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View Full Version : Would you buy lossless iTunes music (and max price)?




SJism23
Aug 10, 2013, 05:44 PM
I've started to rip a bunch of CDs in lossless format for the sake of futureproofing and to compliment my new Etymotic earphones for better sound quality. Unfortunately, iTunes bought music is lossy—even if 256 kbps is "good enough." I imagine that Apple would add different price points. So what's the max amount of money you'd pay for a single lossless song on iTunes?



CelestialToys
Aug 10, 2013, 05:49 PM
Yes I would buy lossless music from iTunes. I would only pay exactly what they currently charge for lossy tho. The reason being that I can already buy a lossless CD version for near enough the same price as iTunes currently charges for lossy files.

SJism23
Aug 10, 2013, 05:59 PM
Yes I would buy lossless music from iTunes. I would only pay exactly what they currently charge for lossy tho. The reason being that I can already buy a lossless CD version for near enough the same price as iTunes currently charges for lossy files.

Hmm, I wish I added that option in the poll, but I can't edit it. But I don't think the record companies would be okay with that because remember when Apple went DRM-free in 2009 and songs went up to $1.29? I'm pretty sure that was the result of some intense negotiations with the RCs.

CelestialToys
Aug 10, 2013, 06:12 PM
I didn't see the poll when I posted.
To be honest the record companies soon wont have a choice, a lot of music is headed towards being self distributed and the big record companies are slowly losing their influence/power.
There are already places where you can buy lossless digital music for the same price as the lossy versions online, it's only the big RCs that are resisting it, but with the rise in popularity of streaming music services, which the big RCs hate but are forced to go with, it will only be a matter of time before they are begging apple to offer lossless as a way to encourage people to buy music rather than streaming.

Irishman
Aug 10, 2013, 06:19 PM
Abso-dam-lutely!

SJism23
Aug 10, 2013, 06:30 PM
There are already places where you can buy lossless digital music for the same price as the lossy versions online

I checked out one or two the other day and the prices were significantly higher, so I don't know…

it will only be a matter of time before they are begging apple to offer lossless as a way to encourage people to buy music rather than streaming.

Interesting. This may be true since the audiophile crowd probably doesn't care too much for streaming music, but at the same time, most people aren't audiophiles or care for high sound quality, so I doubt such a move would matter too much for the RCs. Then again, if your description of their downward spiral towards irrelevance turns out to be true (and I'm apt to believe it), then the RCs will do anything at that point.

CelestialToys
Aug 10, 2013, 06:53 PM
I should have pointed out that I was referring to indies selling through band camp and the like when I said lossless at the same price as lossy, I'm not sure that anywhere is selling "mainstream" stuff at the same prices.

I can see the whole lossless iTunes thing being marketed the same way as CDs were in the 80s, in that it will be sold as a way of upgrading your collection...I know a lot of people who went out and replaced every album they owned on vinyl or tape for the (often lower quality) CD version back then.

The way I see it people aren't going to buy lossy music when they can stream lossy music free/very cheap....they are going to have to do something to add value to digital purchases and the only logical thing is lossless.
To be fair I would probably be prepared to pay a little more than the current prices for lossless but it still has to be less than a CD version or I'll continue buying and ripping CDs as I do now, I've never bought audio from iTunes and won't until it's lossless

Julien
Aug 11, 2013, 06:09 AM
$1.69 a track is too much since you can buy a new CD's for $10 to $15. Just like with the books, magazines, newspapers, TV and film the price for a download should be the same or ideally less than a more expensive to create physical copy. When are publishers going to understand this?

Lossless should just be offered as an OPTION at the same price.

For $1.69 you should be able to get a lossless 24/96 5.1 mix with a lossless 2 channel (for devices) included.

50548
Aug 11, 2013, 06:23 AM
I can't even begin to understand how Apple doesn't offer ALAC in its own store...enough said.

walkie
Aug 11, 2013, 04:03 PM
I can't even begin to understand how Apple doesn't offer ALAC in its own store...enough said.

I think they don't offer lossless because it takes up much more space to store on servers and much bandwidth to download and of course because it would cost more. There is now something more worrying about music: "the loudness war", almost every new album sounds like crap because of it, I won't pay more money even if lossless for a "brickwalled album", don't wanna lose my hearing with that crap...

SJism23
Aug 11, 2013, 04:07 PM
I think they don't offer lossless because it takes up much more space to store on servers and much bandwidth to download and of course because it would cost more. There is now something more worrying about music: "the loudness war", almost every new album sounds like crap because of it, I won't pay more money even if lossless for a "brickwalled album", don't wanna lose my hearing with that crap...

Can you explain what this loudness war is for the uninformed (read: me)?

CelestialToys
Aug 11, 2013, 04:39 PM
Can you explain what this loudness war is for the uninformed (read: me)?

The loudness war has been going on for many years, it's based on the idea that the louder a piece of music is the better it sounds, or rather the more it stands out.

Modern music is far more compressed now than it used to be, this reduces the amount of dynamics music has (the difference between loud and quiet parts) whilst making the overall volume louder.

The wars part comes in because every producer wants their music to stand out when played next to someone else's music (on the radio,in the clubs etc) and the easiest way to achieve this in a sea of similar sounding music is to simply make it sound louder.

There is now a trend in the production world trying to move away from this overly compressed sound with many producers trying to reintroduce dynamics into the music but with the competition being so fierce it's a slow process

SJism23
Aug 11, 2013, 05:06 PM
The loudness war has been going on for many years, it's based on the idea that the louder a piece of music is the better it sounds, or rather the more it stands out.

Modern music is far more compressed now than it used to be, this reduces the amount of dynamics music has (the difference between loud and quiet parts) whilst making the overall volume louder.

The wars part comes in because every producer wants their music to stand out when played next to someone else's music (on the radio,in the clubs etc) and the easiest way to achieve this in a sea of similar sounding music is to simply make it sound louder.

There is now a trend in the production world trying to move away from this overly compressed sound with many producers trying to reintroduce dynamics into the music but with the competition being so fierce it's a slow process

You know a lot about music/audio; you must be an expert. Very informative, thanks.

CelestialToys
Aug 11, 2013, 05:17 PM
You know a lot about music/audio; you must be an expert. Very informative, thanks.

wouldn't say an expert, I'm just a humble music producer with an avid interest in these things, but I thank you for your kind words :)

mike457
Aug 11, 2013, 05:23 PM
I listen mostly to classical, and I do buy FLAC or ALAC albums from a number of sites. Some of these charge the same as for the CD, and I have trouble with that. After all, no physical object is involved. While it's true that your average CD is cheap in terms of production cost, lossless albums ought to be significantly cheaper than their physical counterparts. Running a server has to cost less than material, manufacturing, and shipping. I would expect the lossless version of the album to be a couple of bucks (at least) cheaper than the physical copy, and I'd be willing to pay that.

walkie
Aug 11, 2013, 05:33 PM
The loudness war has been going on for many years, it's based on the idea that the louder a piece of music is the better it sounds, or rather the more it stands out.

Modern music is far more compressed now than it used to be, this reduces the amount of dynamics music has (the difference between loud and quiet parts) whilst making the overall volume louder.

The wars part comes in because every producer wants their music to stand out when played next to someone else's music (on the radio,in the clubs etc) and the easiest way to achieve this in a sea of similar sounding music is to simply make it sound louder.

There is now a trend in the production world trying to move away from this overly compressed sound with many producers trying to reintroduce dynamics into the music but with the competition being so fierce it's a slow process

Also "loudness war" causes ear fatigue and distortion, the music has no punch because all instruments sound excessively loud, this is an explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

Almost all new modern albums suffer from loudness world, a classical pathetic examples of this practice are these albums: Metallica - Death Magnetic, RHCP - Californication and many many more..., they sound so loud that you won't stand listening to them for some minutes, and you can't even use much EQ to emphasise because sound would result distorted.

CelestialToys
Aug 11, 2013, 05:54 PM
Almost all new modern albums suffer from loudness world, a classical pathetic examples of this practice are these albums: Metallica - Death Magnetic, RHCP - Californication and many many more..., they sound so loud that you won't stand listening to them for some minutes, and you can't even use much EQ to emphasise because sound would result distorted.

Not to forget all the remasters of classic albums that have been ruined by having all their dynamics squeezed out, Led Zep remasters spring to mind as some of the worst.

Nermal
Aug 11, 2013, 08:01 PM
I probably wouldn't buy lossless from Apple, simply because I don't trust them to do it right. I've had a few issues with stuff from iTunes, but the one that stands out the most is an album where every track was missing the last two seconds of audio. I reported it to Apple and I periodically redownload it from iCloud and see whether it's been fixed, but so far, six years later, it's still broken.

That seems to indicate that Apple doesn't use the same source as the CD version so any lossless downloads probably wouldn't be identical to the CD anyway.

Destroysall
Aug 12, 2013, 12:54 AM
I don't buy enough from the iTunes store; having lossless music available for sale would be nice, but I still prefer going to record stores and buying my music. :-)

Destroysall

walkie
Aug 12, 2013, 02:10 AM
Not to forget all the remasters of classic albums that have been ruined by having all their dynamics squeezed out, Led Zep remasters spring to mind as some of the worst.

Absolutely, Remaster = Make the whole thing the loudest, I avoid buying remasters.

The idea behind selling music online is to offer at least 2 flavours:

- Cheap: lossy tracks for people who don't care about it.

- Reasonable price: lossless tracks 24bit/48Khz with dynamic range intact, this way they would offer added value to music, they can even offer more than 2 channels.


In my opinion all attempts to improve music formats have failed (MiniDisc,SACD etc.),
because in the end there is no enough content to chose from and some people are not willing to change their 20 year old CD players, the same happens to 3D TV, there's not enough content to encourage people to buy a 3D TV, industry must get rid of physical formats in order to innovate,
streaming crappy music files should not be the rule, I hope all mucicians sell
quality stuff directly from their
websites like some of them are doing nowadays and record companies die...

Bands no longer need a channel to sell their music anymore having internet, they no longer need to be forced to their evil practices, so record companies make no sense nowadays...

50548
Aug 13, 2013, 04:07 PM
I think they don't offer lossless because it takes up much more space to store on servers and much bandwidth to download and of course because it would cost more. There is now something more worrying about music: "the loudness war", almost every new album sounds like crap because of it, I won't pay more money even if lossless for a "brickwalled album", don't wanna lose my hearing with that crap...

Sorry, the "space" excuse is nonsense - I already buy ALAC music from classical music stores like Hyperion Records - if they can do it, so can Apple with its gigantic server farms.

Irishman
Aug 13, 2013, 07:04 PM
I don't buy enough from the iTunes store; having lossless music available for sale would be nice, but I still prefer going to record stores and buying my music. :-)

Destroysall

This IS the digital music subforum, you know. :)

Julien
Aug 14, 2013, 05:41 AM
This IS the digital music subforum, you know. :)

....and CD's are digital music.;)

Irishman
Aug 14, 2013, 07:44 AM
....and CD's are digital music.;)

Ah, my bad.

You said "record store". I thought that meant you were shopping for vinyl :)

Destroysall
Aug 14, 2013, 01:31 PM
Ah, my bad.

You said "record store". I thought that meant you were shopping for vinyl :)It works both ways in my case. I still buy both formats. :-)

fa8362
Aug 14, 2013, 04:08 PM
I wouldn't pay anything because I already have more music than I will ever listen to.

Irishman
Aug 14, 2013, 08:35 PM
It works both ways in my case. I still buy both formats. :-)

It's all good. :)

monkeybagel
Aug 14, 2013, 11:46 PM
This is precisely the reason I don't purchase tracks from iTunes. I purchase the Compact Disc and/or vinyl with CD. Even if they did offer lossless, I would probably still purchase the CD unless a high resolution greater than 44.1k/16 was offered.

Icaras
Aug 15, 2013, 04:43 AM
Yea, I'd pay $2 for lossless.

hogger129
Aug 18, 2013, 10:43 AM
It depends.

If iTunes started offering their music as Apple Lossless, it would have to be across-the-board. I'm sure they'll do like they did with iTunes Plus and only offer select albums in that format.

Also, the price would likely hit $1.99 per song, just like how now most of the songs on there went from $0.99 to $1.29.

I would buy music on there if it were priced competitively with a physical CD that I can go buy at Best Buy or Amazon for ~$12.

Otherwise, what would be the point?

It would be nice to see Amazon's music store start offering FLAC downloads at CD quality (16/44 1411.2k).

Another cool touch would be if you could buy older versions of albums because I know I have a couple of CD's that the older versions are mastered better.


iTunes Plus 256 AAC is so close to a CD that most people can't tell a difference. So... I don't really see iTunes moving up to Apple Lossless any time soon. I heard it even took a lot for them to upgrade to 256.


FWIW, if they do go to ALAC, all their albums should include the digital booklet.

I'd rather buy music with zero compression than just trying to get lossless.

alphaod
Aug 18, 2013, 11:18 AM
I would buy more from iTunes if it was lossless, but I wouldn't pay more it.

Julien
Aug 18, 2013, 12:30 PM
It depends.

If iTunes started offering their music as Apple Lossless, it would have to be across-the-board. I'm sure they'll do like they did with iTunes Plus and only offer select albums in that format.

Also, the price would likely hit $1.99 per song, just like how now most of the songs on there went from $0.99 to $1.29....

I'd rather buy music with zero compression than just trying to get lossless.
It's doubtful Apple could start offering ALAC across the board since the record industry would not be fully on board. This could be a complete holdup anyway. The industry is reluctant to offer lossless (especially 96/24 HD) files because it doesn't want Master quality copies (or any lossless) in the wild. Of course there is no way they can put the CD back in the bottle, but.....

Most of the 99˘ to $1.29 increase is attributed to the record companies demands. One of there big sticking points (and actually a valid one) is people "cherry pick tracks" and spend much less on average than buying an all inclusive CD.

Why would you prefer to download WAV or AIFF files over ALAC or FLAC?:confused:

hogger129
Aug 18, 2013, 03:23 PM
It's doubtful Apple could start offering ALAC across the board since the record industry would not be fully on board. This could be a complete holdup anyway. The industry is reluctant to offer lossless (especially 96/24 HD) files because it doesn't want Master quality copies (or any lossless) in the wild. Of course there is no way they can put the CD back in the bottle, but.....

Most of the 99˘ to $1.29 increase is attributed to the record companies demands. One of there big sticking points (and actually a valid one) is people "cherry pick tracks" and spend much less on average than buying an all inclusive CD.

Why would you prefer to download WAV or AIFF files over ALAC or FLAC?:confused:


I'm not talking about file compression as in "lossless." I'm talking about uncompressed music as in ZERO dynamic range compression. That way I would actually get the same sound quality that vinyl buyers are getting.

Julien
Aug 18, 2013, 04:43 PM
I'm not talking about file compression as in "lossless." I'm talking about uncompressed music as in ZERO dynamic range compression. That way I would actually get the same sound quality that vinyl buyers are getting.

10-4, without qualifying I just assumed data compression.;) It seems ironic that in the (olden) days of analog (LP's are about 50dB) we often had music with more dynamic range and now that we have CD with 96dB the music is often compressed into the top 10dB range.

Unfortunately with iPod earphones, noisy backgrounds, short attention spans and increasingly hearing impaired youth we are stuck with the loudness wars.

CelestialToys
Aug 18, 2013, 05:10 PM
I'm not talking about file compression as in "lossless." I'm talking about uncompressed music as in ZERO dynamic range compression. That way I would actually get the same sound quality that vinyl buyers are getting.

Even when released on vinyl most modern music is over compressed, it has nothing to do with the format you buy it on

msh
Sep 7, 2013, 09:43 AM
I'm not talking about file compression as in "lossless." I'm talking about uncompressed music as in ZERO dynamic range compression. That way I would actually get the same sound quality that vinyl buyers are getting.

Dynamic range/compression and loudness have nothing to do with lossless formats per se (although that may not be true of lossy formats like MP3). That stuff is done during the mixing and mastering. As to vinyl, I hate to disabuse you of this, but it is inferior in every way to properly done digital. Sure, I still listen to vinyl but only where there is no other source available or the alternative digital source was a piss-poor transfer/remaster job.

dumastudetto
Sep 10, 2013, 05:00 AM
I would pay up to $50 for a lossless recording of an album I love.

Julien
Sep 10, 2013, 05:35 AM
I would pay up to $50 for a lossless recording of an album I love.

What album and why is it not available on CD?

dumastudetto
Sep 10, 2013, 05:47 AM
What album and why is it not available on CD?

CD is not lossless.

Julien
Sep 10, 2013, 06:17 AM
CD is not lossless.

Sorry but a CD IS lossless. The Redbook CD offers no form of lossy compression in the spec and was even invented (I believe) before lossy compression for music was released, FAR predateing MP1.

walkie
Sep 10, 2013, 07:38 AM
Sorry but a CD IS lossless. The Redbook CD offers no form of lossy compression in the spec and was even invented (I believe) before lossy compression for music was released, FAR predateing MP1.

CD is lossless, but CD is a downgraded format since masters are recorded using a higher bitrate and sampling, a typical master will use 24bit/48khz or higher while a final CD will be downgraded to 16bit/44.1Khz.

Julien
Sep 10, 2013, 09:29 AM
CD is lossless, but CD is a downgraded format since masters are recorded using a higher bitrate and sampling, a typical master will use 24bit/48khz or higher while a final CD will be downgraded to 16bit/44.1Khz.

Well aware of sample rate conversion and bit rate reduction (downgrading, while I somewhat agree, is a misleading term), but as I correctly started and you reaffirmed the CD is a lossless format. My response was a direct answer to the previous poster. However this thread is about Apple offering lossless music and not about offering lossless HD (24/96). In all probability if lossless (ALAC) does come to iTunes it will be 16/44.1 just like a CD.

The studios are extremely reluctant to offer Master quality files for download.

Also there are many super high quality digital recordings and Masters that were made in the 80's and 90's that are 16bit and 18bit.

roadbloc
Sep 10, 2013, 10:12 AM
I'm fine with CD quality. And I love building up my CD collection.

Dnix
Sep 10, 2013, 04:53 PM
It would probably still be cheaper to buy the disc, rip, and toss the bulky case like I've been doing...

djtech42
Sep 14, 2013, 01:00 AM
I would only buy it if it was 24/96 at max price of $1.29.
There's no good reason for why Apple doesn't offer lossless.
If memory on mobile devices is an issue, then just convert it to 320 m4a on sync. The lossless versions would stay on the computer where you have plenty of space. Perfect compromise. I don't understand why they can't figure that out.

SJism23
Sep 14, 2013, 09:02 AM
I would only buy it if it was 24/96 at max price of $1.29.
There's no good reason for why Apple doesn't offer lossless.
If memory on mobile devices is an issue, then just convert it to 320 m4a on sync. The lossless versions would stay on the computer where you have plenty of space. Perfect compromise. I don't understand why they can't figure that out.

I think it has more to do with the record companies. Apple had to negotiate quite a bit in order to offer DRM-free music at $1.29.