Better quality music files may came at an extra premium.
CNN is reporting that Apple is currently in negotiation with music companies to bring 24-bit high quality music files to iTunes. The music store currently offers compressed 16-bit audio files, and a higher quality option will certainly address complaints from audiophiles that have been asking for better sounding tracks for some time.
However, while 24-bit audio would bring iTunes to provide studio standard audio files, some users have may have to invest in new hardware to get the full experience. iTunes and most Macs are capable of handling such files, though many laptops and other media players in the market may not feature the correct hardware to run them.
The report also suggest that Apple may introduce a premium-priced option next to existing formats.
iTunes store initially offered 16-bit tracks at 128kbps with DRM tacked on. Later on, the company introduced ‘iTunes Plus’ tracks that were encoded at 256kbps and were DRM-free. Eventually, iTunes shifted it’s entire catalog to iTunes Plus tracks. A likely scenario is possible for the new 24-bit service as well, as the company slowly changes gear to the better quality format.