Apple Offers Audio Engineers Guidelines for iTunes Submissions

  • Apple has a new “Mastered for iTunes” section on the iTunes Store that includes recommendations for audio engineers when preparing master files for submission.
  • Original recordings are captured at 24-bit 96kHz. The CD format, which encodes at 16-bit 44.1kHz, captures only 15 percent of the original. The iTunes Plus format captures as little as 3 percent of the original. There is an effort underway to set a higher quality uncompressed audio standard of 24-bit across the industry in the future.
  • Mastering for iTunes requires an awareness of the devices used to play back the music. Moreover, Apple is also aware that high-resolution audio files will become more important especially as the focus changes to the cloud for post-PC devices.
  • Apple is providing some basic tools to help in the conversion, but the process is not automatic and engineers remain an important part in determining how best to make the tradeoffs.

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