Music Quality on iPhones Could be Taking a Big Jump for the Better

MP3s sound like crap, squished of much of their dynamic range and filled with compression artifacts that affect all frequencies. AAC files are better, but still not as good as CDs. Audiophiles who want the best sound out of their portable digital files prefer FLAC, the audio codec that offers the best fidelity.

Today, the only portable players that offer this high-resolution audio (Hi-Res Audio™ in industry branding parlance) come from Sony (which are quite good) and Pono, Neil Young’s Toblerone-shaped player. But come this fall, it’s rumour that iPhones will finally support FLAC files, meaning that Sony and Neil have been put on notice.

I’m all for this. Our phones have plenty of storage to handle FLAC libraries and anything that results in better-sounding music is fine by me. We’ll see if the rumours are true when iOS 11 is released this fall. It’ll also be interesting to see how music providers (iTunes, especially) follow up.

(Via The Next Web)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38341 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “Music Quality on iPhones Could be Taking a Big Jump for the Better

  • Apple already has a format that supports high-res audio called Apple Lossless Encoder, although know body uses it. It’s been part of iTunes since as far back as I can remember. Encode a CD with it and find out for yourself. Not sure why Apple have never marketed this format. Maybe they will start selling music in this encoding? I wish someone would create a new format that has a happy medium of quality and file size.

  • I’ve been using ALAC for years. Ffmpeg can freely repackage (NOT RE-ENCODE) audio files from one lossless type to another, so no fear of being left behind or quality loss between file types.

    They are rumoured to be coming out with a revamped iTunes as well, perfect timing to add FLAC support.

  • I’ve been happy with saving cds as Windows Media Files and loading them on my old Windows phone; I use it as an IPOD with several other features; sounds fantastic with my $250 Sony headphones.

  • I’ve been playing FLAC files on my Android device for a few years now….


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.