Audiophiles in the audience rejoice, Apple has added a special section of the iTunes store, just for you. Dubbed Mastered For iTunes, these special editions of the albums have been mixed specifically for AAC’s audio profile, rather than just downsampled versions of the CD tracks.
We’re not actually sure when Apple implemented this new area of iTunes, but today everyone became aware of it thanks to an announcement from UMG, and a new set guidelines from Apple. With a PDF guide to the best practice for Mastered for iTunes and some free tools available to download, Apple evidently wants as many people on board as possible.
If you’re interested in the more technical aspects of how this process works, and why people aren’t too thrilled with the way audio sounds on a standard MP3, Ars Technica has a great piece on the process.