“Mastered for iTunes” or as it’s known by the abbreviation “MFiT,” is a collection of albums and songs in the iTunes store that have gone through a quality control process to maximize the sonic caliber of the audio material.
By the time CDs had newly arrived in the marketplace, Sony had already established (in 1979) the industry-standard digital resolution—meaning the number of “samples” or slices of sound that are recorded—of 44,100 per second. Yes, that’s a lot! Imagine dividing every second of music into 44,100 moments. And the sonic qualities of each of those 44.1K samples were described using 16-bit integers, capable of representing more than 64,000 combinations of pitch, volume, and tonal characteristics. For a while, audiophiles were thrilled!
But as portable devices (iPods, smartphones, etc.) became more and more popular, the large files created by that resolution were far too big for devices with relatively little storage memory. So, lower resolution formats were developed including MP3. Those files are much smaller and more easily stored on portable devices, but the tradeoff is that the sound quality is significantly diminished, much to the chagrin of those who enjoy listening to music on good equipment and in quiet environments (versus wireless earbuds on a crowded and noisy subway or train car).
Recently, Apple announced support for audio files that restore CD quality and, in all cases, are based on significantly higher recording resolution. The new standard is—get ready!—more than 96,000 samples per second expressed in 24-bit integers which can describe more than 16,000,000 unique sets of characteristics. Recordings that are made in that way, and authenticated by Apple’s team of audio control specialists, are then processed for streaming or download delivery through the iTunes store. Will you notice a difference on that noisy train? Probably not. Will you notice a difference in a quiet listening environment? Definitely!
ABS is proud to be included in Apple’s “Mastered for iTunes” (or “MFiT”) catalogue beginning with our two most recent releases: Handel’s
and Bach’s Orchestral Suites.