Is there anywhere which officially says what format/bitrate is used for the sample files which you play on the iTunes store?

If there's nothing official, can any audiophiles work it out roughly?

So, for example, if I'm about to buy "Rudimental - Right Here" on the iTunes store, and I listen to the sample to check I like it first. What format/bitrate would I have just listened to that sample in?

  • 1
    It uses the same quality as the original but only a snippet of it (30 seconds) – Ruskes Feb 21 '14 at 11:27
  • How do you know this? Do you want to post it as a proper answer if you're sure? :) – BT643 Feb 21 '14 at 16:59
  • Maybe it would help if we understand the purpose of this question. – Ruskes Feb 21 '14 at 17:03
  • @Buscar웃 We have audio samples on our app, and just wanted to know what format/quality the big guys use for reference. I know we can just use "whatever works and sounds good for us", but it's always nice to have a comparison. – BT643 Feb 24 '14 at 9:15
  • Think, would it make sense writing another audio program? It is only a short snippet of the original and its intend is to make you buy it (spend money). So the quality better be same as the original. – Ruskes Feb 24 '14 at 9:28

AAC format at 256 kbit/s, m4a

Originally, songs were encoded using FairPlay-encrypted 128 kbit/s AAC streams in an mp4 wrapper, using the .m4p extension.

From May 29, 2007, tracks on the EMI label were made available in a DRM-less format called iTunes Plus. These files are unprotected and are encoded in the AAC format at 256 kbit/s, twice the bitrate of standard tracks bought through the service. They are labelled as "purchased AAC audio file" (.m4a) rather than "protected AAC audio file" (.m4p) in iTunes.

in January 2009, Apple announced that all music would be available in the iTunes Plus format, bringing an end to the sale of music with DRM on iTunes. In April 2009, the sale of protected music ended in western versions of the store, making all music in the iTunes Store "iTunes Plus." iTunes Store users may choose to "upgrade" any of their downloaded iTunes music to iTunes Plus if they wish, but most songs require payment to do so. FairPlay DRM-protected music was still available in the Japanese iTunes store, up until February 22, 2012, when they upgraded to the iTunes Plus model.[105]

In September 2009, Apple introduced the iTunes LP format (known pre-launch by the code name "Cocktail")[106] which features visual, interactive content alongside album tracks and lyrics.

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