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Apple music to launch lossless streaming

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abawa

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Settling with connecting Chromecast Audio to CXN digital input for ease of use. Showing PCM/ 44.1 KHz on CXN screen, so must be CD quality which covers 90% of catalog
Ideally inbuilt Chromecast in CXN V2 should show up for streaming in apple music app. Hope CXN updates take care of that and redundant CCA device is not required
Noticed that , even though using CCA connected to digital in of CXN and its display showing PCM/ 44.1 KHz, the lossless label on apple music goes away on chromecasting. This would indicate that mayb apple music app is casting in lossy format AAC and CXN is displaying wrong info. Or 44.1KHz is achieved by lossy AAC by having low bits per sample.
So seems like chromecasting also do not achieve CD quality due to lack of ALAC support
Another interesting experiment with Android phone is Cast my Phone option within Chromecast Audio setup in Google Home App. From there i can cast my android phone sound output to CXN directly. It plays all phone sounds including Apple music output, but the display do not show any info about cast quality.
If any android app which can cast phone sound and transcode ALAC to WAV ( like Bubble upnp), then mayb lossless CD quality can be achieved thru Chromecast with Apple Music
 

mantu

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So, after two days of exploration things are quite clear on what’s possible and what’s not currently on Apple Music. And therefore, it’s decision time. Here’s mine.

I was never interested in the spatial music. It’s possible (though I don’t think probable) that in the future more new music gets recorded for spatial playback. But for now, I see any conversion of existing music into spatial as a distortion.

It’s quite clear that as of now it’s not possible to listen to Apple Lossless on your home stereo system using a mobile device. And that’s my (only) preferred way of streaming. I could never get myself to play music through laptop onto the system in the living room. Computer music I only associate with headphones.

So, till Apple can tweak their app to transfer ALAC over AirPlay and/or they enable native play on streamers like Tidal or Spotify Connect, I don’t see much point in subscribing to Apple Music. But I shall keep following developments on the above, if any. And then there’s always the possibility that Tidal/Qobuz launches in India or Spotify goes lossless as per their plans. But if I have to enjoy lossless - both the music and experience should be lossless. I don’t want to ‘lose’ on the convenience of not having to get up from my sofa or fiddle with a computer. :)



Thanks. Was worth writing it if someone read.
If you want to stream from your iPhone, AirPlay1 streams bit perfect. If you have Raspberry Pi based streamer, it supports AirPlay 1 (shairport-sync library ). It should be there by default. I have Volumio and it’s available there. I am using it and I am able to stream lossless from my iPhone. iPhone to Airplay2 is not bit perfect, as shown by you in your earlier post.
 

square_wave

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Late to the party but let me get going with a stupid question. I checked apple music on both my mobile and laptop ( macbook air ). I dont see any option to choose lossless :-/ Am I missing something ? I see something called "spatial" though.
 

jai1611

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Late to the party but let me get going with a stupid question. I checked apple music on both my mobile and laptop ( macbook air ). I dont see any option to choose lossless :-/ Am I missing something ? I see something called "spatial" though.
Go into settings. You will see a listing for Music. Need to select lossless within that. This works on iphone / ipad. No idea about Mac
 

Yogesh

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No Where Near to where I want to be yet...
Anybody got Loseless on Web Player, Apple Music App (there is one third party app) or iTunes on W10? Apple Music app on W10 is also paid! I don't see an option in iTunes/web player!
 
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Nippy

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Anybody got Loseless on Web Player, Apple Music App (there is one third party app) or iTunes on W10? Apple Music app on W10 is also paid! I don't see an option in iTunes/web player!
It is not available on those yet. Still a WIP.
 
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ssf

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Anybody got Loseless on Web Player, Apple Music App (there is one third party app) or iTunes on W10? Apple Music app on W10 is also paid! I don't see an option in iTunes/web player!
In the iTunes app, Edit - Preferences - Playback - there is an option for Sample Rate and Bits per sample. Set it to 192 Khz and 24. I don't know if this will make it play lossless but see if you can hear a difference. You have to restart iTunes for the settings to take effect.

https://support.apple.com/en-in/guide/itunes/itns342682b6/windows
 
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Nippy

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Just wait for few months; once Spotify Hi-Fi is available, it will shake up the whole streaming industry. It not only has better discoverability but also super easy to stream to 90% of audio equipment on the planet.

Edit:- If you have a Firestick 4K, you can still enjoy the ATMOS music via Tidal. I am assuming Apple ATMOS tracks will perform similarly, if not better. If you like the Tidal ATMOS, then go ahead with Apple tv 4k.
I read/heard that Spotify would be only doing CD Quality and no Hi-res, though much would depend on how dearly you hold Hi-res to your listening experience. Having said that it would be quite interesting to see what happens to the "CD" industry after they launch.
 
D

Deleted member 15865

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If you want to stream from your iPhone, AirPlay1 streams bit perfect. If you have Raspberry Pi based streamer, it supports AirPlay 1 (shairport-sync library ). It should be there by default. I have Volumio and it’s available there. I am using it and I am able to stream lossless from my iPhone. iPhone to Airplay2 is not bit perfect, as shown by you in your earlier post.
I have Cambridge CXN 2 and iPhone 11/iPadPro. I don’t see any setting to switch from AirPlay 2 back to AirPlay 1 in the mobile devices or the streamer. Not even sure that’s possible. If anyone knows how to, please advise.
 

pulkittt

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So, after two days of exploration things are quite clear on what’s possible and what’s not currently on Apple Music. And therefore, it’s decision time. Here’s mine.

I was never interested in the spatial music. It’s possible (though I don’t think probable) that in the future more new music gets recorded for spatial playback. But for now, I see any conversion of existing music into spatial as a distortion.

It’s quite clear that as of now it’s not possible to listen to Apple Lossless on your home stereo system using a mobile device. And that’s my (only) preferred way of streaming. I could never get myself to play music through laptop onto the system in the living room. Computer music I only associate with headphones.

So, till Apple can tweak their app to transfer ALAC over AirPlay and/or they enable native play on streamers like Tidal or Spotify Connect, I don’t see much point in subscribing to Apple Music. But I shall keep following developments on the above, if any. And then there’s always the possibility that Tidal/Qobuz launches in India or Spotify goes lossless as per their plans. But if I have to enjoy lossless - both the music and experience should be lossless. I don’t want to ‘lose’ on the convenience of not having to get up from my sofa or fiddle with a computer. :)



Thanks. Was worth writing it if someone read.
I am on the same boat. I have a non smart tv with Chromecast hooked to my av receiver. I have another inbuilt Chromecast Audio on my AVR. And an Android phone to cast the content i.e. both video and audio using Netflix / Apple Music.
I stumbled upon the following:

AirPlay/AirPlay 2 are stuck at CD quality (16/44) while Chromecast allows up to 24/96 streams.

Android phone users like me wait for the apple's high res music app update.

I also tested loseless audio via apple music iphone app. I might be wrong but I thought the quality was a notch above when I compared the same song air played via apple music iphone lossless to my AVR's vs Android phone NON lossless chromecasted to my AVR.

And given Chromecast offers better audio passthrough, it might sound a little better when the android Apple Music app is also updated
 
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OM_2K19

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I have Cambridge CXN 2 and iPhone 11/iPadPro. I don’t see any setting to switch from AirPlay 2 back to AirPlay 1 in the mobile devices or the streamer. Not even sure that’s possible. If anyone knows how to, please advise.
You got it right. You can't manually change the Airplay version; Airplay client/server (iPhone 11/iPadPro - Cambridge CXN 2) automatically picks the proper Airplay version during the initial handshake.
 

palu

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Did a comparison of Dolby Atmos songs in Tidal with Apple Music and I felt that Tidal is more rich and having good base . There is a YRF atmos album is available in Tidal (only few songs content available for play unfortunately)
1626972333912.jpeg
 

superczar

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Random thoughts on my testing:
- Lossless (at 24 bit 44.1 sampling) sounds nicer to me vs the default AAC streaming - both on headphones and stereo setup
- Lossless at 24/44.1 vs 96 - I cannot tell the difference at all
On some familiar tracks, ALAC /44.1 sounds miles better than AAC .
Nice bonus for free so thats how I am going to leave it in the settings.

Output was set to 32 bit and 44.1/48/96 sampling rates for stereo testing ..using 24 bit above as I suppose the tracks are at 24 bit and not 32 - though I doubt it would make a difference anyway.

Atmos is where I am on the fence.
Some tracks sound worse in ATMOS
But on some songs, the experience is far more moving/visceral.. Round here by Counting crows was the song that made me realize that.
Even on a pair of headsets, the playback captured the song the way I remembered it from my high school days - which is something that high res stereo today does not.
The ATMOS version was able to capture the ambience much better than the vanilla stereo - something I noticed on many other tracks as well.

Another track that captured the difference very well is Dont know why (Norah Jones) - Again, not sure which of the two on this track was a more authentic representation but the ATMOS variant seemed to capture the ambience better.

Couple of things worth noting about ATMOS on AM - The first point is particularly important

- The playback levels are at least a few db lower than regular stereo.- If playing them back to back, do adjust volume/gain to compensate if doing an A/B
- The difference is more pronounced with a physical ATMOS setup (naturally) but its not too bad with headphones either. Do note that physical ATMOS setup playback was at a fixed 48khz sampling rate)

I think there are too many variables at play that would affect how the ATMOS variant sounds vs stereo
But if it takes off - and new recordings are done natively in ATMOS then I think I will end up veering towards it over stereo

Also, FWIW, the difference between ATMOS and stereo is far more pronounced than AAC vs ALAC and will be more easily noticed by the non enthusiasts as well - so am curious to see what direction it goes into
 
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