The most stubborn audiophiles claim to hear the difference between the version lossless and version hi-res of a song distributed by Apple Music. You want to believe them, but you have to not only use an external DAC, but also change the system settings in the Audio MIDI Setup utility, which takes more time than the three or four seconds that hearing memory lasts. . LosslessSwitcher wants to remove this step.
The sound output sample rate from Macs is locked at 44.1 kHz, while files lossless are offered up to 48 kHz, and that the files hi-res can reach 96 or even 192 kHz. The Audio MIDI Setup utility allows you to switch to 48 or 96 kHz on your machine’s built-in speakers or output, but to go beyond that you’ll need to use an external DAC.
Everything you need to know about lossless and spatial audio in Apple Music
Without even talking about more or less dubious comparisons, these constant manipulations prevent you from automatically benefiting from the best possible quality. This is precisely the purpose of LosslessSwitcher: this small application, which nestles in the menu bar, adapts the configuration of the sound output to the characteristics of the piece being played.
A small clipping may be heard while adjusting, and playing files hi-res requires a little more the processor, and therefore the battery of portable machines. This software patch will never meet the App Store terms, so LosslessSwitcher is offered for free on Github.
Unlike macOS, iOS can automatically adapt the sound output to the characteristics of the song being broadcast, provided again that the appropriate DAC is used. The situation is more confusing with AirPlay, which seems to favor the AAC stream, while it would be able to send a CD quality stream, as if Apple had missed something in the configuration.