio file is typically either 96kHz/24-bit or 192kHz/24-bit. It has twice the bit depth of your favorite CD and up to 9612Kbps of sonic information.

Hi-Res Audio isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s not a single format (which is part of the problem). There are a variety of formats with names like FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, UAA, DDE, DSD and others. 

Mac Otakara also reported that Apple plans to market accessibility products for disabled users at its online and brick-and-mortar stores beginning next year