According to a recent rumor, Apple is said to be working on a new format that will be optimized for iCloud streaming. The new audio format will use a streaming method that adapts the stream to your connection. This would allow for optimized streaming and reduce the likelihood of your music stopping mid-play.
This would also give users with more bandwidth the ability to listen to HD-quality audio on their iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch). This report comes from The Guardian.
This could improve their streaming when they are listening over 3G and reduce the bandwidth used. There is some speculation that this service will be announced March 7th, but we’re not holding our breath.
Still, Apple has been working to improve audio quality for sometime. As The Guardian points out, Steve Jobs did talk to Neil Young about audio quality. There was also Apple’s recent release of software that optimizes audio files to be submitted to iTunes and content mastered specifically for iTunes at the highest possible resolution.
It will be interesting to see if digitally distributed audio makes any significant improvements in the coming years or months, and if any of it is a direct result of Apple.