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AVForums Apple Airplay discussion thread

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by amcluesent, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    So, last weeks Apple event introduced Airplay. More specifically the licensing of AirPlay to 3rd parties, so suppliers of active speakers, AV receivers, TVs etc. can use the system without having an Airport Express as client.

    Sources can be iTunes plus any iOS4 device such as iPad and iPod. So that would mean you can keep music on the iPad, then have that content streamed to, say, your AV Receiver. Or have music streamed from iTunes to your iPhone, it appears to be an any-to-any protocol.

    Still no clue on multi-zone etc.

    Squeezebox and Sonos could put the AirPlay support in their Server/players respectively and market them as part of the Apple iTunes ecosystem. Squeezebox at least have shown they want to integrate by having Squeezebox Server index a local iTunes database. With Airplay, they could do this far more elegantly.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  2. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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    Yeah, the one interesting thing buried away in all the iTunes bloat announcements. This could be a good thing if they do it right ie. it streams all iTunes formats and doesn't just stop at 320kbps lossy or whatever. Certainly, it introduces a possible alternative to Sonos/Squeezebox etc solutions. And if you bet on MP3/AAC as your master format, it's arguably the best choice (as apple are about the only company to offer a fix for the embarrassing gapless bugs with the failure of a format that is MP3).

    However, the one part of the solution that I don't see is the "music server" part of the equation that allows you to run Sonos/Squeezebox off a NAS and not your PC. Streaming from your phone/iPad is a start but it's not really a Sonos killer. Because this is only really going to be a full streaming option for people who bought into iTunes as their total music solution and want to add streaming by buying the equivalent of a new iPod dock.
  3. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    Well Apples giving it a second go then, Airports were always pretty meh IMO. I think it can only be a good thing, it will introduce a lot of people to streaming, many of which will want to switch to a more mid range and more flexible proper multiroom system. Not sure what the big advantage will be on existing Bluetooth systems unless lossless is being used.

    A killer feature that would IMO really ensure it took off in a big way would being able to stream ANY audio from any app on your iPhone/iPad. But then this is already posible with Bluetooth (which is ok for most people, listening to say internet radio at 128kbps etc).
  4. Calzor Suzay

    Calzor Suzay Member

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    Any idea if this will mean cheaper versions of the Airport Express boxes that basically take your PC iTunes signal over a network and output to a speaker system?
  5. Osamede

    Osamede Member

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    So far Denon for example has said it will be offered on their 1200+ quid receiver the 4311. At those kind of price points, no it isnt going to change anything. Besides this will stream only what an ipod/iphone/itunes can play ie no FLAC. So its not going to be an automatic hit even with the audiophile crown, who typically have a lot of FLAC libraries.

    The reason the Squeezebox, DLNA etc have been a hit is that they dont dictate what you can play and they dont force you to burn your time transcoding your library - they are just transparent vehicles that allow you play what you have. That kind of service-minded thinking isnt in Apple's DNA - they are always one some weasly agenda of trying to dictate this and that format and lock you into some sort of razor + blade game. And if they are gonna take that attitude to the high end audio market, it wont work. So they had better start licencing it for dirt cheap if they are to have any hope.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  6. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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    Apple probably aren't that evil. With time and disk space and a batch script you can still get tagged lossless music onto Airplay. And their laudable fixing of the embarrassing MP3 gapless bug shows that they do care about playback quality. Sort of. Apple's continued lack of FLAC, OGG etc support on an audio playing infrastructure that's designed to be a total solution is slightly annoying but not totally surprising - their entire strategy is based around the vast majority of people who think MP3 is "good enough" and just want hassle-free music that works. And if they can at least provide a platform for streaming audio files (hopefully purchased) for people who can't or won't buy a dedicated streaming solution, in an age when generations are growing up thinking that streaming three songs from an album to their phone and not paying the artist is fine, then pushing Airplay as an option is a good first step.
  7. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    The Beta is out and from what I have seen it is any audio, any video from any app. So the same system doing lossless audio and 720p video with no need for a Nas or Computer on (although limited to the storage on the "controller") and perfect synching of things from on the go to in your home (walk in listening to a song or podcast on your headphones and seamlessly bounce it to the whole house audio without losing your place) or anyone elses with the same system.

    I'm very excited to see how well it works once release is official in November.
  8. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    Any App? Now that sounds better. Other than potentially better quality audio, what are the key benifits over Bluetooth?

    Any multiroom options?

    I'm still missing the wow factor here. Apple could have done a lot with this, but it's basically just a wireless audio docking solution.
  9. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >Apple could have done a lot with this<

    IMHO they are limited by retaining iTunes as the 'hub', obliging you to connect and sync. I suppose they want to drive traffic to Ping by crippling what you can do 'over the air'. From an engineering PoV I can't see any reason to require a wired connection to the PC running iTunes for any app.

    With AirPlay then I suppose at a party you could have all iPhone/Touch/iPad owners queue up their music into an AirPlay compatible hi-fi to create a crowd-sourced playlist. All the other devices get an iAd to buy the now playing track via iTunes...
  10. Geoggy

    Geoggy Member

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    Hi,

    Am after an airplay speaker for the bedroom.

    I have Apple TV and airplay works great with it, but want access to my ITunes audio library in the bedroom.

    Do these exist yet? I've read about the iHome iW1 - is this the first of its kind as I don't think it is out yet?

    Thanks
  11. Geoggy

    Geoggy Member

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    not sure i'll get much of a reseponse in here?

    my question was hardware based, not about the concept of Airplay, so why move it?
  12. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    Not sure you were inundated with replies elsewhere... :rotfl:

    Nope, as far as I'm aware none, think iHome is supposed to be first and thats expected in March.
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  13. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    What I hate about all the Apple iTunes stuff is you have to have a computer on with iTunes open which as I store all my music on my NAS box is a pain. I'd rather see a way of an iTunes server app running on a NAS be able to use Airplay and see AirPort express's.

    About time apple came up with a better idea.
  14. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >About time apple came up with a better idea.<

    That'll be the iDataCenter in North Carolina. 'Cloud' iTunes probably be part of the iOS5 release....

    [​IMG]
  15. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    All very well if you have a decent internet connection.
  16. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    Well you could go with other products that have been do this, and much better, for years.
  17. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    I have a Squeezebox Duet and SqueezeCentre on my NAS. My comment was an observation how Apple could do better.
  18. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    Got ya :)
  19. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    Like Airplay and hence the fact I now need neither a computer on with iTunes open or a NAS? Plus I get video too.

    So absolutely no need for "proper storage" to be on whilst I'm listening to the stuff I usually listen to and then my Mac just Wakes on LAN if I want to go into my library proper.
  20. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    Sorry don't understand your reply.
  21. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    Part of the whole Airplay idea is that you no longer need a computer or NAS involved in the process at all. All the music and videos on an iPhone or iPod Touch can just be "Airplayed" directly to an Airport Express or AppleTV. So all the stuff that I generally listen to (which is on my iPhone) is instant access over any speaker in the house (although admittedly not at the moment multi-room, but its childs play to have it follow me round the house). As is iPlayer audio and a fair number of other things (and growing, particularly once 4.3 comes out).

    If I want something unusual or want to go multi-room I tap on the Remote app and my Mac WoL's and suddenly all my music and videos are there with full multi-room for the audio. Mac then just goes to sleep when I'm done.

    No need for a NAS or PC to be on 24/7 and no need for them to be part of the process at all most of the time.
  22. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    That makes sense.

    My iPhone is still not on the latest firmware yet so I guess thats why it does not see my AirPort Express?
  23. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    If you're still on 4.1 or earlier then yes, that'll be the problem.

    If you're on 4.2 it may be a network issue.
  24. bigfecker

    bigfecker Member

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    Still on 4.1, will update tonight.
  25. Member 410254

    Member 410254 Member

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    I had training at a major brand today basically demonstrating airplay and as a Sonos owner I was impressed by the setup that airplay can offer. Slight confusion about not needing a computer on etc etc. Basically you can access all your music on your local device and send that to any airplay device using the iTunes on your idevice. However you can also use remote app to stream to airplay devices and unfortunately remote app obviously looks at an iTunes library with a computer on and that IS required to have a computer on. One of the first devices will be launched by B&W with the Zeppelin air. Marantz and Denon currently have devices using Airplay ranging from circa £800

    Regards

    Phil
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  26. Geoggy

    Geoggy Member

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    thanks for this. any news on the ihome speaker?
  27. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    Phil, sorry if I wasn't clear. Yes whilst you're using the remote app you need a computer on, but both my Mac(s) and my AppleTV wake on LAN when you go into the remote app. So I don't need a computer running 24/7, it switches itself on automatically (and pretty quickly) as and when I need it and sleeps again after I'm finished.

    Also just to be clear Airplay is not just iTunes stuff on your idevice. I have a radio app that I can push out through Airplay giving me full internet radio. Similarly because Airplay is built into the media player itself in the iPhone (rather than just into the iTunes element of it) you can push the audio (but not video at the moment) from iPlayer out.

    With OS4.3 due anytime now it'll also be open to all app developers to integrate Airplay properly. So the new iPlayer app will be able to do video streaming to an AppleTV if the BBC want it to.
  28. Member 410254

    Member 410254 Member

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    Yea, we were toying with YouTube to the hifi with airPlay, it was very cool. I believe that apple are looking at getting getting proper Multiroom with streaming different music to different rooms.

    Regards

    Ps I now want AirPlay at home with my Sonos too.
  29. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    Grrr... :mad:

    I've set up my AE, but for the life of me I can't get the "Remote Speakers" icon to show in iTunes. :suicide:

    I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit if that helps.

    I can "log in" to it using the Airport Utility and all seems well there, but iTunes refuses to give me the option of sending the audio to it.

    If I fire up my Ipad I get the option to send the audio that's on my Ipad to the AE and the same with my iPhone, but for the life of me I can't get iTunes to do it (which is actually what I want to do as I want to choose from my whole library and not just what's on my iPhone/iPad.).

    If I connect using the "Remote" app on my iPad, I can select any track or playlist that's on my PC and it will play out of the PC speakers, but no option to send it to AE speakers. *Bangs Head*

    Help! :lease::mad:
  30. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg Member

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    At a guess you've got the AEx set to create a wireless network (which is what the iPad and iPhone are logging into) but your router wired to the PC and giving it an IP address? The solution depends a lot on exactly what your setup is but the problem is likely to be related to exactly what IP addresses everything is ending up with.

    e.g. I set one of my AExs to create an unsecured guest network. If I was logged onto that network I could Airplay that AEx but not the others and vice versa.

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