Interscope chairman/CEO Jimmy Iovine is not taking any break away from his fight to increase the quality of digital music.
In a CNN article, he reiterates his desire to get the labels to supply Apple and other digital retailers with 24-bit high-fidelity audio files rather than the 16-bit files they give now.
This has long been a goal of Iovine, who is also co-owner of Beats Audio, which produces the Beats By Dre line of headphone and other Beat-branded products.
Iovine first began talking about getting the labels to contribute higher-quality files last year.
In a Billboard feature this past November about the Beats line, Iovine said he's been trying to convince Universal Music Group to upgrade to the master-quality files, and that he recruited Columbia Records co-president Rick Rubin to do the same within Sony.
"We've gone back now at Universal, and we're changing our pipes to 24 bit. And Apple has been great," Iovine says in the article. "We're working with them and other digital services -- download services -- to change to 24 bit. And some of their electronic devices are going to be changed as well. So we have a long road ahead of us."
The CNN piece says that "talks" are ongoing. Selling higher quality files is easy. Playing them on Apple's portable devices-like the iPhone or iPod-will require some upgrading to allow for the 24-bit standard.
Not stated is the fact that labels will almost certainly want to charge more for higher-quality files (as they already do today) and Apple will need to make more to cover the increased cost of transferring larger files downloaded from iTunes.
One quote that stood out in the piece is from Shawn Layden, executive VP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment, the division behind the new Qriocity Music Unlimited streaming service:
"The challenges of music right now -- I don't think the primary one is a quality issue," he says. "Music lovers worldwide are mostly keen right now on the convenience of access -- 'make it easier for me to have.'"