Spotify doubles sound quality

The streaming service has ramped up its bit-rate to 320Kbits/sec - but only for paying customers

Spotify has launched CD-quality sound, claims the company, by doubling its streaming bit-rate to 320Kbits/sec.

However, only monthly subscribers will be given access to the higher bit-rate tracks. Free users will still hear only 160Kbits/sec.

At first only the most popular tracks on the service will be upgraded, with the service's entire back catalogue being switched over in the next few weeks. Lilly Allen's The Fear is one of the first to be upgraded.

"Providing great sound quality has always been an important goal for us. Now, we're taking the next step in offering an unparalleled listening experience," said chief executive Danial Ek, speaking to the Telegraph.

Most of Spotify's 1 million UK users are currently opting for the ad-supported, free version of the service, rather than the £9.99 monthly subscription. Higher bit-rate services held back for premium accounts is one way in which the company hopes to encourage more free users to switch.

Spotify users can enable the higher bit-rate option by checking "enable high bit-rate" in the preferences window.

Yesterday, bosses at the Official UK Charts Company, which compiles the weekly Top 40 music sales chart, said that streaming services are "bound to" be taken into account at some point.

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