Thursday morning, P&P covered reports that SoundCloud users had noticed a change in the streaming service’s audio codec format. They pointed out a change from 128kbps to 64kbps Opus.
Opus is a high-performing codec, which means Opus at 64kbps could actually perform as well or better than MP3 at 128kbps, so original reports that SoundCloud had cut their quality in half are untrue.
During our conversations with SoundCloud representatives, they would not go into detail about the technical specifications of their codecs or respond to questions about which version of Opus they’re using, but they did share a statement explaining that the Opus codec has been in use on the site since 2016.
“These reports are inaccurate,” the statement reads. “SoundCloud has not altered its approach to audio quality. We have been using the Opus codec (among others) since 2016, and we regularly test different combinations of encoding and streaming to offer listeners a quality experience on any device.”
SoundCloud representatives add, “Furthermore, we store all content from creators at its originally uploaded quality level so we can continually adapt to advances in encoding and playback.”
They also stressed that reports of these changes being made due to an effort to lower costs are untrue and they’re working to provide a high-quality product to their users. For more technical information on bitrates and the technology behind the Opus codec, we recommend you check out this helpful article here.