Today we’re excited to announce the launch of DistroKid’s Mastered for iTunes (“MFiT”) service.
MFiT is a brilliant service from Apple that helps improve the quality of your audio on Apple Music and iTunes… and gives you the elusive “Mastered for iTunes” badge in iTunes.
The majority of charting albums in iTunes have this certification. And now, for the first time — so can you.
All you have to do is click the “Mastered for iTunes” checkbox on DistroKid’s upload form — and it’s done.
What’s Mastered for iTunes?
I don’t work at Apple… so I don’t know everything about how MFiT works. But here’s the gist.
Let’s say you recorded your music in a studio and saved it as a WAV file. You then upload that WAV file to DistroKid, so that we can send it to streaming services.
The first thing most streaming services do, is convert your audio to a smaller, compressed file format. That’s because your huge 24bit/96kHz WAV file isn’t really streamable to anyone with normal bandwidth.
Usually, this conversion process goes well.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Any time a file is converted from non-lossy (ex: WAV) to lossy (ex: MP3), there’s a chance something can go wrong. Usually, any issues are subtle. But at worst, you may hear a loud crack, pop, or clipping that isn’t in the original file.
This is an issue that affects almost all streaming services. But Apple brilliantly figured out a solution.
Apple made their proprietary converter available to select mastering engineers. This is the same converter that’s normally used on Apple’s end to convert your files from their raw format to a streamable format (AAC, in Apple’s case).
This makes it possible for mastering engineers to hear how the compressed audio will sound… BEFORE submitting it to stores!
So the engineer can tweak the audio to make sure it’ll sound great once compressed.
DistroKid’s new MFiT services does just that.
Opt-in, and we’ll ensure your audio conforms to Apple’s exacting MFiT specifications. An Apple-certified MFiT mastering house (that works with DistroKid) will manually listen to each track to make sure it sounds great. If everything is good to go, your track will be certified MFiT.
Four things to note:
- There will be no tonal changes to your audio. They’ll sound the same. The only thing that may change is the overall volume/level.
- This isn’t a replacement for mastering. You can send us tracks that are already mastered — and we’ll get them certified MFiT.
- Not all tracks can be certified Mastered for iTunes. If your audio is particularly bad (or clipped, low-quality, etc) we’ll have to reject it for MFiT. But in those cases, you won’t be charged any extra and we’ll just send the non-MFiT audio to Apple.
- If you already have a track that’s certified Mastered for iTunes, that you got from a different mastering engineer — all good! Let us know and we’ll send that song to Apple and mark it MFiT (at no cost).
How to opt-in new tracks
On DistroKid’s upload form, click the “Mastered for iTunes” checkbox. There’s a small charge per song. But it’s much less expensive then a typical MFiT-certified mastering house would charge. Your audio will be uploaded to stores normally — and you’ll see the Mastered for iTunes badge in iTunes on your album (or single) page.
How to opt-in old releases
Find your album on DistroKid. Then click the “Mastered for iTunes” checkbox. The “Mastered for iTunes” badge should appear on your album in iTunes within 1 or 2 days.
Mastered for iTunes certification isn’t for everyone. It’s for the perfectionist who wants to make sure everything sounds as close as possible to the original — and wants that MFiT badge in iTunes.
If MFiT is for you, we hope you enjoy. We’re proud of the service and are happy to help.
Thanks for reading.
Introducing DistroKid’s New “Mastered for iTunes” Service was originally published in DistroKid News on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.