Apple could offer high-resolution music downloads in June

Apple could be planning a complete overhaul of the iTunes store that may lead to high-resolution audio files being made available for download, according to rumours and leaks website MacRumours.

It expands on previous rumours that Apple is contemplating the release of a streaming service to rival Spotify, while also producing an Android iTunes Store app.

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The high-resolution audio rumours come via music blogger Robert Hutton. He claims an unspecified source has informed him Apple will release high-resolution audio in the store as early as June. An official announcement is expected at Apple's WWDC 2014.

Apple has been in talks with record companies for a few years now, trying to get high-resolution, 24-bit files onto the iTunes Store. Apple currently sells music in 16-bit AAC format, encoded at 256kbps.

BLOG: High-res audio – the science behind the numbers

Apple does also offer Mastered for iTunes version of albums and LPs. These files are submitted by artists in 24-bit/96kHz resolution to "create more accurate encodes."

High-resolution audio has picked up some ground in recent months. Sony is promoting a big push for the format, implementing the technology within many of its new products – including the MAP-S1 system.

Musician Neil Young took it upon himself to release the PonoPlayer and PonoMusic high-resolution audio service to much fanfare, receiving more than $5million worth of support through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

MORE: 10 of the best AV Kickstarter projects

by Max Langridge

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Max was a staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and subsequently spent a good few years writing news and features for various technology and hi-fi publications, before jumping on a plane in search of a more fruitful life in Australia. Now based in Byron Bay, he writes about tech, health, fitness and style.