The Hi-Res MUSIC logo and accompanying definition, originally announced in June 2015 by the RIAA on behalf of its member labels, primarily focused on the various types of digital files and download services which met the definition’s requirements. This program, which has been adopted by nearly a dozen download services offering high-resolution music, is now being expanded to cover streaming services that utilize new technologies that meet the quality standards set out in the original Hi-Res MUSIC definition. These technologies ensure that the listener hears music that preserves, without loss of information, recordings from sources that achieve a minimum of 48kHz/20 bit resolution.
High Resolution Music is officially defined as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources that represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally intended.
“The expansion of the Hi-Res MUSIC definition to encompass streaming technologies reflects the continued evolution of the marketplace to deliver high resolution music to fans,” says David Hughes, Chief Technology Officer, RIAA. “We are thrilled that the Hi-Res MUSIC logo will allow streaming enthusiasts to easily identify higher quality versions of their favorite recordings via services that use these approved technologies. It’s the logical next step, one embraced by music labels large and small, that will provide an optimal listening experience to this growing consumer segment.”
A number of data packing technologies are being developed that can support the streaming of hi-res music files to consumers in a more efficient manner, including MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) and MPEG 4 Audio SLS. These and other approved technologies will enable licensed services to display the Hi-Res MUSIC logo mark on their landing page or next to an individual album or track. If the resolution of a recording falls below the required minimum standards of the Hi-Res MUSIC definition at any time, the user will be made aware of this change.
“We are looking forward to the Hi-Res MUSIC logo being associated with services that adopt MQA,” said Bob Stuart, Chairman of MQA. “MQA is a revolutionary new technology which enables the sound quality of hi-res music with the convenience of efficient streaming, something that wasn’t possible even a few short years ago.”
The expanded Hi-Res MUSIC logo requirements for streaming will be available to interested parties on June 1.
The Hi-Res MUSIC Initiative
In June 2015, RIAA, in cooperation with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, unveiled a new Hi-Res MUSIC logo to help music enthusiasts easily identify the highest quality digital audio files and the retailers that offer them. The logo was specifically designed to complement the Hi-Res AUDIO logo licensed by the Japan Audio Society for use on compatible electronic hardware devices that support Hi-Res MUSIC services. In November 2015, RIAA subsequently announced the successful adoption of the Hi-Res MUSIC logo mark by various digital retailers.