What is "Mastered for iTunes"?

"Mastered for iTunes" is a set of mastering guidelines provided by Apple to ensure that material sold and distributed on the  iTunes store is of the highest standard possible and as the artist, producer, mix engineer and master engineer intended it to sound after it has been through the compression process of iTunes.  It isn't just marketing hype or technical jargon created to confuse or impress. In a world where on one side there is a desire for masters that are "hotter" and "louder" whilst on the other side there are those that are more interested in natural dynamics and the accuracy of reproduction usually associated with lossless formats and higer resolution audio. To address this Apple introduced these set of practices that when adhered to and followed correctly would result in masters that would achieve the best results after Apples proprietary compression codecs have been applied to the master. This ensures a superior master, and additionally, is sold and promoted on iTunes as "Mastered for iTunes".


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Who benefits from Mastered for iTunes (MFiT) masters?

in a word, everybody!

The artist

The artist benefits by having a release promoted as "Mastered for iTunes" with the the MFiT logo at the iTunes store

The producer

The producer by knowing that their produced work will sound exactly as they intended it to sound when distributed digitally

The customer

The customer by getting a similar listening experience as they would have were they listening to a CD and not some form of compressed audio

The record label

The benefit of the product being promoted as Mastered For iTunes on the Apple Music

Sally Sargeant


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Mastered For iTunes and Apple Music

There might be a view that MFiT is irrelevant now that Apple's Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Apple Music has arrived but this is not so. The mastering practice s of MFIT will benefit all forms of digital distribution fromm Amazon Music to Sound Cloud to YouTube and even MySpace Music.
In a nutshell, in these days of digital distribution, especially when you consider that in 2014 digital sales overtook physical sales for the first time in history demonstrating its growing popularity, having an MFiT master of your track, EP or Album is a necessity. Though physical sales still represents a large portion of overall sales, digital distribution and streaming is on the rise so it's best to ensure your music sounds the best it can.