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The HomePod and HomePod mini won't play Apple Music Lossless audio at launch, but will at a later time, according to a support page update providing details on the streaming music feature's functionality.
Apple's unveiling of Apple Music Lossless and Spatial audio on Monday, a feature that will provide high-fidelity versions of tracks to subscribers instead of the standard-bitrate versions streamed as standard. To clarify some of the questions surrounding the support of its own products, Apple updated a support page on Saturday to offer more insight.
The frequently asked questions section on the "About lossless audio in Apple Music" page mentions that neither the HomePod nor HomePod mini will work with Lossless at launch. According to the page, the two smart speakers "currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality."
However, while neither speaker will play the high-bitrate feeds at the start, Apple says "support for lossless is coming in a future software update."
Apple also provides a little bit of clarity on the AirPods Max situation. While it was confirmed at launch that the AirPods Max won't support Apple Music Lossless over Lightning, Apple explains it's down to how the connection works.
In its explanation, Apple says the Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable was designed to allow AirPods Max to "connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music." While AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings and enjoy "exceptional audio quality" in this way, the analog-to-digital conversion in the cable means "the playback will not be completely lossless."
Previously, it was found that Android users will be able to enjoy Apple Music Lossless, but not Spatial audio. Though AirPods naturally don't have the capability to use Lossless over wireless connections, Apple is said to be developing its own proprietary high-fidelity audio format to enable the feature.
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