What you need to know
- Amazon just made HD streaming the default for its music streaming service.
- The company will no longer charge $5 extra for access to HD and Ultra HD quality audio.
- It's rolling this change out today to subscribers in U.S., UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain.
Amazon today announced an upgrade to its Amazon Music streaming service, expanding its main Amazon Music HD service to all Amazon Music subscribers at no extra cost. The update will go live from today and bring in more than 70 million lossless HD songs, which Amazon says are streamed at CD quality. Of those 70 million-plus songs, Amazon says 7 million of them are available in Ultra HD, or better than CD quality. Aside from these improvements in quality, the company will also offer songs in 3D Audio formats like Doby Atmos and Sony360RA. Amazon did not expand on how many songs were available under this format but noted that it was a "rapidly growing catalog."
Amazon says Music Unlimited subscribers in the U.S., UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain can upgrade to Amazon Music HD for free today. It'll set you back $7.99 if you subscribe to Prime or $9.99 without. The company will no longer charge you the extra $5 it used to from your next billing cycle for current HD users.
Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, said:
When we first launched Amazon Music HD, our goal was to lead the industry by enabling music fans around the world to stream the best quality recording, the way artists intended their music to be heard. We're thrilled now to make Amazon Music HD available to everyone at no extra cost. All music fans should have access to this quality of music, and now they do!
It would be nice to think that Amazon was a very-pro consumer company doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but their announcement coincides with an Apple one that pretty much brings lossless music over to Apple Music subscribers. You can head over to iMore for the full details on that, but it's unlikely that the two announcements are unrelated. The good news is that HD audio is accessible for Android users as opposed to Apple's alternative, which is only offered on iPhones at the moment.
Do you subscribe to Amazon Music? Let us know how you feel about this announcement in the comments below,
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