Amazon Makes HD Music Streaming Available


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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has added a new layer to its music streaming service to attract those interested in high quality audio. In a press release, the company announced the launch of Amazon Music HD which it says has millions of songs in “the highest quality streaming audio available.”

Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music, said in a statement, “From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favorite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings.”

The HD songs will be similar to a CD-quality audio with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. A separate class of songs that the company is calling ‘Ultra HD’ offers a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz. Those sample rates and bit-depth will be contingent on what a given users’ network bandwidth will allow.

Amazon Music HD is compatible with many, but not all, devices. It is available on Amazon devices such as Echo, Fire TV and Fire Tablets and can also be used on desktops, iOS and Android mobile devices. The service will also be compatible with many third-party devices, including products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, McIntosh, and Sennheiser.

The service will cost $12.99 per month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 per month for Amazon customers. Customers who are already Amazon Music subscribers can add the HD songs for $5 more per month. Customers can enjoy a free 90-day trial to decide whether they like the service.

For comparison, both Apple Music and Spotify Premium accounts cost about $9.99 per month. The next biggest competitor in high definition music-streaming, Tidal, currently costs $19.99.