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Format Targets

Every streaming service has a format target that sounds best. This page describes what I know about each site and what formats to submit. This page is not all-inclusive.

iTunes / Apple

Apple has a specific set of rules, that, should they not be followed, you're not in the club. Fortunately, they're willing to help. Even so, it's quite detailed, and Apple believes you should abide by their best-practices religiously.

Bit-rates above 16/44.1khz will be fine, but higher resolutions are preferable. Accepts 32-Bit files.

  • Target Dynamics: PLR 13

  • Target Level: -16 LUFS

More info here.


YouTube audio is typically embedded with submitted video.

Bit-rates should be 24-bit, 48khz minimum, but may be affected by video rendering.

  • Target Dynamics: PLR 12

  • Target Level: -13 LUFS


Best submitted through an aggregator.

  • Target Dynamics: PLR 13

  • Target Level: -14 LUFS


Aggregators will have similar submission recommendations, but there are a few that may differ. For most, I follow the following targets. Reasonably, even though this target is slightly hot for Apple, their conversion seems to do no real harm.

  • Bit rates will vary, but I will submit the highest possible, depending on the source, and how high the aggregator will accept. 

  • Target Dynamics: PLR 12

  • Target Level: -13 to -14 LUFS, depending on the natural dynamics of the mix and musical style

Some Known Aggregators




The Orchard


More notes on aggregators 2014

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