So I was in iTunes today doing a little account maintenance and noticed a little blurb for "Mastered for iTunes. Experience the music as the artist and sound engineer inteneded." What? Are they going for lossless and higher dynamic range?
No, it turns out they are guiding people on how to edit and submit content so that Apple's iTunes encoders can do a less intrusive job of getting the content into 256Kb VBR...
There are of course sections on the store with popular albums that have been remastered. The paper on the link below is interesting and I note that Apple is saying higher resolution and higher sampling rates are good. Further -
Although it’s possible to remaster from a previously mastered CD source with positive results, in order to qualify as Mastered for iTunes remastered content must begin with a high resolution digitization of the original analog source and must sound noticeably superior to the previously released version. Songs and albums submitted to the iTunes Store as remastered content will be reviewed to ensure that the sound quality shows discernible improvement
Anyway I find it interesting that Apple is getting people to record and submit content in high quality formats, providing tools to see if what is submitted meets the requirements. Of course if there's a huge improvement they'll get to sell the same content over again - at least to some people who care about better sound.
Curious for your thoughts...is this a good thing - getting to higher quality - or not so good, mastering for a specific distribution format and store.
Apple starts offering "Mastered for iTunes" music
Apple - iTunes - Mastered for iTunes
Mastered for iTunes: how audio engineers tweak music for the iPod age