When will iTunes offer lossless? It's 2015!

Gym Hellwig

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2013
169
5
Let's go already. What the hell is the holdup? Nobody buys CDs anymore. It's becoming hard to find them, unless you're willing to order at amazon, and even then a lot of titles are on backorder.

When is one of the major players going to offer lossless downloads? It's long past become a joke. We don't need 24-bit. Just give up CD quality and be done with it.
 

impaler

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2006
438
7
FL
I wouldn't want lossless. Too much bandwidth, constrained data plans and lack of storage space for my 23,000 track collection make it untenable for me. I don't care about the difference in sound, so long as I can hear it. I prefer 128kbps for my iPhone collection, so I can fit more on it. I wouldn't mind that as an option but I would not be happy if it was forced on me. Anyway, complaining here isn't enough; give Apple the feedback too. I definitely don't share your opinion.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,195
5,209
San Jose, CA
I used to think so as well. Then, a couple of years ago, I did a proper double-blind listening test together with a few friends (some of which consider themselves "audiophiles"). None of us could reliably tell the 256 kbps AAC or MP3 files from the uncompressed originals. Since then, I don't bother with lossless music anymore. ;)

Proper mastering is much more important. Unfortunately many modern recordings are mastered miserably, e.g. applying too much dynamic range compression. I applaud Apple for trying to do something about that as part of their "Mastered for iTunes" best practices (although I wish they were more forceful about it).
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
None of us could reliably tell the 256 kbps AAC or MP3 files from the uncompressed originals.
Just to be contrary I will post my opposite story :)

I once casually sat down with whatever iDevice I had at the time to listen to some random tunes. Everything was fine until one of my favorite choral pieces queued up. It was a train wreck. I unplugged my headphones and went and listened to the CD. It was fine. I re-ripped the track and stuck it on the i-whatever. No joy. I tried AAC, MP3, and finally Apple Lossless, which worked.

Now there are a lot of possibilities here and I do not pretend to know which one caused the problem. Encoder on the Mac? Decoder on the iDevice? Does not matter; you can be sure all my CD rips are in Apple Lossless.

A.
(who does buy the occasional Mastered for iTunes product, just to know where it stands)
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,282
4,265
Atlanta
Apple should offer as standard the AAC 256Kbps. Then offer as an option 24/96 music files. Would even like to see the option of 5.1 24/96 files too (music availability).

For all those worried about bandwidth (I guess you can't even get Netflix) simply choose the AAC 256Kbps files.

For those that want only CD quality (16/44.1 or 48) you can simply down convert the 24/96 files.

Now everyone is happy.:D
 
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Gym Hellwig

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2013
169
5
I've read a lot of articles claiming 24-bit is good, but anything above 44khz actually diminishes sound quality.

To my ears, Spotify (free version) is unlistenable. It actually hurts my ears. iTunes 256 kbps is much better, but even that isn't perfect.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,195
5,209
San Jose, CA
Would even like to see the option of 5.1 24/96 files too (music availability).
That's a good point. There are some fantastic 5.1 music mixes, but at this point iTunes (the application) can't even handle multi-channel music properly. As far as I can tell, it can only play AC3 in 5.1, but neither AAC nor ALAC.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,282
4,265
Atlanta
I've read a lot of articles claiming 24-bit is good, but anything above 44khz actually diminishes sound quality.

To my ears, Spotify (free version) is unlistenable. It actually hurts my ears. iTunes 256 kbps is much better, but even that isn't perfect.
You must have misread. 44Khz is not a standard audio sampling rate (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 and 192 are). Also the sampling rate is related to the highest frequency you can record, alss known as the Nyquist filter.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,195
5,209
San Jose, CA
You just contradicted yourself.
Or you were not accurate enough. :p

High sampling rates are of course another pet discussion topic among "audiophiles". 96 KHz can indeed do more harm than good because consumer-level equipment is often built using cheap components with a response curve that falls off at high sampling frequencies. As a result, whatever small theoretical benefit you might get from the high sampling rate may be completely outweighed by the distortions introduced in the analog circuitry.

But again, I would recommend to forget specs and trust your own ears. Get some friends and do a double-blind listening test. It might save you a lot of money. :p
 

FrakkinShip

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2010
46
0
Do you guys live in the 3rd world? Bandwidth? Really?

You guys know they sell 1080p HD movies in the iTunes store, right?
Nope. I just value the space on my hard drive. I reserve most of it with school work and photographs. Lossless audio files would take up more.
 

Primejimbo

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2008
3,295
131
Around
Nope. I just value the space on my hard drive. I reserve most of it with school work and photographs. Lossless audio files would take up more.
external hard drives are so cheap now a days. I have all my iTunes on an external hard drive now because it's easier to upgrade when i need too.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,088
2,624
Irrelevant when I don't want to spend the money on more drives. I can't tell the difference between 320kbps and lossless anyway.
You should have just said your last statement in bold and been done with it. All your other excuses just sounds more like straw grasping that true valid reasons. As the OP states, it's 2015. Storage is dirt cheap and we have cloud storage.

I have iTunes Match and over 11,000 songs in my library. Guess how much space that takes up on my iMac, iPhone and iPad. Zero bytes.

And again, as the OP mentions, we have movies on iTunes in 1080p with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, all of which I stream everything to my Apple TV. Streaming lossless audio in comparison is peanuts in terms of bandwidth. And to add to that, we're now hearing news of 4K streaming coming to Netflix in the near future. Audio is just plain lagging in comparison.

And even if you don't want to pay extra for additional quality, do you have anything against choice if Apple were to offer it? Stick with 256kbps if you don't have the ear or hardware to appreciate sound quality, but there's no need to place your needs in front of others.
 
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cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
46
Let's go already. What the hell is the holdup? Nobody buys CDs anymore. It's becoming hard to find them, unless you're willing to order at amazon, and even then a lot of titles are on backorder.

When is one of the major players going to offer lossless downloads? It's long past become a joke. We don't need 24-bit. Just give up CD quality and be done with it.
Nobody buys CDs anymore?

Hmmmm. I know plenty of people who buy music and a thriving local independent record shop who would tell you that's BS.

I also know of people in this country who can't get broadband at all and struggle with dial up, others who have ADSL that can't get to 1Mbps, and most have data constrained plans and you will get throttled if you go over your limit.

For them, lossless is not an option. Neither is it an option on an iPhone where many have a constrained data plan (I don't and because I stream compressed music and podcasts download over 7 GB per month)

Also tell me if you can hear the difference in the output from a computer at lossless vs 256 Kbps. I can't even through my audiophile grade amp and speakers.

Put a decent CD (and the one I would've ripped from) through the same equipment and I can tell the difference very clearly.

The problem being the quality of the sound hardware inside the Mac is poor, but for the majority, it and 256 Kbps AAC is good enough. If you want better, there are specialist stores that do sell lossless music files. For example http://www.linnrecords.com
 

Gym Hellwig

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 21, 2013
169
5
Nobody buys CDs anymore?

Hmmmm. I know plenty of people who buy music and a thriving local independent record shop who would tell you that's BS.

You realize they track this data, right? CD sales are pathetic. More people download albums through itunes, google play, etc. than actually buy CDs at this point. I care about the hard statistics. The people you know and that little independent record shop don't mean anything.

I also know of people in this country who can't get broadband at all and struggle with dial up, others who have ADSL that can't get to 1Mbps, and most have data constrained plans and you will get throttled if you go over your limit.
Who cares? Nobody is forcing those people to download anything. They shouldn't even be using iTunes if they're on dialup. And they certainly shouldn't be dictating what the rest of us living in the 1st world can or cannot buy.

For them, lossless is not an option. Neither is it an option on an iPhone where many have a constrained data plan (I don't and because I stream compressed music and podcasts download over 7 GB per month)
Again... who cares? Lots of things aren't an option for the extremely poor. You think Netflix gives a rats ass about those people? Do you think they shouldn't offer HD or 4K because some people are on dialup? With that mentality, Netflix wouldn't even exist.

Also tell me if you can hear the difference in the output from a computer at lossless vs 256 Kbps. I can't even through my audiophile grade amp and speakers.
It's none of your concern if I can hear the difference. The files offered on itunes are of significantly lower quality than those I can purchase on CD. Until iTunes offers at least CD quality, they aren't getting a penny from me.

The problem being the quality of the sound hardware inside the Mac is poor, but for the majority, it and 256 Kbps AAC is good enough. If you want better, there are specialist stores that do sell lossless music files. For example http://www.linnrecords.com
I can buy CDs and rip them if I want to. That's not the point. And you've never even visited the link you shared. Attempting to pawn that site off as an iTunes alternative is beyond moronic.
 

satcomer

macrumors 604
Feb 19, 2008
6,911
1,170
The Finger Lakes Region
Let's go already. What the hell is the holdup? Nobody buys CDs anymore. It's becoming hard to find them, unless you're willing to order at amazon, and even then a lot of titles are on backorder.

When is one of the major players going to offer lossless downloads? It's long past become a joke. We don't need 24-bit. Just give up CD quality and be done with it.
What is your ISP data cap? IMHO that is reason why lossless is not used by online store.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,195
5,209
San Jose, CA
What is your ISP data cap? IMHO that is reason why lossless is not used by online store.
That makes little sense, given that you can buy movies and TV shows on iTunes that are much bigger than lossless music files. BTW, none of the 5 biggest (wireline) ISPs in the US currently enforces data caps.

I think the real reason why iTunes doesn't sell lossless music is simple: There is just very little market interest, so they don't bother.
 
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Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,282
4,265
Atlanta
...BTW, none of the 5 biggest (wireline) ISPs in the US currently enforces data caps...
Only (sorta) disputing this one part. In Atlanta we are a 'test' market for Comcast data limits. Fortunately we are tentatively scheduled to get Google Fiber.

 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
I've been waiting for this for a long time! The difference is night and day on a decent hifi system (I have a bowers and Wilkins + Arcam setup worth well over £1k / 2k$)

I haven't bought anything from itunes in a long time since they don't offer quality.

Band width, storage capacities etc are irrelevant. I have unlimited and enough speed to get the tracks, then plenty of storage space for my 14k songs library. So does 99% of other people in any developed country.

About time they offered this up! They have no reason not to unless they are holding off for a big launch in a low point of their roadmap...
 
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