Amazon 'changes Earth forever' with its new HD music streaming service
When it comes to streaming music, Spotify and Apple Music are the two services fighting for the top spot, with Amazon’s offering a distant third.
However, the retail giant is hoping to change that, with a new service that offers more than 50 million songs in HD quality, as well as millions of tracks in Ultra HD, the highest quality streaming audio available.
"We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded," says Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. "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 have a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality), while Ultra HD tracks (better than CD quality) have a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz. In comparison, Tidal's 'Master Quality' sound is 24 bits/96 kHz.
Rock legend Neil Young is especially excited about Amazon's new service, stating -- somewhat hilariously -- "Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses. This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago."
Amazon Music HD costs $12.99/month for Prime members and $14.99/month for Amazon customers. Current subscribers (Individual or Family Plan) can upgrade for an additional $5/month. The new service is available now in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan.
New subscribers to Amazon Music can enjoy a 90-day free trial, while current subscribers can try Amazon Music HD at no additional cost for 90 days at amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd.