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AMAZON GOES HI-RES

Amazon is making the leap into high-definition audio for its streaming service, adding three bucks to the price for Prime members.

Amazon Music HD will deliver 50m songs at CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz and several million other songs at 24 bits/192kHz, which Amazon terms Ultra HD. The company says the new offerings are “the highest-quality audio the customer’s device and network conditions will support.”

Amazon is offering a 90-day free trial for the new service, which is now available in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Otherwise, the cost is $12.99 a month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 a month for non-Prime members. Amazon Music subscribers can upgrade to the HD tier for an extra $5 a month.

To back up their claims, Amazon recruited one of hi-def audio’s greatest proselytizers, Neil Young, who gave them the quote, “Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high-quality streams to the masses.”

Amazon Music VP Steve Boom told Rolling Stone, “What we found is that people really do care about this.”

Among the major streaming services in the U.S., only Tidal offers a high-resolution tier. Will Apple Music and Spotify follow suit?

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