26 September 2019
Amazon has officially launched its lossless music streaming service named Amazon Music HD. It will be available as a new subscription tier within the existing Amazon Music service which existing users can upgrade to as well. This new service will be competing directly with Tidal and is expected to give Amazon an edge against arch-rivals Spotify and Apple Music.
Amazon Music HD is said to be the home of over 50 million High Definition (HD) songs which will offer 16-bit audio with a sample rate of 44.1kHz i.e. CD quality. It further has millions of Ultra HD songs with 24-bit audio and up to 192kHz sample rate i.e. better than CD quality. The service is currently available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. It is priced at $14.99 for new subscribers and $12.99 for existing Prime users but currently has a 90-day free trial for all the users.
But subscribing alone will not guarantee that you will get to experience your favorite tracks and artists in the lossless quality. You will need to have a fast-enough Internet connection with higher data caps if not unlimited. Amazon recommends a minimum internet speed of 1.5-2 Mbps for HD and 5-10 Mbps for Ultra HD tracks streaming. A typical HD and Ultra HD song will take up to 51MB and 153MB storage space respectively if downloaded for offline listening.
Here are Amazon Music HD hardware compatibility details:
- Alexa-enabled Echo devices (2nd generation and later), Fire TVs, and Fire Tablets
- Most of iPhones and iPads released since 2014 (devices running at least iOS 11) for up to 24-bit/48kHz, external compatible DAC needed for higher sample rates, and Apple AirPlay supports HD playback
- Most Android devices released since 2014 (Android Lollipop or higher) for up to 48kHz and no Google Cast support
- Any Mac from 2013 or later but audio settings adjustment required for the highest quality
- PC support depends on the built-in audio player and DAC
For some more details, you can check out the video below: