Recording artist Neil Young has revealed in an interview Apple had plans to launch a high-definition music format that never came to fruition. Young says he met with Steve Jobs personally to discuss the service prior to his passing, but “not much” happened with it in the end.
In the interview with All Things D — which was summarized by CNET — Young revealed he approached Apple, and specifically Steve Jobs, about the high-definition music service, which he believes would have happened had Steve not passed away:
When asked if Young had approached Apple about the idea, Young said that he had, in fact, met with Jobs and was “working on it,” but that “not much” ended up happening to the pursuit.
Of note, Young made mention that Jobs was a vinyl fan, despite having helmed the company that would spearhead the way people listened to and purchased digital music.
“Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music, and his legacy is tremendous,” Young told the crowd. “But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you’ve got to believe that if he’d lived long enough, he would have done what I’m trying to do.”
Young said that MP3 files only have around “5 percent of the data present in the original recording,” and that he is concerned that there is no high-definition format available to consumers. Though he also acknowledges that high-definition music would make for much larger music files.
Tracks currently purchased through Apple’s iTunes music store are at a quality of 256 kbps, in the AAC format. Apple does offer a higher quality, lossless audio format that is compatible with the iPhone and the iPod, but these files are significantly larger than standard AAC files.
Based on Young’s interview, it seems the plans Apple did have to introduce high-definition music are no longer being worked on.