Making Music Sound Better on iTunes

Andy VanDette's studio at Masterdisk Courtesy Masterdisk Studios

There are many people who say Apple saved the recording industry with the iTunes Music Store, the first successful digital music retailer. Audiophiles strongly disagree. They lament that by championing tightly compressed 128 kbps (kilobits per second) song files, Apple popularized a low-fi format that is vastly inferior to CDs, to say nothing of traditional vinyl LPs. Now Apple arguably is making amends by promoting albums under the banner of “Mastered for iTunes,” which have been sonically upgraded by recording engineers. Andy VanDette, chief mastering engineer for Masterdisk in New York, recently remastered 15 Rush albums for iTunes. He talked to Bloomberg Businessweek’s Devin Leonard about the process and how Mastered for iTunes could change the recording industry.

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