What is it?
Apple has created a specific section of the iTunes store for files that have been mastered with the "Mastered for iTunes" process. Approved mastering studios (like Resolution Mastering) use special software that helps them tweak master files that will be encoded as AAC files, Apple's better-sounding alternative to mp3. The protocols that studios follow in creating these masters are a crucial step in assuring that the resulting AAC files sound as good as possible.
When 24 bit files are converted to AAC format, clipping (distortion) often occurs. We now have the tools to not only avoid clipping, but also to hear exactly what the AAC files will sound like once the conversion takes place. This is a big step forward in better sounding digital downloads.
The added bonus is that Resolution Mastering can now supply high resolution audio (96k / 24 bit) to Apple, which not only result in improved encoding, but can future-proof your masters for the inevitable day when iTunes offers "lossless" hi res files in their stores.
In practical terms, Resolution can supply high resolution (96/24 WAV) files that have gone through Apple's approved MFiT process. These file can then be submitted to Apple's "Mastered for iTunes" section of the iTunes store by your record label or your digital distributor. Just let them know that your files have been mastered here at Resolution Mastering, an approved provider of MFiT files.
For more information on the MFiT process, check out these links:
The "Mastered for iTunes" process is an additional set of procedures to the normal CD mastering process. Therefore, it is necessary to charge an additional fee for creating this second set of MFiT files. The rate is as follows:
$50 per track
$250 per full-length CD