Apple Music high-resolution audio
Customers may see the upgraded audio on iTunes and Apple Music next year. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Music on iTunes is about to get an upgrade for 2016. Apple is preparing to launch high-resolution audio on its digital music store and Apple Music streaming service, according to Japanese blog Macotakara.

The development of high-resolution audio has been at the works at Apple with streaming quality up to 96kHz/24-bit audio, unnamed audio industry sources told the Japanese blog. In comparison, the audio from a compact disc is sampled at a lower quality of 44kHz/16-bit, about the same sample rate of music released on iTunes and Apple Music.

While Apple hasn’t rolled out high-resolution audio to its customers just yet, it started the process of gathering high-quality recordings of the music on its store nearly four years ago, according to Ars Technica. Part of the reason for this was its “Mastered for iTunes” program, where artists and labels would submit remastered music for the digital music service. At the same time, Apple also hinted at the idea of provided higher quality audio in the future, according to the Guardian.

Beyond the software side Apple may have another way of encouraging the adoption of higher-quality audio -- the Lightning port. While its primary use is for data transfer and charging, the port can also support audio devices and headphones built to Apple’s made-for-iPhone acessory standard, according to 9to5Mac. The port hasn’t replaced the standard 3.5mm jack just yet, but rumors suggest that Apple could ditch the headphone jack in its next smartphone -- the “iPhone 7.”