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Fingers crossed: Spotify might actually launch lossless audio in 2024

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After years of promises and nothing to show for it, a new leak suggests that Spotify may actually be close to launching lossless audio on its service. Maybe.

Lossless audio is a music streaming feature that purportedly offers extremely high fidelity audio via sky-high bitrates. It's a big draw for audiophiles, but not every major streaming service offers it.

Following two weeks after a leak that Spotify HiFi may finally be on the way, another collection of leaks offer more details. According to another Reddit leak spotted by The Verge, one change is a rebranding away from "HiFi" and to the generally used term "Lossless."

The new leak from u/OhitsTom consists of screenshots supposedly taken from version 1.2.36 of the service's app for Windows. Listed under Streaming quality is an option for Lossless, listed as the highest of the five available.

Lossless is described as music that runs at up to 2,117kbps, at up to 15.9 megabytes per minute. By comparison, "Very High" is 320kbps, consuming 2MB per minute.

Leaked UI elements for Spotify lossless audio [Reddit]
Leaked UI elements for Spotify lossless audio [Reddit]

The lossless audio is also 24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC. There's an additional note that lossless will "play when available" when the option is set, and it is available "on limited songs."

The images also show a compatibility checker, which offers further advice for downloading music in lossless. It also warns that Bluetooth can offer very high quality audio, but not full lossless support.

A wired connection is offered as the best way to enjoy Lossless. However, the same section advises that users could use Spotify Connect on speakers.

Despite appearing in the UI, the leaker says that the feature is only present in the interface, but not working. It's seemingly not possible to listen to lossless music from Spotify, at least pre-launch.

Just the latest chapter in a long string of broken promises

The new leaks of Spotify getting lossless audio may be of little comfort to users. Mainly because it has been in development for so long.

In February 2022, Spotify HiFi was announced as a way to stream a CD-quality lossless audio format to users. At the time, it was expected to launch later in 2021.

Two years later, the prospect of the service was raised again. This time, a "Supremium" tier was proposed, with expectation of a launch in late 2023.

If the service does actually launch this time, Spotify's feature will arrive long after rivals have implemented theirs.

While Apple Music announced Lossless in May 2021, less than a month went by before it actually made the feature available to the public. Unlike rumors about Spotify, Apple's Lossless feature was included as part of the existing subscription.

Many other major services have lossless streaming, including Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and Pandora.