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Digital music

Apple is planning some big changes for how people listen to music via iOS devices, according to a Telegraph report.

At its rumored Sept. 12 press event, the company is planning to announce a new feature update called “AirPlay Direct,” which allows you to stream music from your iOS devices wirelessly to speakers without the aid of a Wi-Fi connection. Currently, the Airplay feature only allows you to stream media from an Apple device (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and some Macs running Mountain Lion) to Airplay speakers or an Apple TV while on the same Wi-Fi network.

The “AirPlay Direct” upgrade would simplify streaming media for iOS users, since they won’t have to worry about being on the same network as an Airplay device. The new feature could also lead to some quality improvements, though Apple’s Airplay is already better quality than Bluetooth streaming for music (which has to compress the dynamic range of audio).

The company is likely pairing the new Airplay functionality with the new smaller dock connectors rumored to be in future Apple devices, the Telegraph report indicates. And while speaker accessories with the old dock will be much less useful, even with the rumored adapter to support the new dock connector, upgrading to a new one could be more palatable with the AirPlay Direct upgrade.

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