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! Promoted MusicCast from Yamaha

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Yamaha Audio, Nov 23, 2015.

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  1. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    [​IMG]
    MusicCast is Yamaha’s brand new entry into network audio. It’s not just about music for us, it’s all about sharing every bit of audio around your home and making things easier for you, enriching your life with music and sound.

    After all, Yamaha is all about sound. We were founded in 1887 and music (specifically the reed organ) was our first step towards becoming the successful musical company we are today.

    There’s been a number of successful launches over the years into brand new areas. In 1986 the DSP-1 was launched, the world’s first home cinema surround processor. Fast forward to 2003 and the world’s first network audio system was launched by Yamaha, originally called MusicCAST. Shortly following, in 2004 the YSP-1 was launched, the world’s first incarnation of the modern soundbar which we know and love today.

    In 2015, the next reboot and rebirth of the MusicCast brand has arrived from Yamaha. This time, with a whole new twist on the concept of network audio and how easy it should be to stream not just your music collection but all the sound in the home.

    [​IMG]
    MusicCast is made up of over 20 products to fit your lifestyle and the system goes way beyond just your music collection, it’s not just about playing music off a NAS drive or songs on your smart device. There’s so much more that can be done! With MusicCast you can send the audio stream from something like an HDMI port on your soundbar over to a wireless speaker. Or even simply send the DAB radio from your lifestyle system to your soundbase. Any input on any MusicCast device can be shared to any other MusicCast device. Let’s take the humble AV Receiver as an example, this is no longer just a Home Cinema powerhouse, it’s a network hub with audio sharing capabilities. Or even the R-N602 HiFi Amplifier with phono stage… plug a turntable into that and suddenly the sound from your records can be sent to a soundbar or a wireless speaker or pretty much anything you like!

    Every device in the MusicCast eco system features WiFi, Airplay and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth on every product will be able to support incoming signals from something like a smart device but also can output a Bluetooth signal to something like a pair of headphones or a wireless Bluetooth speaker. This means the system can expand far beyond just Yamaha product if needed, of course we’d love the MusicCast system to be used with some of our Bluetooth only audio products from our desktop audio range; but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve got a Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headphones from another manufacturer, you can use these with MusicCast.

    Hi-Res audio is also supported across the range. All MusicCast products will support Hi-Res audio such as 192/24 FLAC, WAV and AIFF as well as 96/24 ALAC and some of the higher end products will support DSD up to 5.6MHz as well. Using the same information though, if we had for example an AV receiver in our living room and a WX030 wireless speaker in the dining room… the AV receiver can support DSD but the WX030 can’t. No problem, we can link the two together and if the AV receiver is the master room, it can share the DSD stream over to the WX030. MusicCast will automatically down-sample the DSD stream so the WX030 can handle it but you can stream everything, everywhere!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    But how to hang it all together? There’s an app that’s free to download for Android and iOS devices called the MusicCast controller. It’s extremely simple to use, one tap to select your room, one tap to select your source and potentially a third tap to select your audio. You can link rooms together, adjust settings per room, control master volumes, view album art… it’s slick and intuitive which is exactly what an app should be. It’s all been designed, developed and implemented completely in-house by Yamaha and there’s a big list of extra features Yamaha will be adding over time so expect updates on a regular basis as time goes on.

    [​IMG]
    As if all of that wasn’t enough, potentially the most exciting product to come out of Yamaha’s engineering lab is the new flagship YSP-5600 sound projector. Designed to offer an unparalleled home cinema experience from a single unit, the YSP-5600 features 44 speakers inside that will bounce sound beams around your walls and ceiling to create a real surround field using our Intellibeam technology. Wall mounting is easy with an optional bracket and there’s a package available with subwoofer included if you like. The best part about this sound projector? It’s the worlds’ first to the market with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support utilising our sound beam technology, making it a really interesting proposition to someone who wants object based audio but doesn’t want separates.
    [​IMG]

    Steve from AVForums joined us at IFA in September to see MusicCast first hand, check out his thoughts on the system and some of the new products here:

    Yamaha launch MusicCast and more at IFA

    And for those of us that want the short version… here’s a great video explaining what MusicCast is all about!

    Introducing MusicCast

    For more information on MusicCast head over to MusicCast - Audio & Visual - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

    We will also be answering questions in this thread related to MusicCast, direct from Yamaha!
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2015
  2. swanytroon

    swanytroon Active Member

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    got a few questions.

    say i have a rn602 in the bedroom and a compatible av amp in the living room

    1. if i had a turntable connected to the rn602 and streamed it to the av amp could i listen to a different source on the rn602 in the bedroom, say internet radio? a cd player connected to the rn602? a cd player connected to the av amp?

    2. is there any videos of browsing a large collection of music through the app to see how responsive the app is?

    3. can i set a sleep timer for the rn602 or av amp using the musiccast app?

    4. what musiccast devices have an alarm clock?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  3. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Morning Swanytroon!

    Answers to your questions as below:
    1) If streaming from one MusicCast device to another, the two devices are 'linked' and therefore will play the same content. This means you couldn't use the RN602's other inputs at the same time in your scenario.
    However - if you were to use an AV receiver with multiple zones instead of the RN602 you would be able to do this. In a different scenario consider this setup:
    RXA1050 has turntable and CD player connected to it. RXA2050 is somewhere else in the house.
    RXA1050 can stream the turntable input to the RXA2050 using it's main zone output, and the CD Player can be played on the Zone2 output which would come out of speakers placed elsewhere.
    The zones can be controlled in the MusicCast app just like they were an individual products dotted around the house so it's super easy to link things up.

    2) No videos as such (yet!) but you can try this yourself using the demo version of our MusicCast controller app. It's free to download and when you open it up for the first time you'll see a demo button. Tap that and the app will walk you through the basics. If you go to any of the rooms and select 'this device' as a source, it'll show the music collection on your device and you can browse through it as if you were using a MusicCast product in your home. Out of curiosity, how many folders/music files have you got at home that you'd want to access?

    3) There's a built in sleep function for all MusicCast products, defaults to 20 mins due to an EU law but this can be changed to 60, 90, 120 mins or off completely.

    4) Restio Mini is what you want to look at! We're also exploring other ways we can incorporate alarm functionality into other products, watch this space.
     
  4. swanytroon

    swanytroon Active Member

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    thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

    2. I have used the demo but dont have that many songs on my phone so hard to get a feel of it. Im looking at a NAS with a couple of hundred albums stored as FLAC. The slickness of browsing music is the deal breaker for me

    3. I cant find this on the musiccast app, can you confirm it can be done from the app or would i have to usual the remote control?

    thanks
     
  5. crockett

    crockett Active Member

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    From what I can see its not compatible with Google Play Music yet, any plans there?
     
  6. ShanePJ

    ShanePJ Well-known Member AVForums Sponsor

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    The sleep function can be found under the icon which looks like the EQ controls.

    Anyone who would like to get hands on with MusicCast, feel free to drop by the showroom if you're in our area.
     
  7. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Sorry for the delay in coming back everyone! Been doing some rigorous testing with this question....
    We've now tested with a library of over 3000 songs and all seems well, a mix of FLAC, WAV and MP3. No complaints and the app is happy browsing through it as smooth as warm butter.

    Absolutely right AV Online! You can also press and hold the individual room for 'room settings' then select the sleep timer from there or turn off the auto power standby feature completely. Or you can go 'old school' and use the physical remote to change the setting in the options!

    There are plans to support as much as we can and what we can say is that Google Play is on the roadmap but it's not clear when this will be able to be implemented, watch this space! However, for now you could use Bluetooth to send the audio from whatever's on your smart device to a MusicCast product then share that audio all over the house if you wanted to.

    That's probably one of the best things about MusicCast, you can use everything you like from day 1 in some capacity - you don't have to wait for us to implement things. That, and there's ongoing development so chances are we may implement the feature you're after down the line.
     
  8. Chester

    Chester Well-known Member

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    I'm looking at a replacement multi-room install to replace single appliances that only come together through AirPlay from iTunes at the moment, and isn't particularly easy to use. MusicCast could have the answers but it looks very early days at the moment. I'm also interested in replacing my aging AVR next year. So,

    1) The first company that everyone associates or is synonymous with multi-room is the S word; I don't think I need to spell it! What does MusicCast bring to the table that's a USP or a step above what they're offering?

    2) Is there a product roadmap for the coming future, and what's just around the corner? I ask this because a lot of AVRs and the flagship sound bar have the technology built-in, but there doesn't seem to be much else to choose from. For example Connect:Amp is a great hide away or display box for additional zones that have say in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, maybe even stand-mounts; is there going to be a MusicCast equivalent?

    3) Are there any plans to redistribute video, say like a 'VideoCast' type product that could take the sources plugged into an AVR and have a receiving box/TV or a tablet on the LAN that can be streamed to?


    I was genuinely thinking of a return to Arcam for my next receiver, possibly an Anthem, but MusicCast could make me swing towards Yamaha. If MusicCast has a strong product line coming, connectivity and ease-of-use are higher priorities to me than outright performance. We know from previous reviews and Yamaha users right here on AVF that Yamaha does a great job with surround sound and music. I'm really excited about the possibilities, but also anxious that Yamaha hasn't had the luxury of time for refinement against the competition at the moment.
     
  9. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Some interesting questions! We'll try and answer as much as we can....

    A lot of people who've bought MusicCast or are interested in it have said we can start where others finish. MusicCast can stream music around your home with just a few taps which is great, but what if you wanted to go further?
    MusicCast will let you utilise Bluetooth and Airplay connections, allow you to connect external Bluetooth devices (such as headphones or speakers) with MusicCast devices and of course use Hi-Res everywhere as well.
    Every single device supports Hi-Res, with AVRs and the HiFi products supporting DSD 5.6MHz too. You can also share this Hi-Res audio around the network to any other device, even outputting to a Bluetooth speaker or headphones if you want. Admittedly, this kind of ruins the hi-res aspect but the point is that you don't have to think "where's the limitation in my system and how do i get around it?" It's more about thinking about how far you want to take MusicCast.
    Not only this but every single device in the MusicCast network will talk to every other device at a connection level. That means everything plugged into your future AVR can be sent over to a wireless speaker in the bedroom. Or everything conneceted to your component system can be sent to the AVR... CD Playback, Sky Box, Blu-Ray audio, Atmos soundtrack... anything you like can be sent anywhere.
    There's also a massive range to choose from, 23 products right now with more on the way next year! The wider variety of products you add, the more versatile the system becomes.

    It's worth comparing the YSP-1600 and WX-030 as toe-to-toe competitors with other multi-room systems on the market, but always bear in mind these can go way further than just 5-6 products.

    There certainly is a roadmap, however it's for the product managers internally right now!
    What we can say is that MusicCast is expanding even further next year. There's 23 products now, there will be another 10-20 new products next year and the year after and beyond. MusicCast is part of our roadmap for the next 5-10 years and if we get our way, eventually everything we make will be part of MusicCast.

    Something like in-wall speakers and a connect box is on our minds, can't promise everything for 2016 but certainly we're looking at how we do this properly. We don't want to just throw things at the marketplace that are carbon copies of anything else, we're very keen on having our own 'Yamaha' style to things that give extra added benefits for our customers.

    Maybe in the future. We think the idea is really cool but for now our focus is audio and getting the system to be the best it possible can be before expanding into video territory. Perhaps if we get a petition going the design engineers will be more inclined to work on it sooner... ;)

    Admittedly we haven't had a network audio system in the marketplace for some time but back in 2003 the very first MusicCAST system was introduced which pre-dates anything else on the market. Now, times have changed... but we've got heritage in this arena and already we can see things improving every day. We announced MusicCast publicly in August 2015, we're now in December and three major firmware updates have come already - with extra features included in them. We're developing MusicCast every single day and improving as much as we can within a short time period.
    If you're after sound quality, consider the AVENTAGE range - the RXA3050 is an awesome bit of kit and sounds absolutely incredible. Worth an audition at the very least, you'd be surprised what we're capable of these days!
     
  10. Chester

    Chester Well-known Member

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    Yamaha Audio, wow. Thanks so much for a comprehensive response and in next to no time at all. It inspires confidence, especially when we're talking about investing in an ecosystem such as this with multiple products involved and ultimately (at least for the best experience), tie-in to the manufacturer.

    I like the kind of numbers of products we're talking about on the horizon, and the approach to product launch in as much it sounds as though they will be reasonably polished rather than public paid-for betas. I mean so much software feels unfinished these days doesn't it?! I haven't looked at the user forums to figure out what the experience is like so far, but that's the next step before going to touch and play with some kit. As for the AVR, I'm definitely interested in the upper end of Yamaha's spectrum, possibly the 3050, but more likely the 2050 as I only need 7.1, but considering the possibility of the extra two amps for zone 2 or bi-amping the fronts. Can the 3050 do both being it has 11 channels? My problem is going to be trying to get the cabling in for zone 2, might be too disruptive and awkward.

    So I'm definitely putting more study time into Yahama and owners' experiences so far. It looks like a winner to me and I honestly believe that you've marched ahead of your rivals. Well done. Keep the pace up and I'm sure many of us not currently thinking about MusicCast may migrate.

    Thanks again for your time.
     
  11. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    The RXA3050 can do 11 channels but it's only got 9 channels of amplification in the box, so you could bi-amp the fronts with a 7.1 and use the zone line out for zone 2. Though you could also run the second zone with an HDMI if you're going to utilise the video matrix capaibilities of either amp.

    What you could also consider is using one of the MusicCast speakers (WX030 or ISX80) as a 'second zone'. In this scenario you'd just link the second zone of the AVR and the speaker permanently meaning that you'd still get the benefits of having that zone routing on the AVR and the flexibility that provides, but instead of running speaker cables... you'd just do it over the network.
     
  12. Chester

    Chester Well-known Member

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    Ah, OK, missed that bit about the power amps in the 3050. I think I'd still audition both AVRs though.

    The second zone is a shower room that already has a ceiling speaker. I'm using an RCD-N7 that I've had for years, chucked it in the top of a cupboard and it works, but it's not ideal. This does raise another question for those thinking of getting something like the WX030 in such a room, and that's does it cope with high humidity and such like? I'm interested in the WX030 myself for a kitchen too.

    Another question, thinking ahead for installations at other premises, and again thinking about features the competition has but could probably work even better with Yamaha: can a pair of WX030s be used as surround/rear speakers wirelessly in conjunction with say a YSP1600 or similar? If not, is Yamaha thinking about doing this? There's benefits in WAF and ease of installation here that I know a lot of people are interested in.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Sadly not showerproof but you could still use the Zone2 line-out from an RXA3050 to get audio into the RCD perhaps? It does mean running cables though....

    The YSP1600 will bounce sound beams around your room to give you a real surround sound experience without any wires behind you, it's not the same as entry level '3D surround' style emulation techs! Really worth a listen if you haven't heard it before it's very impressive!

    We are looking at producing rear surround speakers that will be wireless, but we can't promise this for 2016. Going back to what we were saying earlier, we don't want to make a carbon copy of what's on the market right now. What we're aiming to do is a higher level with discrete channel decoding and hi-resolution audio being transmitted for a true and real surround sound experience, not a mixed version of surround that isn't quite the same.

    Whether we get to this level or not on the first attempt remains to be seen but we're doing all we can to get there!

    For the tldr:
    Surround wireless speakers not possible right now, but we're looking at the best options for the future!
     
  14. Chester

    Chester Well-known Member

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    Thanks again for all the information. I'll leave you in peace now!
     
  15. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Anytime! It's why we're here :)
     
  16. rorym

    rorym Member

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    Is there a likelihood of a PC app/driver that lets you stream the output from it to a musiccast amp? I'm just thinking that I could get rid of the traditional optical cable from PC to amp
     
  17. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Absolutely! The NXN500 speakers and the MCRN870 component system have a USB DAC built in, the audio stream of which be sent anywhere in the house using MusicCast!
     
  18. rorym

    rorym Member

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    Sorry, my original post wasn't that clear. I want to stream the audio from a PC directly to a musiccast amp (probably the new 602), but without using any kind of cable.

    I was hoping you may have a PC driver/app that essentially turns the PC into a musiccast transmitter, in the same way that macs can output audio via AirPlay.

    I know that as an alternative I could buy a Bluetooth dongle, or a Windows AirPlay driver but thought it was worth asking.
     
  19. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    With you now!

    It's not something we're focusing on as you've said there are a number of other options like Airplay and/or Bluetooth. But it's not outside the realms of possibility, perhaps in the future!
     
  20. ShanePJ

    ShanePJ Well-known Member AVForums Sponsor

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    You could do this with third party software on Windows such as Stream What You Hear and those of a similar ilk. Essentially you can stream anything your computer is playing to any DLNA device.
     
  21. rorym

    rorym Member

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    I've never tried Stream What You Hear but I have purchased and use Tuneblade which is an Airplay transmitter. The only problem is that it combined with my current Denon Piccolo has fairly high latency, so watching anything (iPlayer, youtube etc) leads to pretty bad lip sync issues.

    It's better via optical cable, but it was something I was trying to avoid using to make things neater.

    I was hoping that the musiccast ability and the 602 might have low latency. Does anyone know what its latency using airplay or bluetooth from a PC is like?

    Edit - Or using Stream What You Hear?
     
  22. rorym

    rorym Member

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    Just tried stream what you hear on my Piccolo - Latency is about 3 seconds which totally kills any idea of using it with iplayer.
     
  23. rorym

    rorym Member

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    Sorry for derailing things with talk of rival equipment - It's my only frame of reference with regards network players. I've got some questions regarding airplay and Spotify integration on the RN602:

    1) Airplay - Am I right in thinking that the current volume on the RN602 would take precedence over the volume setting of my PC or phone when using Airplay? I don't want to stream from my phone at 100% volume to the amp!

    2) Spotify Connect - I've never had any kit that supports this so I'm not 100% on its abilities, as I understand it you use your PC/phone/tablet to start playing something (e.g. an album) and then "push" it to the amp which then takes over so the the PC/phone/tablet is no longer required.

    Can you push a radio station to the RN602? (e.g. I right click a song or artist on Spotify on my PC and select "Start Song Radio" or "Start Artist Radio" and then use connect to send it to the amp).

    Obviously the amp would play the song that is currently playing, but would it act the same as a PC based Spotify radio station and then play me a whole load of related but different tracks?
     
  24. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Sort of! In the case of Airplay your apple device will take over the volume control on the external device. So using the volume rockers on the iPad/iPhone/iThing will control the output volume of the audio. As for the volume at which the phone transmits to the amp, it's more of a data transfer thing than a volume output so don't worry about things like digital clipping because of volume output.

    If it helps, think of it as an 'Airplay style' connection to multiple manufacturers products and via different devices.
    In essence, whatever you're playing on Spotify via your smart device can connect to any Spotify Connect enabled speaker or product on the same WiFi network. You do this by playing the audio on for example your phone, then hit the Spotify Connect button at the bottom of the screen to connect to an external speaker. After a short delay, the audio you were listening to on your phone will start coming from your speaker.

    Yes you can :)

    Works in exactly the same way.

    What we'd recommend is visiting your local retailer and ask for a demo of the RN602, it's worth taking a listen and trying out the Spotify Connect feature on a MusicCast product. We utilise the Spotify Connect feature so you can continue to use the interface you're used to with Spotify and just enjoy music as easily as possible. Freeing all your audio all over the home is our goal here!
     
  25. rorym

    rorym Member

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    Thanks again - Great response from Yamaha, makes me confident in your support.

    I am planning to audition the kit when it's readily available, a know a number of shops have it in stock but I don't think anyone near me has it set up to listen to and play with as yet.

    Just one clarification on point 1, I know the phone can control the volume of the amp using airplay, and that it sends a 100% lossless signal, I'm not expecting degradation or clipping - I'm more interested in what happens to the volume control of the amp when the initial pairing is made. Consider this hypothetical scenario:

    I'm listening to music on my phone through headphones at 80% of max volume.
    My amp was last used to listen to the radio at 5% of its max volume.

    I now tell my phone to now play via airplay to the amp, does it begin play at 80% (using the phone setting) or 5% (using its own setting)?
    I'm assuming 5%, as that's what my Denon does, but I just wanted to check as if the volume on the amp suddenly went to 80% it would wake the whole street up.
     
  26. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    We've got a Dealer Locator on our website if you want to try a few people local to you.


    Airplay will use the last volume on the externally connected device. So if your RN602 is on 5% and the iPhone is on 80%, once you connect over Airplay, the audio will come out of the RN602 at 5% volume, overriding what was on the iPhone. The volume rocker on the iphone will now control the volume of the RN602 remotely too!
     
  27. elrao

    elrao Active Member

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    Having just bought a duett pack, I'm a bit disappointed in the usability of your app (android version). Either some basic features aren't there, or its not intuitive enough to find them.

    1. Searching Internet radio
    2. Create a play list from a local server

    To be honest the whole process once you've selected a source is very clunky, folder based browsing is very tedious with multiple levels of folder to navigate.

    Also a shame you need a dlna server to play local media, some other systems just need to be pointed at a network share.

    Seriously considering returning it to richer Sounds as a result.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  28. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Morning Elrao, sorry to hear you're having some trouble and please allow us to elaborate a little:

    This is something that will be coming in a not-too-distant update, free of course.
    For the time being you can favourite or bookmark any station you want for quick access.
    Same with this one, we plan to do this at the same time.

    That's a shame you're not happy with it, we're always looking to improve our system going forward. Can you let us know what kind of system you'd prefer to see?
    Any particular equivalent systems you've used that you've found easier to use?

    A great shame but understandable if the system isn't working for you.
     
  29. elrao

    elrao Active Member

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    I've already contacted Richer Sounds to return it. Too many issues with your app for me, very disappointed with it. Can't believe you'd release something without basic features like search!

    I'm already paying for the privelige of beta testing sony android tv, can't afford to also pay to beta test for yamaha!
     
  30. Yamaha Audio

    Yamaha Audio Standard Member AVForums Sponsor

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    Thanks for letting us know Elrao, do let us know about your feedback as we've said above. We're looking to improve all the time!
     
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