Apple Music/Spotify in a headless setup

jaiwant_alex

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I would like to hear thoughts and advice from members on the best way to incorporate streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify) in a headless set up

My main source of music is FLAC files stored on a network drive. I play them on JRiver running on a Raspberry Pi which then gives a usb output to a DAC. I control JRiver using my phone through an Android app. I find this a very convenient and efficient setup for playing local files and would not want to change it.

However with lossless music already available on Apple music and Spotify soon to follow, I'm sure I will listening to a lot of the these services apart from my local files.

Right now I have managed to get a workaround going - I play the music on the Apple Music app on my (rooted) android phone and stream it using DLNA to JRiver on the Rpi. With this I can retain the convenience of controlling everything from the phone , but the sound quality is terrible since the android phone resamples the output

I also tried to install Apple music on the Rpi - this works but is glitchy and also can't be controlled with an app.

Please do give your thoughts on this and whether I'm missing something.Is a software workaround possible? Maybe there is some hardware/player/streamer which can achieve this ?

My objective would be to 1) play lossless music on Apple music (and eventually, Spotify) and send a bit perfect output to the DAC 2) retain the convenience of controlling and browsing on a phone, instead of a stationary laptop/touchscreen.
 
You can check Moode Audio. It's an entire operating system which runs on RPi Zero with no trouble at all and supports local streaming and Spotify. I have used it somewhat, though, without a DAC. I send the output to the AVR using HDMI cable. It can be controlled using its web interface or with M.A.L.P. app, doesn't have a native app though and the app experience is sub-optimal. Web interface is decent though. While streaming from Spotify, I control everything using the Spotify app itself.

I don't know about Apple Music compatibility. Moode supports Airplay, but you'll need an Apple device to use that. Since you mention an Android phone, it might not work.

You can also try Volumio. I tried both and found Moode to be more stable out of the box. Volumio kept glitching while using Spotify.
 
I am using MAC mini headless. Apple Music through airplay. Installed Air Server (paid) for that. Spotify through official app, Tidal through Audirvana.
 
Airplay from an old Iphone to Pi_+ Digione. Works great. No additional apps needed, zero lag.

MaSh
 
My objective would be to 1) play lossless music on Apple music (and eventually, Spotify) and send a bit perfect output to the DAC 2) retain the convenience of controlling and browsing on a phone, instead of a stationary laptop/touchscreen.
The apple ecosystem has now become what windows was once. It is a damn restrictive ecosystem and doesn't play well with any standard system. You want loseless? You have no other option than to use an apple device. You can use mac mini, macbook air/pro, ipad, iphone to stream loseless. But the moment you go to linux, you will not have the Music App which is essential to play losless. Even on android, the bit rate will be throttled to 48Khz. I have tried all options and ultimately settled on using an old 2012 mac mini hacked to install the latest OS so that I can have the apple music app. I have connected a DAC to this mac mini, the output of which goes to my preamp source selector.

You already have RPI. You can install shairport-sync (this is what tom dick and harry, moode, voliumio install to give you airplay support). But airplay is lossy and limited to 44.1 KHz.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install shairport-sync
 
The apple ecosystem has now become what windows was once. It is a damn restrictive ecosystem and doesn't play well with any standard system. You want loseless? You have no other option than to use an apple device. You can use mac mini, macbook air/pro, ipad, iphone to stream loseless. But the moment you go to linux, you will not have the Music App which is essential to play losless. Even on android, the bit rate will be throttled to 48Khz. I have tried all options and ultimately settled on using an old 2012 mac mini hacked to install the latest OS so that I can have the apple music app. I have connected a DAC to this mac mini, the output of which goes to my preamp source selector.

You already have RPI. You can install shairport-sync (this is what tom dick and harry, moode, voliumio install to give you airplay support). But airplay is lossy and limited to 44.1 KHz.
How about using Apple TV 4K...connected to the audio gear directly via HDMI... I believe lower versions can’t play lossless...
 
How about using Apple TV 4K...connected to the audio gear directly via HDMI... I believe lower versions can’t play lossless...
They will all play at 48K sampling rate only. I have ATV & I don't like it. I think the best device would be nvidia shield. It will be much cheaper than apple tv and not have a restrictive ecosystem. See this comparision. But I have no first hand experience because I have not heard apple music on it. I did ask on the forum for experience with apple music on shield, but no member have replied and it seems no one is using apple music on shield. So if you personally know anyone owning shield, ask them.

 
I would like to hear thoughts and advice from members on the best way to incorporate streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify) in a headless set up

My main source of music is FLAC files stored on a network drive. I play them on JRiver running on a Raspberry Pi which then gives a usb output to a DAC. I control JRiver using my phone through an Android app. I find this a very convenient and efficient setup for playing local files and would not want to change it.

However with lossless music already available on Apple music and Spotify soon to follow, I'm sure I will listening to a lot of the these services apart from my local files.

Right now I have managed to get a workaround going - I play the music on the Apple Music app on my (rooted) android phone and stream it using DLNA to JRiver on the Rpi. With this I can retain the convenience of controlling everything from the phone , but the sound quality is terrible since the android phone resamples the output

I also tried to install Apple music on the Rpi - this works but is glitchy and also can't be controlled with an app.

Please do give your thoughts on this and whether I'm missing something.Is a software workaround possible? Maybe there is some hardware/player/streamer which can achieve this ?

My objective would be to 1) play lossless music on Apple music (and eventually, Spotify) and send a bit perfect output to the DAC 2) retain the convenience of controlling and browsing on a phone, instead of a stationary laptop/touchscreen.
What you are trying to achieve with AM lossless and controlling remotely is unfortunately very restricted. Your only option from my experience would be thru any airplay device which will get you CD quality if hi res is not important to you. To stay truly bit perfect with airplay on most devices you would also need to set digital volume at 100% - so you'd need another volume control downstream in your chain
 
They will all play at 48K sampling rate only. I have ATV & I don't like it. I think the best device would be nvidia shield. It will be much cheaper than apple tv and not have a restrictive ecosystem. See this comparision. But I have no first hand experience because I have not heard apple music on it. I did ask on the forum for experience with apple music on shield, but no member have replied and it seems no one is using apple music on shield. So if you personally know anyone owning shield, ask them.


Based on further 'research' and the answers here, I have realised that the best solution will be to continue with my current set up for local files , and use a seperate device for streaming services. Nvidia sheild is the obvious answer and I will try to get one from the US once someone is coming across.
 
What you are trying to achieve with AM lossless and controlling remotely is unfortunately very restricted. Your only option from my experience would be thru any airplay device which will get you CD quality if hi res is not important to you. To stay truly bit perfect with airplay on most devices you would also need to set digital volume at 100% - so you'd need another volume control downstream in your chain
bitperfect on MacOS is still an elusive dream. On my macmini and mabookpro each and every file is upsampled to 192k. 192K because that's the setting I have set for my DAC in the Audio Midi Setup app. Bitperfect works only on ipad and iphone devices.


 
From my experience airport express with digital volume at 100% would also provide bit perfect redbook for those inclined. In a highly resolving system though its analog out and/or reported optical out jitter could be a bottleneck
 
From my experience airport express with digital volume at 100% would also provide bit perfect redbook for those inclined. In a highly resolving system though its analog out and/or reported optical out jitter could be a bottleneck
Those AEs were incredible devices. Yes they were bitperfect as long as sampling rate was 44.1k and below. I ran my entire network and wireless music streaming with them. They could act as router as well as airplay devices. Then laster I purchased a Airport Extreme router to do just the routing and the AE for audio. Sometime in 2014 or so, all of them got replaced with raspberry pi and banana pi devices.

Once in a while I use them to extend my wifi network on the floor below where wifi range is very less.

It's a pity apple has come out of home networking.
 
is it just me or apple music through itunes on windows 11 is extremely laggy?
:) I think you are lucky and new to iTunes. it is by far the worst windows software I have ever used and that is saying something as there are lot of bad applications on windows. I find it extremely annoying and I begrudge having an ipad everytime I have to open the itunes app
 
:) I think you are lucky and new to iTunes. it is by far the worst windows software I have ever used and that is saying something as there are lot of bad applications on windows. I find it extremely annoying and I begrudge having an ipad everytime I have to open the itunes app
True the last time I had installed iTunes on my PC was during iPod days, just thought of giving apple lossless music streaming a try, but it is too laggy that I moved back to spotify and youtube music.
 
I saw below on the asr forum today, can any Nvidia owner confirm if it is true? This particular post also shows that it is working fine for apple music too at hires with screenshots https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...vidia-shield-on-android-11.29889/post-1094592
I have the 2017 version. Today I received the Android 11 update. In the device controls under Advanced Sound options now the Shield allows to pass all the audio untouched over HDMI. Checked on my Onkyo TX-8270 receiver and it's effectively passing all audio on its native frequency: I have sideloaded Apple Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Roon, Idagio and USB Audio Player Pro and it changes to the original: 16/44.1, 24/48, 24/88.2, 24/96, 24/176.4, 24/192
I think this puts the Nvidia Shield as a serious and versatile streamer option
 
This is something that I have been putting some thought into as well. Right now I am experimenting with an old Airport Express that was lying around.
There has been some discussion about this before, quite extensive discussion actually on one of the threads. John Darko also has covered the topic in quite some detail in couple of videos.
So far the only solution to get bit-perfect output is to dedicate an old iPhone or iPad and connect your DAC through a lightning to USB adapter, and then access the interface in some remote way. I could be wrong, if there is a cheaper and easier way, I will be delighted to know.
 
This is something that I have been putting some thought into as well. Right now I am experimenting with an old Airport Express that was lying around.
There has been some discussion about this before, quite extensive discussion actually on one of the threads. John Darko also has covered the topic in quite some detail in couple of videos.
So far the only solution to get bit-perfect output is to dedicate an old iPhone or iPad and connect your DAC through a lightning to USB adapter, and then access the interface in some remote way. I could be wrong, if there is a cheaper and easier way, I will be delighted to know.
Yes. You can get bit perfect only with an iphone or an ipad or AE when the conent has a sampling rate of 44.1K.
See this post https://www.hifivision.com/threads/allo-boss-2-player.87238/post-991293
 
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