Sorry music fans, it doesn’t look like U2 and Apple are done with you yet. Fresh off shoveling their new album down iPhone users’ throats via an uninvited and unasked giveaway, an effort received poorly enough by the general public that Apple was cajoled into creating an entire “remove this crap from my iPhone” page, the band announced via a Time Magazine article that they are working with the behemoth from Cuppertino on a new digital audio format that they’re hoping will tempt music listeners into buying songs and albums again.
Bono spoke briefly about the project in the article, discussing the reasoning behind it, and his hopes that it might help everyone from big-time artists, smaller acts, artists who don’t make money off ancillary activities like touring and merch, as well as songwriters find a way to make money in an increasingly difficult artistic market.
“Songwriters aren’t touring people,” said Bono on artists who currently struggle to make money. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
While there’s no explanation of how a new format is going to help in the long term, given that high-quality free music is literally a few mouse clicks away for anyone who wants it, there are a few rumors and speculation about what it might be. Tech industry news site, Tech Radar, has let on that a source has informed them that Apple might be in the process of making hi-res studio master downloads available on iTunes sometime in the near future. No word on how much those will set you back. So is that the project Bono is so excited about? Or are they maybe thinking of something more drastic, maybe un-rendered studio masters that would allow users to tweak audio levels themselves, remixing and re-mastering tracks as they see fit?
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