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Spotify lossless audio | Turntable close-up

More than three years after Spotify lossless audio was first promised by the company, it still hasn’t launched. There have been multiple reports since, and the latest of these claims that the service is now very close to launching.

We’ve also heard three different brand names suggested. The company originally announced it as Spotify HiFi, then we heard Music Pro, and today’s report says it will be called Spotify Lossless …

The Spotify lossless audio saga

The company made its original announcement back in February 2021.

Spotify HiFi will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks.

At the time, Spotify said it would launch later the same year; it didn’t.

The news didn’t get any better when that was also the year Apple Music introduced both lossless audio and Spatial Audio at no extra cost – while Spotify’s plan had always been to charge a premium for it.

We’ll skip all the will-they-won’t-they reports along the way, and fast-forward to last month, when the company was said to be gearing up for the launch of the new ‘super-premium’ tier. The planned Spotify HiFi branding was now set to be dropped in favor of Spotify Music Pro.

A new report today again says the company is close to launch, but this time it’s reportedly going to be branded as Spotify Lossless.

The Verge reports:

After years of waiting for Spotify to release the lossless audio tier it promised, some leaked UI elements suggest the project is alive and kicking, if not (dare I say) possibly close to release […]

Screenshots that reportedly reveal the features’ mobile app introduction screen suggest Spotify is also rebranding HiFi to “Lossless” — one of several names that have been speculated since it was announced back in February 2021, alongside more recent rumors of a “Supremium” tier it may fall under.

Of course, definitions of lossless vary, and it seems Spotify isn’t entirely sure what it means by the term. The report variously lists AAC 1,411kbps (which is CD quality), AAC 2,117kbps, and FLAC – suggesting that a mix will be offered. Only FLAC is truly lossless, though very few people can hear the difference, especially when using consumer headphones.

But if the company is hoping to upsell people to a higher-priced tier, it may struggle, given that Apple Music offers lossless at no extra cost.

As for me, it’s all a bit late. I take one of the A/B tests about once a year, and over the years my scores have decreased as my ears age. I’ve dropped from definitely being able to hear the difference through different levels to a latest score of ‘marginally better than random guesses.’ I won’t be signing up.

Photo by Adrian Korte on Unsplash

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Spotify lossless audio said to be close to launch, with third branding – 9to5Mac

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