Apple's New 'Mastered for iTunes' Pushes Quality for Audiophiles and Music Lovers
Whether you consider yourself to be a hard-core audiophile or just like to listen to the occasional song, you may be pleased by this news from Apple. They just launched a new program called "Mastered for iTunes." The program aims to make sure the music you listen to on iTunes doesn't get butchered before it comes to you, and is “exactly as the artists and sound engineers intend it to be heard.” Their updated guide is for sound engineers and digital music distribution producers. In it, Apple details their new “Master for iTunes droplet.” It is used to create high-quality iTunes Plus files from AIFF or WAVE masters. Here's a snippet from the guide,
Although the idea is for the user to get a better standard audio quality, it is also advantageous for Apple to create these polished compressed tracks rather than sticking to a lossless, uncompressed format. This makes the files smaller for Apple to host, requiring shorter download times. This will be very useful since Apple intends to distribute them through the point of purchase and also while streaming via iCloud. Kudos to Apple for doing what they do best... keeping the quality of their products high, and adhering to a better standard for the artists and for consumers.
“The Droplet creates an AAC audio file from an AIFF or WAVE source file by first generating a CAF (Core Audio File) rendered with an iTunes sound check profile applied to the file. If the sample rate of the source file is greater than 44.1 kHz, it’s downsampled to 44.1 kHz using our mastering-quality SRC. Next, it uses this newly rendered CAF to render a high quality AAC audio file. Once the final AAC audio file is generated, the intermediary CAF is deleted” ~ Apple Mastered for iTunes guide