The Commoditization of Lossless Audio

Audio quality took a big hit in the ’90s during the age of Napster and the iPod when compressed digital files (which take a lot of details out of the music fyi, especially on the high and low ends) were all the rage. But over the past four decades, there’s been a steady resurgence of high-quality audio, largely thanks to old-school analogue formats (like vinyl) becoming popular again and driving up the demand for better quality audio, more recently, lossless audio becoming easily streamable. Last year was a banner one for lossless audio. The two biggest music streaming services on the planet, Apple Music and Spotify, both announced lossless streaming tiers. While Spotify’s service has yet to appear, Apple’s lossless tier made waves by rolling out to all paying Apple Music subscribers at no extra cost. Now you can stream lossless (or CD quality) for £10/month, which is half the price that some legacy lossless streaming services (like Tidal) are charging. This move by Apple subsequently forced the hand of every other lossless streaming service out there — Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz and Amazon all lowered the barrier of entry to their lossless streaming tiers. Now it’s not only easier than ever to listen to high-quality music streams, but it’s also affordable.

Will you be jumping on the lossless bandwagon? Surely, if you’re a music fan it’s a must.


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