CD BABY HELP CENTER

What are the “Mastered for iTunes” requirements?

In order for your release to be branded “Mastered for iTunes” in the iTunes music store:

  • Audio must be delivered at 24-bit resolution as a WAV file. Acceptable sample rates are 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz.
  • Masters must have been created by a mastering house on the "Mastered for iTunes Provider List.” - HERE
  • You must provide the email address of the mastering engineer who created your audio files. You can include this information when you send us the link to your audio. If your desired studio is not on the list, contact cdbaby@cdbaby.com for assistance, using the subject line “MFiT Inquiry.”
  • The mastering house must have been asked to follow the mastering requirements (see below) in the creation of the masters.
  • The PCM audio of the masters from the mastering house must not be altered. For example, it must not be up- or down-sampled, the bit depth must not be changed, it must not be watermarked, and so on.
  • Source format must have been minimum 24-bit with a minimum sample rate of 44.1 kHz. (Up-sampling and/or bit-padding of 44.1 kHz/16-bit files are not allowed.)
  • All masters must have been auditioned as encoded by the current Apple AAC encoder either with the "Master for iTunes Droplet," "RoundTripAAC" plug-in, or the Sonnox "Pro-Codec V2" plug-in that includes Apple's "iTunes +" AAC CODEC.
  • Although iTunes doesn't reject masters for specific numbers of clips, audible clipping caused by excessive levels to the encoder may be reason for tracks to not be badged and marketed as "Mastered for iTunes."
  • The format of the masters must be 24-bit PCM at a sample rate of 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kHz. Native resolution of project preferred. (ALAC or FLAC lossless compression is acceptable.)
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