Apple Music begins rolling out lossless streaming and Dolby Atmos spatial audio

Last month, Apple announced it would soon add lossless audio streaming and Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to its Apple Music subscription at no extra charge. That upgrade has now gone live, Apple announced this morning — though many noticed the additions actually rolled out yesterday, following the WWDC keynote.

The entire Apple Music catalog of 75+ million songs will support lossless audio. If you’ve got the latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates installed, you’ll be able to stream select tracks both in standard lossless/CD-quality audio and high-resolution lossless (if you have an external DAC for the latter).

Lossless audio files take up considerably more storage when downloaded and also burn through more data when streamed. The standard AAC streaming remains the default unless you switch your preference to lossless in the Music app section of iOS settings.

Apple has said that over 20 million songs will be available in lossless quality at launch, and the rest of the catalog will go lossless by the end of 2021. Lossless audio is exclusive to Apple Music and requires a subscription; it’s not available for purchase, nor can you upgrade purchased music or get it through iTunes Match.

Today is the first time you can also try out spatial audio on Apple Music. Millions of tracks now offer immersive, Dolby Atmos-powered mixes that Apple claims deliver “true multidimensional sound and clarity.” There will be a much smaller selection of spatial audio tracks than lossless ones, however, with Apple promising “thousands” of spatial audio tracks on day one with more to follow.

Both features now come included as part of the standard Apple Music subscription. More and more music services are offering lossless audio, and those that already were — like Amazon Music HD — are dropping the extra fees they’d previously charged to enjoy it.

Please note: For the purposes of properly coding your music, ISRC rules call for the different ISRC codes for your Dolby Atmos versions of your recordings vs. the standard stereo versions.