In what could be characterized as a noble attempt to bridge the mass market’s preference for convenience over quality, and the audiophile’s choice of pristine audio over mobility, a Scandinavian streaming music service called WiMP has introduced lossless streaming. Lossless audio files are derived from the original source (such as a master recording) without suffering the sound-degrading compression which is applied to create an mp3 or AAC file. The value of compressed files is their smaller, more portable size — you can fit more of them into a mobile device, and they stream more fluidly in mobile bandwidth situations. In a market governed by smartphone listening through cheap earbuds with severely constrained frequency response, audiophile demand is always niche.
WiMP does not force the high-quality solution on its users, but does offer it as one of several quality options. The company also re-sourced its library, replacing so-called lossy originals with lossless versions. That enabled WiMP to control the compression schemes from top to bottom.
WiMP is currently available in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden.