Amazon is getting into the high-definition business. Good.

For millions of people, the audio quality of MP3s and whatever Spotify and Apple Music serve up is good enough. They don’t mind the compression and the fact that these formats don’t contain all the information that was recorded in the studio. Fine.

But then there are knobs like me, people who grew up trying to acquire the best, clearest, most accurate sound reproduction gear we could afford. Once you get the audiophile bug, or even something close to it, there’s no going back.

There are few options for High-Definition (i.e. CD quality or better) music when it comes to streaming services. We can get it from Deezer and Tidal, but not from Spotify or Apple. But now that Amazon is getting into the game, maybe everyone will understand that it’s time to follow.

Amazon has just announced a high-def music streaming option featuring more than 50 million songs presented in lossless, CD quality files. And that’s not all.

The company also has something called Ultra HD, which has a resolution even great that CD.

Starting now in the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan (no Canada yet. DAMN!), Prime members can subscribe to Amazon Music HD for $12.99 a month. No Prime? Then it’s $14.99. If you’re already a music subscriber, the upgrade is five bucks.

This isn’t for everyone, of course. It would useless to streaming such high-quality audio through one of Amazon’s smart speakers. But if you have the right audio gear of sufficient quality, then you’ll be interested.

Oh. Neil Young officially approves of the Amazon project. And knowing his grumpy obsession with proper audio, this has gotta be good.

(Via RAIN)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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