Apple looks set to launch the iPad 3 in the early days of next month, but a faster processor and better display resolution may well take a backseat to a revolutionary new audio format. If an insider source is to be believed, Apple is working on audio that can adapt in quality as it streams. 

The news comes from an anonymous source close to both Apple and a UK recording studio, who claims that Apple’s new format will transform the company’s iTunes Match streaming service.

According to the rumour, Apple’s new file format will offer high-end audio in high definition, but will also dumb down to a far lower quality compression if you lose signal or if the situation demands it.

iPad 3: The complete rumour roundup

The best bit is that, in typical Apple style, users won’t have to do much to make it all happen. “All of a sudden, all your audio from iTunes is in HD rather than AAC. Users wouldn’t have to touch a thing – their library will improve in an instant,” said the anonymous tipster.

Streaming or downloading over WiFi to a device with plenty of space? You’ll get perfect, HD music of the highest standard. Sucking down songs over a sketchy 3G connection? The adaptive format will know, and condense down to a lesser quality.

It’s not clear whether Apple will use this tech to provide a marginally better iTunes and iTunes Match offering, or whether it’ll go into full-on ‘kill Spotify’ mode and launch a proper music streaming service with the help of iCloud, but we do know that the company is already making moves to improve the music stored on its servers.

Steve Jobs: Subscription streaming doesn’t work

Apple’s iTunes guidelines have recently been updated to include the below:  “As technology advances and bandwidth, storage, battery life, and processor power increase, keeping the highest quality masters available in our systems allows for full advantage of future improvements to your music. These masters matter – especially given the move into the cloud on post-PC devices.”

Adaptive iTunes streaming? HD audio at maximum quality? A possible subscription-based iTunes streaming service? Sounds like Spotify might have to watch its back.

Via the Guardian

  • Lincoln

    Will this beat Dre? All the best to Apple for iPad 3. I’m marking my calendar.

  • swswsw

    Why is the Search button in wp locked to their own search engine. This means that if ms would have a monopoly on the mobileside, are locked into their own search engine. I think this is totally anti-competitive. It is also entirely undemocratic when MS thanonce an attempt to force upon us their products. Open up MS now! Do not be evil.

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