Sunday, 13 October, 2019

Amazon Music HD just upped the ante with lossless audio tier

Amazon Music Introduces Highest Quality Audio for Streaming with Amazon Music HD Amazon Ups Audio Quality with Amazon Music HD
Lora Ball | 17 September, 2019, 22:26

Songs can be streamed or downloaded using the Amazon Music app.

According to the Verge, Amazon will offer over 50 million songs in High Definition, referring to CD-quality tracks, and unspecified millions of tracks in the extra high-end Ultra HD quality.

At the moment Amazon Music launched its new high-definition audio service on Tuesday morning, which it says offers the best streaming audio fidelity available, Spotify VP and head of investor relations Paul Vogel was speaking at Goldman Sachs' Communicopia conference in Lower Manhattan.

That works out at around AU$19 / AU$22, but there's no word on when the service will go truly global.

The service is priced more competitively than its rivals, with a monthly subscription costing £14.99, or £12.99 for Amazon Prime customers. For physical music, the Super Audio CD (SACD) format failed to take off after it was introduced in 1999.

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Music Week has tested the new Amazon HD service, which delivered impressive results via iPhone with an external DAC playing on a hi-fi system, across multiple genres ranging from rap and classic rock to pop and classical.

Musician Neil Young launched the ill-fated hi-res Pono player several years ago, but he is (probably a little too) excited that Amazon is embracing lossless audio.

But, y'know, he wrote Old Man and you didn't, so hush. Amazon is calling this content "Ultra HD". Files that were formerly compressed for digital streaming will now reveal the nuances in the original recording.

Amazon said its new streaming tier will play the highest quality audio the listener's device and network conditions will support, and is compatible with a variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets.

Boom said that the High Definition and Ultra HD monikers were chosen to make this new tier more mass-market friendly. The truth is, lots of people can't tell the difference between standard and premium quality audio.

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