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View Full Version : iPeng now your audiophile App-Squeezebox for iPhone and iPad



pippin
2012-08-13, 16:28
iPeng just got new updates in the App Store (iPeng for iPhone 1.6/iPeng for iPad 1.4).

The biggest change to the previous versions, once more, is on the audio and playback side (for the Playback feature, an In-App-Purchase):

• iPeng now supports extended sample rate audio when used with digital outputs, e.g. using the iPad’s Camera Connection Kit kit, a dock supporting USB audio, HDMI or AirPlay
• iPhone and iPod touch support playback up to 24 bit / 48 kHz, iPad with camera kit supports up to 24 bit / 96 kHz. Unsupported sample rates up to 96 kHz will be downsampled.
• On iOS 5 and newer, iPeng Playback now features a full 10-band equalizer. It still offers the predefined equalizer settings used in the previous versions, but you can now set the equalization values yourself and define your own presets.

With these features, your iPhone/iPad /iPod touch with iPeng (and Playback) and a digital dock can become a full-blown digital music streamer with true audiophile capabilities.

I've written a pretty long article on the new audio capabilities here:

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/2012/08/14/ipeng-goes-audiophile/

So I don't want to repeat all of it in this post, just drop by and have a look.

epoch1970
2012-08-14, 15:51
Using an iPad as a player is not exactly my use-case as I am not fond of color-touch screens near my stereo; I mostly use playback on the iPhone in-lieu of the iPod app. But I had experimented earlier with the dock and camera accessory on an iPad hooked to a DAC, so I see the potential with improved audio and synching.

The only missing feature is now, I guess, support for IR-Blaster…

wildgoose
2012-08-14, 16:12
I am very interested in this. I was just thinking about whether I can use my ipod touch and iphone I have around the house as a squeezebox player. I already have a touch and classic player for my main stereo, and would be very neat if I can bring the music to my other devices that have ipod connectors.

A few questions:

1) what is the hardware requirement of ipeng for ipod touch? I have a 1G and 2G ipod touch. It will be really nice if this can work with the original ipod touch..

2) The playback feature is an "in app purchase". What exactly does it mean? I looked on your site and see some reference to iphone version + ipad version = discounted playback. It's kinda confusing.. ;)

- If I buy iPeng for iphone, do I get the playback feature?

- If it costs extra to get this feature, how much extra? Do I need to purchase this for every ipod touch, or purchase once (ipeng + playback) and I can use it on all my iOS devices?

- My understanding is the standard iPeng can be purchased once, and used on all my iOS devices correct? (like other Apps..)

Thanks!

pippin
2012-08-14, 18:57
1) what is the hardware requirement of ipeng for ipod touch? I have a 1G and 2G ipod touch. It will be really nice if this can work with the original ipod touch..

There are both hardware requirements and software requirements.
You need at least iOS 4.2 and that rules out the 1G iPod.
Also, the 2G one will not support USB audio, I believe, but I'm not completely sure.
The 2G will also not really support synchronization. We haven't really found out, why that is, but on the ARM6-devices the timers don't seem to be reliable. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and then it can be out of sync with other player for up to 1s or so.

I would love to get more devices supported or ARM6 devices supported better but it's just not feasible. iOS has evolved quite a bit and since you can't have different versions on the App Store I had to cut support for iOS 3 end of last year to add newer stuff.
Most iOS developers I know even think I'm crazy because I still support iOS 4...



2) The playback feature is an "in app purchase". What exactly does it mean? I looked on your site and see some reference to iphone version + ipad version = discounted playback. It's kinda confusing.. ;)

It means that iPeng is a remote control and that the playback is an additional feature for which you will have to pay extra.
If you own both iPeng for iPad and iPeng for iPhone, you get the feature at a discount. This is primarily because what I really would want to do is give a discount for people who buy both Apps but that's not possible on the App Store...


- If it costs extra to get this feature, how much extra? Do I need to purchase this for every ipod touch, or purchase once (ipeng + playback) and I can use it on all my iOS devices?
- My understanding is the standard iPeng can be purchased once, and used on all my iOS devices correct? (like other Apps..)

I can't tell you the exact price unless I know where you are. In US$, iPeng is currently selling at $5.99 and the playback feature at $4.99. Plus sales tax.
As with all Apps, you can install the App on as many devices as you like. The playback feature is a so called "non-consumable feature" (sorry, not my term, Apple's) which means it doesn't expire or something and you can use it on as many devices as you like.

There's one thing to be careful about if you use both iPeng for iPhone and iPeng for iPad you are not protected against buying the In-App-Purchase twice (by the App Store), however, it's still valid for both, there are instructions on the web site and in the App on how to make it work in both Apps. The short version is: if you use iCloud it will all be automatic, otherwise it's more complicated.

chill
2012-08-14, 23:59
I've written a pretty long article on the new audio capabilities here:

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/2012/08/14/ipeng-goes-audiophile/


I've just taken a look at your blog post. I had somehow missed the improved syncing that came with the previous release. This is truly a capable and impressive Squeezebox player now. I'm holding out hope that Apple will announce a 7" iPad in a few weeks time. One of those sitting in a USB dock and running iPeng would now make a very serious alternative to a Squeezebox Touch. Perhaps Logitech have seen the writing on the wall and that's the reason they're not coming out with any new players :)

epoch1970
2012-08-15, 01:52
Heh. I came up with a nasty idea to test the improved synching claim. I hooked my iPhone to the line in port of my Boom, set it to "always on" and then I synched the Boom and iPeng on a few songs I know perfectly well. Both devices are on the wifi network, test songs were FLAC.

I expected disaster using this ridiculous setup. I found one or two awkward moments, an occasional noticeable echo when skipping, and otherwise "normal" sound. It suppose that leaving the iPhone alone is better, although the iPhone seemed quite immune against my attempts at putting it out of synch by doing other things (web surfin' with Safari) while playing music.

I did not try the same test with a hardware player instead of iPeng.
This has made me curious. I think I'll try some more synching using a regular setup.

You have my go to start making an iThing dock that looks as good as the SB3 :)

pippin
2012-08-15, 04:30
After skipping it may take a moment until it sync back completely. If it gets out of sync during skipping, the server needs to process the resulting timestamps to find out how much it's wrong and to compensate for it.
Normal drift during playback should not get that far but be compensated away much earlier.

pippin
2012-08-15, 10:25
I'm holding out hope that Apple will announce a 7" iPad in a few weeks time.

Don't hold your breath, I don't believe this is going to come this year.
Released now, they would have no software for it and as opposed to Google, Apple usually doesn't do stupid things like that.

chill
2012-08-15, 15:08
Don't hold your breath, I don't believe this is going to come this year.
Released now, they would have no software for it and as opposed to Google, Apple usually doesn't do stupid things like that.

Spoilsport.

pippin
2012-08-16, 12:07
BTW: One thing I never mentioned in any of the announcement (you could call it an easter egg) just came to my mind when somebody asked about master power in another thread:

1. (I might have mentioned this one) If you "hold" the "power" button in iPeng, you can turn off all players (not only the ones in one sync group) connected to the current server ("leave home" feature)
2. (I definitely did not mention this one) If you "hold" the "play" button while something's playing you get a "sleep" command that will enable "sleep after current song" for all playing players in the current sync group. I call it the "sleep now" button and I actually implemented it mainly for myself because I use it when I'm listening to music or audiobooks in bed and want to stop it but am already too much asleep to browse to "sleep" in the player settings.
I actually use it a lot so maybe somebody else finds it useful, too.

bernt
2012-08-16, 23:48
Nice, this inspired me to turn an old iPhone 3g with broken glass in to a SB Recevier.

To activate it without a SIM card I had to jailbrake it.

The rest was easy, just turn on Flight mode, turn on WiFi, turn of everything else, sounds, notifications and stuff like that and install iPeng and enable playback. Done.

To bad that a few pinns in the dock connector on the phone was broken so I could not use the dock. But the headphone jack works for now.

Thanks!

/Bernt

pippin
2012-08-17, 08:06
1) what is the hardware requirement of ipeng for ipod touch? I have a 1G and 2G ipod touch. It will be really nice if this can work with the original ipod touch..


There is something I need to add to this:

It is VERY likely that iPeng versions from a month on or so will no longer support the 2G iTouch and the iPhone 3G (not 3GS). It might be (I don't know) that it will be possible to make legacy versions available then but as well it might not be. I can't comment on details since I'm on iOS 6 NDA but it's not like I would have a choice as it looks right now. It's also not iPeng specific but will probably affect all new versions of most Apps.
It might change until release but that's what it currently looks like.

So if you use one of these devices, make sure to keep backup copies of current iPeng releases (I'd expect at least one more that still supports the devices, the one that is already on the way).

BTW: those of you who already use iPeng under iOS 6 will have notices that it crashes when you try to use MySqueezebox.com. I'll have a workaround for that in the next iPeng update but it's actually a bug in the iOS 6 beta, a pretty nasty one that's likely also causing a lot of other crashes you might eventually see and that I assume will go away until iOS 6 goes public, it's a known and documented issue.
Anyway, the workaround is on the way....

chill
2012-08-18, 05:19
Don't hold your breath, I don't believe this is going to come this year.
Released now, they would have no software for it and as opposed to Google, Apple usually doesn't do stupid things like that.

I know we should never read too much into the rumours, but leaked parts for a new iThing seem to be appearing online now. Is it possible that it's screen resolution and features might exactly match an existing iThing, so that in fact there would be a lot of software available for it already? Or is it always the case that every iThing has its own references in the software?


BTW: One thing I never mentioned in any of the announcement (you could call it an easter egg) just came to my mind when somebody asked about master power in another thread:

1. (I might have mentioned this one) If you "hold" the "power" button in iPeng, you can turn off all players (not only the ones in one sync group) connected to the current server ("leave home" feature)
2. (I definitely did not mention this one) If you "hold" the "play" button while something's playing you get a "sleep" command that will enable "sleep after current song" for all playing players in the current sync group. I call it the "sleep now" button and I actually implemented it mainly for myself because I use it when I'm listening to music or audiobooks in bed and want to stop it but am already too much asleep to browse to "sleep" in the player settings.
I actually use it a lot so maybe somebody else finds it useful, too.

These are neat features. Any chance you could add some more (all?) of the sleep options to the play button? I usually set my radio to sleep after 30 minutes.

pippin
2012-08-18, 08:48
Actually that's a good idea. Hope I don't forget it.

pippin
2012-08-27, 17:37
There are now new iPeng updates in the App Store which fix a number of smaller issues and some that obviously nobody found, yet :)

* direct PCM streaming does now work better
* iPeng works with iOS 6 and MySqueezebox.com again. The problem the old version had IMHO isn't serious because it's clearly caused by an iOS 6 bug that Apple know about so I assume it will be fixed until the release anyway but still, this iPeng version has a fix for the current betas.

There's now also a link to this page on the Lyrics screen saver in iPeng for iPad, giving you hints how to get Lyrics in case you don't have them, yet:
http://penguinlovesmusic.de/ipeng-the-iphone-skin-for-squeezecenter/how-to-use-the-ipeng-application/known-issues/lyrics-in-ipeng/

The comment made earlier is still relevant: this might be the last version of iPeng to support ARM6 devices (iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G) so if you use one of these devices, make sure to have backup copies of the App!

Squeezemenicely
2012-09-03, 02:32
Since for obvious reasons this thread has become even more interesting, could you please add a list of good dockingstaions with SPDIF out?

So I guess for many out there it will be a good option to just buy an iPod and a dockingstaion instead of a Touch in the future.
Or an iPod in a speakerdock instead of a boom or radio.

I already have seen that you are using the Pure-i Dock for the iPod, that has a spdif out , but is a bit of an overkill, since it also has an inbuilt DAC.
So what people with an external DAC without USB need, is a simple dock with SPDIF out.


I just now for the first time played around with my iPad iPengHD and controlled music on my iPhone - something that had not really come to my mind before.
It works, so Squeezebox is dead - long live the Squeezebox (through our developers her at the board)

pippin
2012-09-03, 03:37
Since for obvious reasons this thread has become even more interesting, could you please add a list of good dockingstaions with SPDIF out?

What format would that be in?
Obviously I haven't tested all the 1 gazillion iPod docks out there, we only did extensive testing with the Camera Connection Kit and the Pure i-20.

So the input would have to come from users. Would it make sense to have a page on penguinlovesmusic.com where people can discuss and recommend devices or should it be here on the forum (I believe it could get a bit lost among the threads here)?

epoch1970
2012-09-03, 03:44
(I believe it could get a bit lost among the threads here)?

Maybe in DIY ? Low volume sub-forum, the thread would stay easily afloat I suppose.
After all, the thing would be a DIY player.

Squeezemenicely
2012-09-03, 04:06
So the input would have to come from users. Would it make sense to have a page on penguinlovesmusic.com where people can discuss and recommend devices or should it be here on the forum (I believe it could get a bit lost among the threads here)?

Sure maybe there should be an extra thread here - Dock tested with iPeng and once in a while you could copy the info to your website.

I had a search there are not that many Docks with a SPDIF Output out there and some can be pretty expensive.

I am sure this info will be very usefull, should users want to enlarge their SB collection or one of their "babies" dies.

pippin
2012-09-03, 04:18
Ok, I'll open one later today...

pippin
2012-09-04, 18:51
Here it is:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?96304-Recommended-Docks-for-iPeng-Playback

pippin
2012-09-06, 15:38
New appdate :) for iPeng for iPad, 1.4.2
Only a single fix: iPeng no longer crashes when opening the screen saver on iOS 4.x

steveeedster
2012-09-07, 01:03
This is great news Pippin, so basically an Ipod etc can now be plugged into a dock that in turn can be plugged into my Hif-Fi via phono etc. This means we have a hardware solution going forward now the Logitech have decided to dump on this community from a great height.

Do we have a screen shot of what the front end screen would look like when playing, i.e. it would be nice to have a few 'player' options, obviously a full colour album art display as one, or even a 'retro' SB3/classic black screen look with scrolling text. Maybe some things to have fun developing for you Pippin going forward.

Thanks BTW Pippin, your fantastic software truly has made a difference to this product as a whole :)

pippin
2012-09-07, 08:59
Well, right now it looks like the NowPlaying screen in iPeng always looks:
http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/gallery/ipeng-1-2/img_0320.png

Alternatively, you can use the current playlists and all of it it obviously much more impressive on iPad where you can also get the self-scrolling Lyrics Screen Saver:

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/gallery/ipeng4ipadretina/img_0187.jpg

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/gallery/ipeng4ipadretina/img_0194.jpg

ReValveiT
2012-11-21, 10:57
Hi Pippin,

I have a Squeezebox Touch, iPeng for iPad, iPhone AND the playback feature add-on. MANY THANKS INDEED!

But I'm curious; is iPeng capable of bit-perfect audio output through a digital dock such as the Arcam drDock? (ie: does not do any additional resampling/reprocessing and outputs' unaltered 16/44.1 data to the DAC).

I know the Squeezebox Touch DOES output bit-perfect. Thanks for your answer :)

Oh, and 'ouch' on your earlier iPad Mini prediction... ;)

pippin
2012-11-21, 13:50
Yes, it is. Have a look at the blog linked at the top (can't post links right now) about when and what.
And yes on the mini. I changed my mind when I read @jury's and Marco Arment's analysis on the size

pippin
2012-11-22, 04:55
OK, now here's the link again.

On the "unaltered" question, the general answer is "yes", but there are a few things you have to look at

Depending on the dock, you might have to set the volume to 100%, although I'm not absolutely sure about this. iPeng itself doesn't manipulate the data or do replay gain calculations but iOS or the dock might do that if there is no analog volume control on the dock. In theory, USB audio supports modes to communicate volume information separately from the actual data (so that the actual stream doesn't have to be altered) and since iPeng only controls the iOS system volume I would in this case expect iOS to make use of this and also keep it's hands off the volume. Actually I'm inclined to believe that it's always doing this since it also doesn't volume control the line-out used with analog docks. So to sum up: I believe the communication will be bit-perfect independent of the volume setting but if you want to be absolutely sure, set the volume to 100%. If you are connecting just a DAC that doesn't have any analog control then you should be able to check this by testing whether the volume control in iPeng has any effect; it should not in this case.
you need to disable iPeng's equalizer (the default) or set it to neutral. You can find it under the player settings in "Audio".

ReValveiT
2012-11-22, 05:51
OK, now here's the link again.

On the "unaltered" question, the general answer is "yes", but there are a few things you have to look at

Depending on the dock, you might have to set the volume to 100%, although I'm not absolutely sure about this. iPeng itself doesn't manipulate the data or do replay gain calculations but iOS or the dock might do that if there is no analog volume control on the dock. In theory, USB audio supports modes to communicate volume information separately from the actual data (so that the actual stream doesn't have to be altered) and since iPeng only controls the iOS system volume I would in this case expect iOS to make use of this and also keep it's hands off the volume. Actually I'm inclined to believe that it's always doing this since it also doesn't volume control the line-out used with analog docks. So to sum up: I believe the communication will be bit-perfect independent of the volume setting but if you want to be absolutely sure, set the volume to 100%. If you are connecting just a DAC that doesn't have any analog control then you should be able to check this by testing whether the volume control in iPeng has any effect; it should not in this case.
you need to disable iPeng's equalizer (the default) or set it to neutral. You can find it under the player settings in "Audio".


Really interesting info there, thanks for taking the time to reply.

ReValveiT
2012-11-25, 05:57
Just done a series of 'null' tests:

LMS > iPeng iPad > Shairport4w Airtunes emulator > Sony Sound Forge (all on same PC).

Null tested against:

iTunes > Sony Sound Forge.

Result? Total cancellation. Which means, iPeng outputs bit-perfect audio through Airplay, AND Shairport4w is bit-perfect also.

All good then!