Amazon Music HD offers lossless audio quality starting at $12.99 per month
Retailer giant Amazon on Tuesday announced Amazon Music HD, a new tier of its music subscription service, that offers lossless versions audio files for streaming or downloading.
With the launch, Amazon becomes the first to offer high-resolution tiers, which is not yet offered by its rival streaming services, Spotify and Apple Music.
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“We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favourite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded.
From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favourite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music.
“It’s a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this — we’re the first one. Amazon Music isn’t often in the conversation about music streaming competition, which usually ends up following a Spotify vs. Apple Music narrative. But Amazon considers itself in their company, and with the new HD offering it’s looking to differentiate itself and perhaps raise its profile,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music.
According to the announcement, Amazon Music HD will offer recordings that are encoded with FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), which means digital audio files are compressed and typically reduced between 50 and 70 percent of its original size and decompressed to an identical copy of the original audio data.
Amazon Music HD is offering more than 50 million songs in “High Definition” with CD-quality bit depth of 16 bits and a 44.1kHz sample rate, and an average bit rate of 850 kilobits per second. It is also offering millions of songs in better-than-CD “Ultra High Definition” quality, which means they have 24-bit with sample rates that range from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz, and an average bit rate of 3730 kilobits per second.
Currently, Amazon Music HD is offering a 90-day free trial, which is a limited time offer. After the 90-day trial, the new tier will cost $12.99 per month (for Amazon Prime customers) on Amazon Music HD Individual Plan and $14.99 for non-Amazon Prime members. Those who are on Amazon Music Unlimited subscription can upgrade to Amazon Music HD by paying an additional $5 per month.
Amazon Music HD is now available to users in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan.