LG launching high-fidelity music download service

Phones will require 24-bit playback to work with the service on LG SmartWorld

LG Electronics said August 13, 2015, it is launching a high-quality music download service that can be used with smartphones.

LG Electronics said August 13, 2015, it is launching a high-quality music download service that can be used with smartphones.

LG Electronics is joining the high-quality audio delivery business with the launch of a service that can be used with premium smartphones.

Available on the LG SmartWorld app and website from later this month, the service will be available to users in nearly 70 countries including the U.S., China and Russia.

It was originally launched last year in South Korea. It will not be a streaming service, and songs will have to be downloaded.

The main draw will be the sound quality, which will be a step up from regular MP3 recordings but will only work with handsets that support 24-bit playback. That includes phones such as the LG G4, G3, G2 and G Flex 2.

LG said the high-fidelity music will be "close to the original sound with playback of 24bit/192kHz, about six times richer and clearer than the sound quality of a typical CD (16bit/44.1kHz)."

The basic price per song is around US$2, but that will vary by country and various discounts are available, an LG spokeswoman said. For instance, customers will receive two free hi-fi songs per month and have the option of buying songs for half of the original price.

The high-res music will be provided by South Korea's LON Music, and only a handful of tracks will be available at the beginning but the catalog will grow every month.

The service doesn't have a specific name, but users can select "hi-fi" as a category on the LG SmartWorld site. The company has been providing MP3 files to customers in partnerships with music labels for years.

Aside from lossless streaming audio services like Jay Z's Tidal, which was revamped earlier this year, and Deezer, other streaming music providers include Google Play Music, Apple Music and a host of others.

Last year, LG rival Samsung Electronics announced Milk, a radio service with no ads that's available through the Google Play app store.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

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Tim Hornyak

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