Apple Music users will have access to special live spatial audio performances.

Apple Music now has its own answer to Spotify Sessions.

Carrie Underwood’s Apple Music Sessions performance is available now.

Apple Music Sessions, a series of live performances available exclusively to Apple Music users, were announced this morning. Carrie Underwood and Tenille Townes are the first two artists to be featured, and for the time being, the sessions will mostly focus on country music.

That’s probably because they’re being recorded at a “state-of-the-art” studio in Nashville, Tennessee. According to today’s news release, the firm intends to expand into other genres (as well as additional recording facilities throughout the world) “in the future.”

Artists will play original songs as well as “creative” covers at each session. Carrie Underwood chose “Mama, I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne, while Townes chose Etta James’ “At Last.”

Tenille Townes also released an Apple Music Sessions performance.

Apple Music Sessions will be available in spatial audio, and the performances will also be available as movies. Apple makes no mention of any specific microphone setup in its studio, so these sessions are probably blended for Atmos after the fact to sound more spacious and immersive.

That is at least one differentiation for Apple in comparison to competitors; Spotify has been undertaking its own series of recording sessions (sometimes with covers) for a long time, but only in stereo. I don’t anticipate it to change very soon, given how slowly the corporation is releasing a hi-fi tier.

Apple has already gone down this path, with numerous musicians releasing iTunes Sessions. I recall Sessions@AOL and other live concerts aired over the internet in the early 2000s. Forget about spatial audio; we had Real Audio back then. Instead of music coming from all directions, extreme compression created the illusion that your favorite bands were performing underwater. What progress we’ve made.

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