Amazon has released Amazon Music HD, which will give customers access to stream more than 50 million songs in "high-definition" audio and millions of songs in "ultra HD," which it calls the "highest quality streaming audio available."
Bit depth of the songs in HD is 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality), while Ultra HD, which Amazon deems "better than CD quality," is a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.
A subscription will start at US$12.99/mo. for new Prime members, which automatically get access to Amazon Music with their subscription, while current subscribers to Amazon Music will pay US$5/mo. in addition to the regular fee. Amazon customers can pay $14.99/mo. just to get Amazon Music. For a limited time, Amazon Music subscribers in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan can upgrade to Amazon Music HD for 90 days at no additional cost, and new subscribers can receive a 90-day free trial. An Amazon Canada spokesperson confirms that Music HD is not available in Canada at this time. "We don't," she adds, "have any additional news to share today regarding its available outside of the countries it was announced in already."
"We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded," says Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music. "From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favourite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we're combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings."
Amazon Music HD will play the highest quality audio the customer's device and network conditions will support, and is compatible with a wide variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Amazon Music HD is also compatible with many third-party devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and more.