Skip to main content

Notice

Please note that most of the software linked on this forum is likely to be safe to use. If you are unsure, feel free to ask in the relevant topics, or send a private message to an administrator or moderator. To help curb the problems of false positives, or in the event that you do find actual malware, you can contribute through the article linked here.
Topic: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools (Read 4340 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #50
Lately MQA Bob Stuart mentioned in an interview how his revolutionary format besides many other fantastic things will save our planet.
The bandwith this lossy encrypting saves helps to reach the climate target.
In reality it saves no bandwith against a similar shrinked PCM file and needs extra power on every decode.
When BS can argue that way we must consider 256k AAC may save 2 planets against full lossless streaming.

My. Had his parents known how fitting his initials are, they would have considered a different name. Langston Orson Stephen or something.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #51
I can already see some problems in the future

> offer free lossless music
> lots of people start using it because bigger is always better
> network corporations see this
> people are using too much data grrr
> increase prices

We have already seen something similar when Corona virus started.
Whole internet got overloaded and they were forced to reduce bitrates.
Our infrastructure just cannot take it.
There is no reason to offer lossless music to people who cannot tell a difference between 128 kbit/s CBR MP3 and lossless.
Some people might say "hey, this will force them to upgrade infrastructure" and all I can say is big LOL.

No one forced them to do anything. They internet is not even close to the 'collapse' as they claim. It was likely another experiment with how much they can get away with. They further pushed the 'fear factor' with this garbage and giving people crap quality.
That is very typical of business and corporates
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #52
On the subject of streaming, Yes bigger is better there too. Personally I am sick of hearing swoosh
, swoosh, thwack, thwack on internet radio. Raising the bitrates and using lossless pushes the envelope
and quality. That is a win in the long term as past transcodes are eventually retired.

So I am for audiophiles to 'keep things in check' . It goes like :
" The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #53
There are 3 new things Apple announced, each are different in regards to audiophoolia:

1) "Hi-res" audio, up to 192/24, largely audiophool territory, pretty much uncontroversial around these parts if I may presume.

2) Lossless audio, which people can argue IMO for both sides reasonably. What I haven't seen mentioned is that this avoids the double-lossy compression issue when one uses Bluetooth, so it could help with BT lossy as well.

3) Spatial audio (lossy, coming in DD+ Atmos but virtualized by Apple's algorithm), seems like the first real earnest try to mainstream some form of multichannel music that works for most people's usage and doesn't require you to sit down on your couch in a home theater environment. Dolby had the opportunity with Dolby Headphone for many years, but they threw it away for other dumb ineffective, difficult to get working schemes, most lately Atmos for Headphones, which is still difficult and obscure to get in Windows, let alone in mobile platforms.

Adding to the confusion is the worthless "Atmos" branding they use for other stereo content in some Android devices, which as far as I can tell is just a glorified EQ curve. Dolby Headphone was straightforward, and with stereo content it simply virtualized 2 stereo speakers in front of you, same with 5.1 and 7.1 content. IMO they should have built onto that to include proper Atmos, but Apple beat them to the punch, even with pretty effective head tracking, though regrettably that doesn't work with the Apple TV.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #54
I'm wondering if a firmware update will allow the latest generation of Apple headphones to support some sort of lossless BT connection. BT5.0 supports about 2mb/s I think, so it could be possible with some buffering. Also, can the big Apple headphones not be used with a wire? The over ear type...?

Sadly no.  Even thought Bluetooth 5.o suppots 5 Mbit now.. A2DP is still limited to 768 kbps.

The upcoming Bluetooth 5.2 is going to introduce the LC3 codec, and that's a lossy codec limited to 345 kbps.

I'm not sure what the maximum bandwidth is for A2DP under Bluetooth 5.0. But it seems pretty clear that Bluetooth has no interest in natively providing lossless audio support.

And any bandwidth figures they quote is under ideal conditions.

The one thing I find interesting is that the Apple HomePod uses AirPlay 2 to play music, which is an application layer protocol riding on either WiFi or Ethernet. So, there should be plenty of bandwidth available for any kind of lossless audio. But the HomePod does not support lossless audio.

With Apple dumping the headphone jack years ago, I don't think they ever expected the market to move in the lossless audio direction ad kind of got caught with their pants down when Amazon releases lossless audio, and Spotify was rumored to release it soon.
A2DP doesn't work over Bluetooth LE (4.0 and newer), it works with the BT Classic radio. Only the new BT LE Audio scheme will. Also the Classic radio supports up to 3Mbps (theoretical) whereas up to 5.1 I think it was 2Mbps, where did you read 5Mbps? All I can find from a quick google is some typo that was copypasted in some sketchy sites.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #55
It isn't being enabled by default anyway. You have to drill into settings and enable it. Most won't even bother. They're probably counting on that.

The "Internet being pushed to its knees" was mostly the USA's crappy infrastructure collapsing because it is in dire need of upgrades, mostly at the last mile point for 99% of users. Internet Service Providers haven't been doing anything to upgrade their capacity in that regard, because nobody is forcing them. They can continue raising their rates while still pushing mediocre service, without even bothering to compete with their alleged competitors.

For instance, in my area, there are two "competing" ISPs: AT&T U-verse and Spectrum. The fact that Spectrum is offering up to 900/45 service over DOCSIS, or a baseline speed of 400/10, means nothing to AT&T, who are content to continue selling baseline speeds of 1.5Mbps, and speeds "up to" 75Mbps, for considerably more per month. My current bill was just raised to approximately $291/mo for the AT&T service of 45/6, but for another $10/mo, we can bump it to 75/10.

Don't forget that these streaming services also cache content locally on your device, and try to ensure that you'll usually be listening to the same 40-100 songs repeatedly, instead of ever expanding your list to things you haven't heard yet. And those caches ensure you won't be using any of their bandwidth for multiple listening sessions of the same song.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #56
I'll be honest until a friend mentioned it I hadn't realised just how crap broadband is in the USA and how expensive. We have a mix, I pay £25/m for about 60Mbps/18Mbps, that's FTTC. My mate has 1Gbps/1Gbps in his flat... £45/m. I could get more for similar money except Virgin have awful customer service.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #57
Apple's goal is to retain the audiophiles, who are migrating to other services that already offer lossless streaming/downloads. A low cost move to retain a small, but persistent and sometimes loud minority of users.
No matter how much you think AAC is already transparent, you're not going to convince the masses to perform blind tests. The audiofool magic propaganda is easier.

That said, I do think that if you're paying for music, you should get lossless, at least for the rare chance of a problematic sample or for conversions with more peace of mind. Even for streaming, nowadays we should be able to handle lossless audio, if we can handle video streaming. But I'd still make lossless streaming opt-in, because I don't think most people would care or notice anything if you didn't tell them and a lower bitrate stream is more reliable.

Lossless over Bluetooth is a different beast, though. Apple can't offer that, because it's just not part of the BT spec. And in my experience, maintaining a solid BT connection can be challenging when you're moving around and with obstacles and so on.
So I can see why the priority is towards lossy codecs and on lowering the latency, which the main shortcoming of BT right now, IMO. Version 5.2 is supposed to improve that (I have yet to see any real world tests).

It took Apple a long time to get into the streaming game, because the labels didn't want them there.  With Amazon offering lossless streaming, and Spotify about to announce it, I think Apple had to make this move so that they can look like a competitive service. The big surprise was that they're not charging extra for it. That forced Amazon to IMMEDIATELY make their lossless streaming part of the basic tier, and I'm sure that Spotify right now doesn't know what to do with themselves, since they won't be able to charge more for lossless streaming now.

TIDAL is now doubling down on MQA, I guess as a differentiator against Apple, Amazon and Spotify.

What I would LOVE to see in a streaming service (or even an online music store), is the availability of all masters of an album available. So, if i want to listen to the non-remastered version of Dark Side of the Moon, I should be able to.

I know that some artists do this now.  But not enough.

I'm sure they're not doing it, because it will confuse the hell out of consumers to see 5 different versions of the same album.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #58
Is it only streaming or also Apple Store ?

For streaming, HQ lossy is OK but when buying I prefer lossless.

Sadly, only streaming.

With companies putting audio watermarks in files, I prefer to buy CDs and rip them to FLAC.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #59
You are not paying for lossless or lossy copy. We are talking about Apple Music, streaming service, not iTunes Music Store. Music that you buy on iTunes is always 256 kbit/s AAC-LC.

Edit:
On this Tidal thread https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=107645.msg883286#msg883286
you can see that global moderator Kohlrabi had the same concerns as me.


Basically a move by Big Tech to try to push everyone to more profitable streaming services and to phase out and eventually kill off download services.  It's all about the money.  Apple is been doing that for years with the iTunes software.

As long as physical media exists, this won't be an issue.  I can still buy CDs and rip them.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #60
I'm wondering if a firmware update will allow the latest generation of Apple headphones to support some sort of lossless BT connection. BT5.0 supports about 2mb/s I think, so it could be possible with some buffering. Also, can the big Apple headphones not be used with a wire? The over ear type...?

Sadly no.  Even thought Bluetooth 5.o suppots 5 Mbit now.. A2DP is still limited to 768 kbps.

The upcoming Bluetooth 5.2 is going to introduce the LC3 codec, and that's a lossy codec limited to 345 kbps.

I'm not sure what the maximum bandwidth is for A2DP under Bluetooth 5.0. But it seems pretty clear that Bluetooth has no interest in natively providing lossless audio support.

And any bandwidth figures they quote is under ideal conditions.

The one thing I find interesting is that the Apple HomePod uses AirPlay 2 to play music, which is an application layer protocol riding on either WiFi or Ethernet. So, there should be plenty of bandwidth available for any kind of lossless audio. But the HomePod does not support lossless audio.

With Apple dumping the headphone jack years ago, I don't think they ever expected the market to move in the lossless audio direction ad kind of got caught with their pants down when Amazon releases lossless audio, and Spotify was rumored to release it soon.
A2DP doesn't work over Bluetooth LE (4.0 and newer), it works with the BT Classic radio. Only the new BT LE Audio scheme will. Also the Classic radio supports up to 3Mbps (theoretical) whereas up to 5.1 I think it was 2Mbps, where did you read 5Mbps? All I can find from a quick google is some typo that was copypasted in some sketchy sites.

My understanding was the LE Audio and the LC3 codec (which is still lossy.  Why don't they just use OPUS??) is coming in Bluetooth 5.2.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #61
As long as physical media exists, this won't be an issue.  I can still buy CDs and rip them.

CDs are great when you want the whole album.  Not so much when it's a single or an album with only a few tracks that are worth buying and then there's those digital distribution only releases that seem to only be on big store fronts like iTunes for whatever annoying reason.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #62
You are not paying for lossless or lossy copy. We are talking about Apple Music, streaming service, not iTunes Music Store. Music that you buy on iTunes is always 256 kbit/s AAC-LC.

Edit:
On this Tidal thread https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=107645.msg883286#msg883286
you can see that global moderator Kohlrabi had the same concerns as me.


Basically a move by Big Tech to try to push everyone to more profitable streaming services and to phase out and eventually kill off download services.  It's all about the money.  Apple is been doing that for years with the iTunes software.

As long as physical media exists, this won't be an issue.  I can still buy CDs and rip them.

This has always been my plan. in the last year or so, I've been finding it more difficult to find some CDs, even from Amazon.  I'm not a big fan of streaming/downloads.  The little I've used such services, I've found things come and go, are mislabeled or incomplete.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #63
Another gem is that even today transcodes seem to be commom. With streaming this is hard to verify until it really sounds bad.
A few months back i was trying to get some rare stuff and got it from qobuz in lossless flac. It is an obvious transcode.
After the typical complaint i was told they contact the label and report back but nothing happened. I gave up on it to ever get fixed.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #64
After the typical complaint i was told they contact the label and report back but nothing happened. I gave up on it to ever get fixed.
You mean, you contacted the artist?

I am sure there are a lot of bands who have e-mailed mp3s back and forth in between them for processing, and only exported to .wav/.aiff in the very last stage.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #65
I am sure there are a lot of bands who have e-mailed mp3s back and forth in between them for processing, and only exported to .wav/.aiff in the very last stage.
qobuz contacted the artist. I have CDs of the band and all is fine with them. This EP sold lossless at qobuz looks like encoded to mp3 at even low quality at one point.
Besides that the music itself isn't exactly very good. I only collect it because they once were part of FOTN.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #66
the reality is bandwidth and storage is cheap now. SSD prices have come right down, unlimited data plans have made a come back (at least here in the UK) at reasonable prices and 5G is being rolled out rapidly. The question is... why wouldn't you listen to music in lossless ? :D

I also attest to 256kbps AAC being largely suitable for most headphones and setups, and can be compared to CD Quality. But in a world where bluetooth headphones are beocming the norm and rely on AAC or APT-X, having the source content in lossless to restore the origional PCM stream before sending over bluetooth is ideal to avoid transcoding issues. Since the bottleneck is no longer your internet connection or 8GB MP3 player, but the bluetooth link to your headphones and this is where lossy will now be best placed going forward.

Especially as there is no cost... I really don't get all the negativity.
Audio Engineer from the UK

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #67
the reality is bandwidth and storage is cheap now. SSD prices have come right down, unlimited data plans have made a come back (at least here in the UK) at reasonable prices and 5G is being rolled out rapidly. The question is... why wouldn't you listen to music in lossless ? :D

I also attest to 256kbps AAC being largely suitable for most headphones and setups, and can be compared to CD Quality. But in a world where bluetooth headphones are beocming the norm and rely on AAC or APT-X, having the source content in lossless to restore the origional PCM stream before sending over bluetooth is ideal to avoid transcoding issues. Since the bottleneck is no longer your internet connection or 8GB MP3 player, but the bluetooth link to your headphones and this is where lossy will now be best placed going forward.

Especially as there is no cost... I really don't get all the negativity.

This is where I think the value is. It's difficult to tell how recompression of one lossy codec into another lossy coded might affect sound. Different services uses differentr codecs. Apple uses AAC, Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis, Amazon Music uses MP3 and I don't know what YouTube music is using. Then you have the Bluetooth side of things: LDAC, AAC, Apt-X, SBC and LC3.

You turn on lossless audio and you don't have to worry about what kind of compression artifacts mights be created when yuou convert from Ogg Vorbis to LDAC. I'm sure you could ABX a lot of this stuff and figure it out for yourself, but why go through the work, when you have unlimited data and an option for lossless audio.

Apple enabled lossless audio on my devices this morning. I have two quality options: 24/48 or 24/192. I wish there was an option for 16/44.1.

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #68
the reality is bandwidth is cheap now. SSD prices have come right down, unlimited data plans have made a come back (at least here in the UK) at reasonable prices and 5G being rolled out rapidly. The question is... why wouldn't you listen to music in lossless ? :D

I also attest to 256kbps AAC being largely suitable for most headphones and setups, and can be compared to CD Quality. But in a world where bluetooth headphones are beocming the norm and rely on AAC or APT-X, having the source content in lossless to restore the origional PCM stream is now ideal to avoid transcoding issues. Especially as there is no cost...

I really don't get all the negativity.
the reality is bandwidth and storage is cheap now. SSD prices have come right down, unlimited data plans have made a come back (at least here in the UK) at reasonable prices and 5G is being rolled out rapidly. The question is... why wouldn't you listen to music in lossless ? :D

I also attest to 256kbps AAC being largely suitable for most headphones and setups, and can be compared to CD Quality. But in a world where bluetooth headphones are beocming the norm and rely on AAC or APT-X, having the source content in lossless to restore the origional PCM stream before sending over bluetooth is ideal to avoid transcoding issues. Since the bottleneck is no longer your internet connection or 8GB MP3 player, but the bluetooth link to your headphones and this is where lossy will now be best placed going forward.

Especially as there is no cost... I really don't get all the negativity.

This is where I think the value is. It's difficult to tell how recompression of one lossy codec into another lossy coded might affect sound. Different services uses differentr codecs. Apple uses AAC, Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis, Amazon Music uses MP3 and I don't know what YouTube music is using. Then you have the Bluetooth side of things: LDAC, AAC, Apt-X, SBC and LC3.

You turn on lossless audio and you don't have to worry about what kind of compression artifacts mights be created when yuou convert from Ogg Vorbis to LDAC. I'm sure you could ABX a lot of this stuff and figure it out for yourself, but why go through the work, when you have unlimited data and an option for lossless audio.

Apple enabled lossless audio on my devices this morning. I have two quality options: 24/48 or 24/192. I wish there was an option for 16/44.1.

yep exactly this. supposedly the AAC encoder is quite transparent, even when decoded and sent back into an AAC encoder , it kind of "sees" that it was AAC and won't introduce further artifacts but i think this comes down to the bitrate of the origional encode and implementation of the encoding/decoding (although theoretically MP4 audio doesn't suffer this variance like MP3 did). Just for complete peace of mind lossless is the way IMO as fibre broadband, 5G etc... kind of make lossy compression less necssary for soruce content. But I guess they should keep AAC as an option (or default) for now as not all have access to fast internet for streaming, and that way everyone can be happy.

Btw might be able to answer that question, if you tap on the lossless icon when playing a song it mentions the bit-depth and sample rate, i'm surprised at how many are still just 16/44.1 (not necssarily a problem) but in ALAC, I've seen quite a 24-bit/44.1, it's about 50/50, typically the ones with the higher bit depth have the icons for both lossless AND "apple digital master" ... but even then not always :D

The bit i'm baffled with is how iOS doesn't let you see or set the sample rate of a USB-C DAC. There aren't that many hi-res songs yet from what I can tell and not sure how much I care about sample rates above 44.1kHz but be nice to know what is iOS is actually doing under the hood... but thats iOS for you
Audio Engineer from the UK

 

Re: Apple moves to lossless audio is really making more audiofools

Reply #69
Eddy Cue is Apple’s senior vice president of services and the person who oversees Apple Music. He didn’t mince words when he told Billboard that the sudden proliferation of lossless audio isn’t going to significantly evolve or change how we listen to music. “There’s no question it’s not going to be lossless,” he said when asked what technologies will bring about the “next-gen” of music streaming. Cue firmly stands on the side of the crowd that argues most people can’t hear any difference between CD-quality or hi-res tracks and the AAC or MP3 files that’ve been filling their ears for so long now. He did acknowledge that the higher-bit rate tracks might matter to music lovers with particularly sharp hearing or premium audio equipment, but he was also direct about how niche that group is.

“The reality of lossless is: if you take 100 people and you take a stereo song in lossless and you take a song that’s been in Apple Music that’s compressed, I don’t know if it’s 99 or 98 can’t tell the difference.” Cue revealed that he has regularly done blind tests with the Apple Music team, and they confirm how rare it is for anyone to be able to consistently recognize lossless audio. “You can tell somebody, ‘Oh, you’re listening to a lossless [song],’ and they tell you, ‘Oh, wow. That sounds incredible.’ They’re just saying it because you told them it’s lossless and it sounds like the right thing to say, but you just can’t tell.”

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/9/22525028/apple-music-spatial-audio-dolby-atmos-hands-on

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2021