The key way to define the sound quality is to compare the supported bitrate, which is measured in Kbps (Kilobytes per second). Digital music is compressed to keep the file size of each track manageable. In doing so, some detail is lost, and the lower the bitrate, the more lost detail. The Kbps measurement indicates how many Kilobytes of information are required to store each second of music.
Apple Music streams are AAC files encoded in 256kbps.
Why did Apple select 256kbps? Simple: songs downloaded from iTunes are also encoded at 256kbps AAC.
AAC is a codec - a standardized format for digitally encoding and decoding music in a compressed format, similar to MP3. However, AAC was created specifically to retain better audio quality than MP3 at the same bit rates
Apple Music's streaming quality is on par with iTunes Match, which plays tracks back at 256kbps AAC quality.
Speaking of Spotify, it offers a 96kbps bitrate on mobile and 160kbps on desktop and web player while its high-quality 320kbps MP3 streaming on mobile and desktop is only available to Premium subscribers.
So does Spotify have better audio quality than Apple Music?
Right off the bat, the higher number might make Spotify look better. However, to the average listener, not all that much. The quality of your earphones, sound system or dock will ultimately determine how good your music sounds. That said, the more you've spent on audio equipment, the more bitrate variations will become noticeable.
Actually, most people simply can't hear the difference between 256kbps and 320kbps, even with the same format.
All Apple Music songs are DRM protected, so you cannot play them on non-Apple device or media player. If you want to remove DRM from Apple Music and play Apple Music songs on any device without limitation, then Apple Music Converter can help you. It can help you convert Apple Music to Lossless AIFF or FLAC with high quality.
Apple Music Converter - Remove DRM and Convert Apple Music to MP3
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