Prepare Your Release

Delivering Apple Digital Masters

At Apple, we strive to give you both powerful and practical software tools to create and polish your professional creative work. We want the music to sound as close as possible to the way it did in the studio or concert hall, preserving your vision and intention.

After years of working directly with artists, producers, and sound engineers, we are excited to offer Apple Digital Masters high-quality digital audio.

Apple Digital Masters quality

Apple Digital Masters is all about the quality of the source. Music with 24-bit audio has a remarkably wide dynamic range which is preserved during encoding to AAC, and these files are virtually indistinguishable from the original. Some of the best audio engineers in the business have a hard time telling them apart even on high-end audio equipment. Experts may be able to tell you that they are different in some subtle ways, but they can’t necessarily tell you which one they like better. This isn’t about AAC versus CD or vinyl. It’s about creating the best possible master for the unique characteristics of each medium.

Here are a few quick facts about Apple Digital Masters:

  • A simple digital audio workflow, encoding, and submission process.
  • Developed specifically for Apple Music and the iTunes Store.
  • Stellar sound at optimal file sizes.
  • With less noise and higher fidelity than ever before, this is world-class audio for everyone.

To learn more and get started, visit Apple Digital Masters.

Apple Digital Masters studio approval

In order to be approved as a mastering studio with the ability to offer Apple Digital Masters, you must:

  • Review the Apple Digital Masters documentation thoroughly.
  • Create a separate adaptive master specifically for iTunes.
  • Listen to the final result in the iTunes Plus format to make sure it’s right.
  • Contact your Apple Music Label Representative to be put in touch with an Apple Digital Masters specialist.

Our goal is to provide audio transparency using this new process. It’s not good enough to simply deliver tools that will do a “decent job” rendering compressed audio files for iTunes Store customers. We want artists and sound engineers to be thoroughly satisfied and proud of the results they can achieve in our format. We’ve worked hard to provide both the monitoring and quality assessment tools, plus an end-to-end mastering and encoding process that delivers the best possible audio for today’s digital world.