Amazon Launches HD Audio Streaming

Amazon Music users have a new higher quality audio tier to enjoy. Amazon has announced the launch of about 50 million songs in the Amazon Music library that stream in what it calls HD quality. The tracks stream in 16-bit, 44.1-kilohertz quality with a smaller subset of tracks offered in Ultra HD at 24-bit and 192 kHz.

The music is FLAC encoded for lossless audio. The bit depth, sampling rate, and audio format all contribute to how much information is in each file.

Amazon Music HD is available for $12.99 monthly for Prime subscribers and $14.99 monthly for non-Prime members. Amazon will upgrade current subscribers to HD for another $5 monthly.

Whether or not the majority of people can hear the difference between standard audio and HD audio is a subject of debate. The new offering does give Amazon something the competition lacks.