Apple has announced a new feature that will differentiate their music store from other online music stores. The feature is called “Mastered for iTunes.” Songs on Mastered for iTunes were put together using high-fidelity, processed with a set of guidelines and tools that maintain as much of the sound quality of the original and uncompressed file as possible.
Most modern music tracks are recorded using 24-bit samples at 96 kHz or 192 kHz depending on the processing power and storage space. The iTunes files are compressed to a 256 kbps AAC iTunes Plus format, which loses 97% of the data contained in the original and uncompressed recording.
Apple’s new “Mastered for iTunes” tries to minimize the lost data by downsampling the original and high-quality music file to 44.1 kHz using a 32-bit floating-pointing intermediary file. The file is then converted to AAC. This process uses “every bit of resolution available, preserving all the dynamic range of the 24-bit source file.” To learn more details, visit Apple’s “Mastered for iTunes” website.