Apple Digital Masters Studio-quality sound. For everyone.

By starting with the best possible masters we are able to offer our Apple Music and iTunes customers the highest possible quality audio. Our latest encoder can take advantage of every bit of the high-resolution masters that engineers are creating especially for us. The results, both for streaming and download, are virtually indistinguishable from the original 24 bit studio masters.

Creating Apple Digital Masters

We are committed to delivering music as the artists and sound engineers intend it to be heard. We worked with many of the top mastering studios in the world to come up with workflows for creating the best possible masters for the Apple ecosystem—whether for streaming from Apple Music or downloads from the iTunes Store. Here is some history and information that guided those decisions as well as instructions for the use of the Apple mastering tools.

Apple Digital Masters

Mastering Tools

To hear how music will sound after it’s encoded and to help make important creative choices during the mastering process, download these tools. The Apple Digital Masters droplets are simple, standalone drag-and-drop tools that automates the creation and decoding of 256 kbps AAC encodes using the Apple AAC encoder. AURoundTrip and afclip are now included in the latest versions of macOS. For earlier versions of the OS use the links below.

Apple Digital Masters Droplets

Apple Audio Mastering Tools (OS X v10.9 or greater)

Apple Audio Mastering Tools (OS X v10.8 or earlier)

AU Lab

Apple’s free digital audio mixing application, AU Lab, can be used as a host application for Audio Unit effects, including the AURoundTripAAC plugin, one of the Apple Digital Mastering tools. If you don’t already have Logic or another Audio Unit host application, download AU Lab to get started with auditioning your audio, detecting peaks and clipping, and performing double-blind listening tests.

AU Lab