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Scratching my head - getting Apple music to HiFi

tgray

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Is there a device that will act as an endpoint for Apple Music that will output a bit perfect lossless signal to my DAC that can be controlled wirelessly from an ipad running Apple Music App?

The Sonos Port should do most of this, but you might have to control playback from the Sonos app on your iPad. The Port will stream directly from the cloud to its output.

If you want to use the Apple Music app to control playback, I’m pretty sure your option would be to stream to the Port using Airplay from your iPad.

You can do either method at any time. I often play music from my NAS and stream from services, while my wife tends to Airplay from her phone.

The Apple TV can stream directly from the cloud and you can do minimal control of it from your iPad. I don’t subscribe to Apple Music (yet), but I do think there are some provisions to control playback on the Apple TV from an iOS device. I just tried changing songs without a subscription on an iPad and got a warning about switching over to Airplay and “To play music without interruption requires an Apple Music subscription with Sync Library turned on” so maybe there is hope. I intend to try out the streaming service in a few weeks and if this thread is still going could report back.
 

chelgrian

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A: Why in the world would we not do this? It costs us practically nothing. It makes perfect sense
B: Cause fuck 'em, that's why

At least for Atmos Dolby Digital Plus is required which you cannot do down SPDIF you require HDMI.

For lossless stereo fair enough. HDMI would not be such a bad idea if it was not for the HDCP issues, turn on your TV while playing music the HDCP has to renegotiate and your music gets interrupted.
 

Music1969

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Thank you all for great replies!

I must confess I am baffled by Apple here. I'm sticking with Roon and Qobuz.

Doug

SHD supports Volumio which supports Airplay (via Shairport emulator) already?
 

Daverich4

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The other possibility is an iPad and a class compliant USB audio interface. Note that such a device must have its own power an iPad cannot bus power such a device.

There are a number of USB DACS that work with an iPad and don’t require external power. The Audioquest Dragonfly Red I use is one of them.
 

dkinric

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Bluesound Node 2 supports Airplay 2 (as well as Spotify, Roon, Tidal Connect)

Just Airplay from Apple Music on your iPhone/iPad/macOS
My concern is the signal quality of Airplay. More than once Amir has alluded to it doing funny things with the signal, such us upsampling a 44.1 signal to 48. See this post:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ew-updated-dsp-dac-streamer.18681/post-611248

Arguments about audibility of this aside, I have a bit perfect signal now and don't want to go back from that. I don't see an easy Apple solution here. I may just wait for Spotify lossless, where Spotify connect on my Allo streamer will do bit perfect streaming.
 

Helicopter

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Typical Apple ecosystem BS. Everything has intentionally limited functionality, and they seal up all gaps in the system tight so you are forced to get everything from them.

Amazon is half as bad, but at least they have the Echo Link, which, if it would output digital in full HD, and let me broadcast an LP to all the Echo crap in the house it would be perfect. I can control it with my voice or touchscreen via an Echo Show or with a phone, tablet, or whatever via the app. A PC gets you full HD, but must be controlled via the PC inputs.

I considered getting am FM transmitter and replacing smart stuff with old radios.

You pretty much have to go with something like Tidal that is made for enthusiasts to get lossless and perfect integration with hifi it seems.
 

Music1969

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My concern is the signal quality of Airplay. More than once Amir has alluded to it doing funny things with the signal, such us upsampling a 44.1 signal to 48. See this post:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ew-updated-dsp-dac-streamer.18681/post-611248

Arguments about audibility of this aside, I have a bit perfect signal now and don't want to go back from that. I don't see an easy Apple solution here. I may just wait for Spotify lossless, where Spotify connect on my Allo streamer will do bit perfect streaming.

Resampling only happens with Airplay to Apple TV - resample to 48kHz. 48k audio is standard for video devices.

Airplay is bit perfect with the 'audio only' devices like Bluesound Node etc. 16bit / 44.1kHz
 

dkinric

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Resampling only happens with Airplay to Apple TV - resample to 48kHz. 48k audio is standard for video devices.

Airplay is bit perfect with the 'audio only' devices like Bluesound Node etc. 16bit / 44.1kHz
Do you have a link to support that? Amir was commenting on Airplay to the MiniDSP SHD
 

Music1969

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Do you have a link to support that? Amir was commenting on Airplay to the MiniDSP SHD

My own testing with a Bluesound Node and Airport Express.. which use official certified Airplay 2. Limited to 16/44.1

I don't know how the miniDSP works but that's not even official Airplay. That's a Shairport emulator in Volumio as I wrote before.
 

tgray

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The Apple TV can stream directly from the cloud and you can do minimal control of it from your iPad. I don’t subscribe to Apple Music (yet), but I do think there are some provisions to control playback on the Apple TV from an iOS device. I just tried changing songs without a subscription on an iPad and got a warning about switching over to Airplay and “To play music without interruption requires an Apple Music subscription with Sync Library turned on” so maybe there is hope. I intend to try out the streaming service in a few weeks and if this thread is still going could report back.

So I finally got around to signing up for Apple Music. Can confirm that (with iOS 14 at least) you can start playing music via the Music app on your iPad/iphone, set an Apple TV as the output (as if you were sending it via Airplay) and the stream is handed off to the Apple TV. I started playing on my phone, sent to the Apple TV, and turned off my phone. Playback continued uninterrupted on the TV and I was able to pick up control on my iPad. So, essentially like Spotify Connect.

This did not work before I had an active subscription to Apple Music.
 
OP
Jimshoe

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So I finally got around to signing up for Apple Music. Can confirm that (with iOS 14 at least) you can start playing music via the Music app on your iPad/iphone, set an Apple TV as the output (as if you were sending it via Airplay) and the stream is handed off to the Apple TV. I started playing on my phone, sent to the Apple TV, and turned off my phone. Playback continued uninterrupted on the TV and I was able to pick up control on my iPad. So, essentially like Spotify Connect.

This did not work before I had an active subscription to Apple Music.
Ah! This is interesting - that is what I want to do, 'hand over' the streaming to another device i.e not having my Mac 'tethered' (even wirelessly) to the SHD. But, if I understand you correctly, you are just playing audio through your TV? I want to be able to play it through my SHD.
 

dougi

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Typical Apple ecosystem BS. Everything has intentionally limited functionality, and they seal up all gaps in the system tight so you are forced to get everything from them.

Amazon is half as bad, but at least they have the Echo Link, which, if it would output digital in full HD, and let me broadcast an LP to all the Echo crap in the house it would be perfect. I can control it with my voice or touchscreen via an Echo Show or with a phone, tablet, or whatever via the app. A PC gets you full HD, but must be controlled via the PC inputs.

I considered getting am FM transmitter and replacing smart stuff with old radios.

You pretty much have to go with something like Tidal that is made for enthusiasts to get lossless and perfect integration with hifi it seems.

This streamer you can get from Audiophonics has a built in FM transmitter (and rx) to do just that! SMC-1030 Audio Streamer WiFi Bluetooth DLNA UPnP DAB+ FM - Audiophonics
 

tgray

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Ah! This is interesting - that is what I want to do, 'hand over' the streaming to another device i.e not having my Mac 'tethered' (even wirelessly) to the SHD. But, if I understand you correctly, you are just playing audio through your TV? I want to be able to play it through my SHD.

Yes, Apple TV to TV via HDMI, then TV to audio system (Sonos Amp) through HDMI eARC or toslink optical. So the TV is in the loops, but audio is coming from my actual speakers. It should work if you use an HDMI audio extractor right after the Apple TV and send coax or optical right to the SHD.
 

bevok

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Airplay sounds great but if you want higher than redbook and ‘audio only’ the Sonos Port previously mentioned is the obvious answer to digital out, app controllable and not dependent on a phone/tablet being on. If there is another change of streaming provider then you’re sure to be covered! With the approach of lossless and Atmos I decided to get an Apple TV. Easy solution, works easily and surprisingly I’m really enjoying the visual interface (but can ‘slum it’ with CD quality via Airplay to my receiver if I don’t want it on). The sound including the new Atmos content sounds delightful and works nicely either via remote control or using my tablet to ‘control it’ through the Apple Music app.
 

tgray

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Sonos only currently goes to 48/24 right now as well. I personally do not care as I can’t hear any difference with higher sampling rate, no have I seen any thing really definitive to that point, particularly in normal environments. Well mastered 44.1/16 is good enough for me.

I have a Sonos and an Apple TV and am totally good with the setup. All my streaming bases are covered.
 

lordhumungous

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Bluesound Node 2 supports Airplay 2 (as well as Spotify, Roon, Tidal Connect)

Just Airplay from Apple Music on your iPhone/iPad/macOS
Airplay can't do hi res and as of now it is only AAC and not ALAC. I suspect this will change down the road
 

lordhumungous

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Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you are saying, but Airplay is usually or always ALAC.
Apple music streams are still in aac . What Im saying is apple music streams through airplay are not lossless yet which means they are streaming aac and not alac. Several people over at Roon Community that are developers have brought this to everyone's attention.
 
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