A new audio file format being developed by Apple will provide what is termed “adaptive streaming,” with high- or low-quality files delivered to users of iCloud, according to a report in The Guardian.

The report says the new format could mean two things – users could receive high-definition audio to their iDevices or some type of streaming service, which could be possible thanks to Apple’s acquisition of streaming site Lala.com in late 2009.

So, the system would apparently adjust itself dependent on storage and bandwidth of the device, and could be used to upgrade iTunes Match, Apple’s service that providers subscribers the ability to download their entire music library from iCloud.

The UK publication also quotes an unnamed source in London who says a London studio has been asked to prepare files that used the new format:

“All of a sudden, all your audio from iTunes is in HD rather than AAC. Users wouldn’t have to touch a thing – their library will improve in an instant.”

While the new format could help deter piracy, the source also said that mastering engineers would make out royally converting music:

“It’s payday for mastering engineers,” he said. “There could be calls for thousands of albums to be remastered, and at over £1,000 to master a mainstream album, it’s going to be a healthy boost for the recording industry.”

It’s unknown whether the format will be discussed next Wednesday, when Apple officially announces the iPad 3. Along with a Retina display, the new iPad is also expected to be LTE capable and sport a new processor.

A refreshed version Apple TV is also expected to be announced at the event.

Are you excited about the prospect of high-definition music on iCloud, or would something like this just be a marketing ploy?