We should clarify this headline quickly: Amazon Music HD already has many more tracks from Universal Music and Warner Music.
The news is that Amazon is working with the two labels to remaster thousands of tracks in ‘Ultra High Definition’ for its hi-res streaming service.
Amazon’s definition of Ultra HD is tracks with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate of up to 192kHz, and it has more than 5m of them already. However, the bulk of Amazon Music HD’s catalogue is its 60m-plus ‘High Definition’ tracks – 16 bits / 44.1kHz.
“We are thrilled to have the support from Universal Music and Warner Music to deliver key recordings from their catalogues, exclusively for Amazon Music customers,” said Amazon Music VP Steve Boom. “We’ll continue to work with more labels to upgrade the digital quality of even more audio recordings.”
The key here seems to be Amazon’s willingness to “work with” labels rather than simply waiting for them to remaster their catalogues at this highest quality level. Some of those tracks will also be remastered in 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA.