Apple iTunes Music Store's tracks are only 128kbps. We demand more! sign now

The Apple iTunes Music Store sells music tracks for $0.99 each that are AAC files encoded at 128 kilobytes per second (also known as "bit rate"). With the RIAA's brash legal actions taken towards the file-sharing community, the public is left with little other alternatives for legally finding music in a digital format.

128 bit rate is the "bare minimum" that could be even be considered to approach "CD quality". Infact, with most consumer level sound equipment, a vast degradation of sound can be heard at this bit rate. Clicks, pops, and spectral flattening are symptoms of compressing a sound file to this extent. Bass level frequencies are blanketed instead of punchy, and high frequencies are not crisp.

Since Apple is marketing the iTunes Music Store as a viable online replacement to the traditional music store, it must be assumed that Apple's paying customers should be able to play their music files at the same tonal quality that they would had they purchased a physical compact disc. Apple's marketing also shows people from all walks of life enjoying tracks purchased from the iTunes Music Store, yet a significant portion of the target audience who would be considered audiophiles would not find this quality acceptable for purchased music. An even more significant portion would atleast be savvy to the difference in perceivable quality. It is unfair to offer a file with quality that is considered sub-average by an average consumer, and to do so without any clear notification of the quality of the file prior to the purchase.

We ask that Apple raises the standards of the quality of its iTunes Music Store tracks, harnessing the full potential of compressed audio, or gives us a choice of selecting the most appropriate bit rate for us (offering alternative rates higher than 128kbps), considering that we are paying for it, just as we would a physical compact disc.

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Imelda PalmerBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Apple Computer, Inc.

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