In June 2015, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in cooperation with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, unveiled a new Hi-Res MUSIC logo (pictured on left) to help music enthusiasts easily identify the highest quality digital audio files and the retailers that offer them. The logo, developed by 2B Communications Inc., was specifically designed to complement the Hi-Res AUDIO logo (pictured on right) licensed by the Japan Audio Society for use on compatible electronic hardware devices that support Hi-Res MUSIC services. At that time the certification applied only to high quality digital download services, but will now be expanded to streaming services that meet the requirements (expected June 1, 2016).
High Resolution Music is officially defined as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources which represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally intended.” This definition ensures consumers receive music that is delivered in a digital format that retains the highest quality captured during the creative process.
A number of data packing technologies are being developed that can support the streaming of hi-res music files to consumers in a more efficient manner, including MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) and MPEG 4 Audio SLS. These and other approved technologies will enable licensed services to display the Hi-Res MUSIC logo mark on their landing page or next to an individual album or track. If the resolution of a recording falls below the required minimum standards of the Hi-Res MUSIC definition at any time, the user will be made aware of this change.
In order to provide consumers with as much information as possible about the nature of these recordings, the Hi-Res MUSIC logo will also be accompanied by the name and resolution of the digital file format. In addition to its use by digital music retailers, record labels are able to feature the logo on advertising and promotional materials.