Amazon Music Adds Lossless Streaming Tier for $14.99/Month ($12.99 for Prime)

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Amazon today introduced a new tier of Amazon Music, called Amazon Music HD, which offers lossless versions of audio files for streaming or downloading. This tier will cost $14.99/month, or $12.99/month for Amazon Prime members (via The Verge).


Amazon is offering a catalog of over 50 million songs in "High Definition," which are songs with CD-quality bit depth of 16 bits and a 44.1kHz sample rate. Then, there are "millions" of songs in Ultra HD, meaning they have 24-bit and sample rates that range from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz.

All of these songs will be delivered in a lossless FLAC file format. Amazon is hoping that being the first of the so-called big three streaming music services (Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify) to offer lossless streaming will win some converts. Tidal has always offered lossless streaming as one of its main selling points, but its price is $19.99/month, which Amazon is now undercutting.
Amazon's VP of Music, Steve Boom says that "It's a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this -- we're the first one." Amazon Music isn't often in the conversation about music streaming competition, which usually ends up following a Spotify vs. Apple Music narrative. But Amazon considers itself in their company, and with the new HD offering it's looking to differentiate itself and perhaps raise its profile.
According to reports from earlier this year, Amazon Music had 32 million subscribers as of April 2019. That compares to the 60 million subscribers gained by Apple Music as of June 2019, and the 100 million Spotify Premium subscribers as of April 2019.

Article Link: Amazon Music Adds Lossless Streaming Tier for $14.99/Month ($12.99 for Prime)
 

dominiongamma

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Oct 19, 2014
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Apple, what are you waiting for?
Waiting for Apple fans say we don’t need it or they can’t hear the difference
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Apple already has its exclusive Mastered for iTunes offering which in many ways is better than this.
It’s not lossless I’m guessing or they would have bragged about it
 

dominiongamma

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Oct 19, 2014
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People will definitely notice the difference in data use.
I have unlimited and so do a lot of people. Apple can let us decide to use our data as we choose to
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I listen to all my music on an iPhone or streamed on an Apple TV or HomePod. How would I benefit from this?
You would get better sound quality
 

whyamihere

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Jun 30, 2008
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Amazon as one of the big 3 global streaming music services? I'd like to see the metric used to determine that. Possibly taking anyone who has ever asked Alexa to play a song, or total number of Prime subscribers... maybe. But in terms of dedicated monthly paying subscribers to the full music catalog, I'd have to think Google/Youtube has more globally than Amazon.
 

Remy149

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Oct 20, 2016
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I have unlimited and so do a lot of people. Apple can let us decide to use our data as we choose to
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You would get better sound quality
Most people unlimited is only up to a certain data cap before their speeds get throttled. I guess this is a nice option for those who want it but I don’t see the benefit to justify a more expensive plan for myself
 
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dominiongamma

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Most people unlimited is only up to a certain data cap before their speeds get throttled. I guess this is a nice option for those who want it but I don’t see the benefit to justify a more expensive plan for myself
If Apple gave people to the choice to use it or not to use it that shouldn’t be an issue and people could download songs to their phones instead of streaming it
 
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Morgenland

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Years ago I had ripped a hudge amount of CDs and carefully checking that above 256kbit I could not notice any differences within mp3 compression. So lossless had always been a somewhat snobbish attitude IMO.
There are many who think they have exceptional hearing. The best of the best.
 
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demenas

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Aug 11, 2006
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Amazon as one of the big 3 global streaming music services? I'd like to see the metric used to determine that. Possibly taking anyone who has ever asked Alexa to play a song, or total number of Prime subscribers... maybe. But in terms of dedicated monthly paying subscribers to the full music catalog, I'd have to think Google/Youtube has more globally than Amazon.
The article says Amazon Music has 32 million users.
 
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LogicalVue

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Aug 28, 2007
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I listen to all my music on an iPhone or streamed on an Apple TV or HomePod. How would I benefit from this?
Most likely you won't benefit from it. There are many studies that show that it is nearly impossible to distinguish between high quality compressed audio and lossless with any confidence.

With good listening equipment you would notice improvements in the mastering process so there is value in that. But you'd notice that improvement regardless of whether or not the music is lossless.
 

QquegChristian

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Jun 24, 2010
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Unbelievable to see anyone defend Apple when higher quality exists. Apple doesn’t have to offer it but they shouldn’t be applauded for not offering either. If the HomePod (I kinda want one) is as good as people say, shouldn’t it benefit from higher resolution audio? If it can’t benefit from higher quality on a technical level than that is what Apple should be striving to accommodate.

The new iPhone is in Dolby Atmos!

Why are we picking and choosing as to when audio quality matters?

Personally, I hear no difference between 16 and 24 bits but I can hear the difference between streaming and a 16 bit uncompressed CD.

But whether I can hear the difference or not, if I’m paying for the music, I want to know that I’m being sent whatever the artist wants to send me. No one can account for the wide array of playback options but I would love to start at a higher quality.