A report in the Japanese blog Macotakara has sparked rumors that Apple is preparing to release a new audio format that has more than twice the sound quality of a CD. The blog cites "several insiders familiar with Apple" as saying that the company "has been developing hi-res audio streaming up to 96kHz/24-bit."
By comparison, the audio found on CDs -- and hi-res streamers Deeezr and Tidal -- is sampled at 44.1KHz/16-bit. As for Apple Music, its current streaming bitrate is set at 256kbps. Chief rival Spotify offers a slightly higher quality bitrate of 320kbps.
According to the report, the better-than-CD format would be available to Apple Music subscribers some time in 2016. The format would be compatible with the now-standard Lightning ports on all new Apple devices. An earlier rumor (also via Macotakara) started a discussion on whether Apple was doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of the digital Lightning port.