Apple Digital Masters - How To Get Your Song In The Apple Digital Master Section Of iTunes

Apple's initiative for delivering high-quality audio to its listeners has been rebranded from 'Mastered For iTunes' to 'Apple Digital Masters'. 

MFiT -> Apple Digital Masters

What Is Apple Digital Masters?

Apple Digital Masters is a section in the iTunes store. The music in this section has been through a quality control process to improve the sonics of the audio.

The Apple Digital Masters incentive is also an opportunity for songwriters. The platform allows artists to deliver their music in the highest possible quality.

How the Apple Digital Masters initiative can improve your music ?

Back in 2003 Apple would take the wav masters from CDs and transcode them to a lossy AAC file at less than a tenth of the size. The original wav files were too large for online distribution. 
In the last 20 years, CD masters have been getting louder and louder. Which has had a negative impact on the dynamic range and audio quality of the music. Loud masters are particularly problematic when it comes to encoding to a lossy file such as AAC or MP3. A loud song that peaks at 0dBFS may end up clipping and distorting once Apple has converted it to a lossy file.


Apple transcoding causing clipping


Apple saw this problem and decided to intervene. Apple gives mastering engineers a set of practices and tools to deliver MFiT masters. These masters will transcode into AAC without causing the file to clip or distort. 


LEVELS ensuring no clipping during transcoding on Apple Music


How can I get my track in the Apple Digital Masters section on iTunes?

To get your track in the Apple Digital Masters section of iTunes your music has to have been mastered by a certified Apple Digital Masters engineer. When you or your label submit your track to iTunes you have to include a few details. The name of the studio, the engineer and their email address. They will check their list of approved mastering engineers. If the details you submit match their records your music will be in the Mastered for iTunes section. I am certified by Apple to provide my clients with Apple Digital Masters masters. Click below to order.


What's changed Since MFiT?

  • Starting August 7, 2019, the new branding will be featured on iTunes and Apple Music, and all Mastered for iTunes content will be badged as Apple Digital Masters.
  • The Mastered for iTunes webpage has been updated and has a new URL.
  • The AURoundTripAAC plug-in, afconvert, and afclip are now automatically included in macOS — there is no need to update the current tools.

What is staying the same?

  • Engineers and studios are still on the MFiT Providers List. (However, it’s now called the Apple Digital Masters Providers List.)
  • The delivery requirements have not changed. All sources and masters must still be at 24-bit resolution with a minimum sample rate of 44.1 kHz.
  • The native resolution of the project should be maintained. Please do not SRC higher sample rates. 
  • All masters must still be auditioned using the Apple AAC encoder.
  • All of the MFiT Software tools are still valid.