Apple and U2 working on new audio format – that can’t be pirated

Apple and the Irish rock band U2 are working secretly on a new music format that should guarantee artists to get paid for their work. According to frontman of the band, Bono, the format will have so many advantages that users don’t mind to pay for the content anymore.

Facebook Interview: Bono
Image by World Economic Forum [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In an interview with Time, Bono speaks about the format but doesn’t reveal any details. However he does state that it will be impossible to pirate music in the new format which indicates there is some form of DRM used.

“It will be an audiovisual interactive format for music that brings back album art in the most powerful way”, Bono said. He also adds that users can play with the lyrics and they can see photography in a way never seen before. The format would not only be used on albums but also on individual tracks. U2 expects to use the format for the first time when they release the album “Songs of Experience”.

The manager of U2 hinted to Billboard last week about the new format. Besides lyrics and artwork the manager also mentioned videoclips that should provide listeners with an more in-depth experience than currently possible with existing formats. It’s unknown whether Apple’s and U2’s format will also bring an improvement in audio quality.

In the past there’ve been rumors that Apple would introduce a technology for distributing audio in high quality. Recently Neil Young released his Pono-format for 24 bit audio at 192kHz and several streaming services offer music in the lossless compression format FLAC.