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New Daddy
2012-10-10, 09:31
I love my SB Boom, but what with its limited expandability (e.g., no Spotify, no Google Music) and its destined status as an orphaned platform, I'm thinking of alternatives already.

How does AirPlay compare to SqueezeBox in functionality? I understand that with SB, mysqueezebox.com or LMS will operate as the server, whereas with AirPlay, your apple device (be it iPad or iPhone) will operate as the server. With the difference in the specific mechanism aside, will I be able to enjoy Rhapsody, podcasts and internet radios just as easily on AirPlay as with SB? In addition, will I be able to relay Google Music and Spotify from my i-device to AirPlay? If this is possible, then I think AirPlay has even better functionality than SB Boom.

Pascal Hibon
2012-10-10, 10:25
I love my SB Boom, but what with its limited expandability (e.g., no Spotify, no Google Music) and its destined status as an orphaned platform, I'm thinking of alternatives already.


Spotify does work with an SB Boom. You can use Triode's Spotify plugin. This requires a local LMS server but it works just fine.

New Daddy
2012-10-10, 11:09
Spotify does work with an SB Boom. You can use Triode's Spotify plugin. This requires a local LMS server but it works just fine.

Thanks for the info. Still, that wouldn't prevent me from looking into AirPlay as a SB replacement, since the biggest reason for it is SB's status as a destined orphan platform.

epoch1970
2012-10-10, 11:34
I used it a little with iTunes. It doesn't allow to control individual players: you can send a stream to many players or to one, but you can't send one stream per player. Players are appletv1, atv2, airport express, or 1/3 party licensed devices. My iPhone 4 and my iPad 3 can share the iTunes DB on my PC, but they won't recognize my appletv 1, nor the PC speakers (it's a Mac) as valid endpoints.
All in all, I find Airplay too much point-to-point to be of any practical interest. Things might change, but AirPlay is not new, and AirTunes dates back 2004… I guess Apple doesn't care to push hard on the subject.

bhaagensen
2012-10-10, 12:01
With Airplay you will be able to relay/stream anything your Mac or iDevice can play. For what it does, I think its pretty good.

nonnoroger
2012-10-10, 13:01
Airplay is limited to CD quality - 16bit/44.1 Khz - only a problem if you have any higher def music to play as it will be downsampled.

DaveWr
2012-10-10, 13:50
Airplay is limited to CD quality - 16bit/44.1 Khz - only a problem if you have any higher def music to play as it will be downsampled.

For virtually all cloud music services it is overkill, and it matches CD quality, after that you in very diminishing marginal returns area. If you want high res then frankly buy into Naim or Linn solutions. Sonos outsold Logitech and they only have 16/44.1 capability. They real key is that music services virtually guarantee to write apple ios apps. No need for other software.

New Daddy
2012-10-10, 20:10
They real key is that music services virtually guarantee to write apple ios apps. No need for other software.

yes, it's a big plus for iOS. Except for Google Music. For iDevice, you must run Safari (or any other web browser) to stream Google Music. It doesn't look like Google has any plans to write a stand-alone app for iOS. It must be their strategic decision, but hard to understand...

pippin
2012-10-10, 20:29
AirPlay is limited to 48/16, not 44.1/16.

What's more of a limitation is that you can only have a single stream from an iOS device, multiroom only really works from a Mac

DaveWr
2012-10-10, 23:03
AirPlay is limited to 48/16, not 44.1/16.

What's more of a limitation is that you can only have a single stream from an iOS device, multiroom only really works from a Mac

Airplay audio is 44.1/16

Apple Airport Express will only output 44.1/16. - fully bit transparent.

Apple TV2 and TV3 will only output 48/16 - always re-samples audio only Airplay streams, only bit transparent with video soundtracks ( already at 48).

Dave

KMorgan
2012-10-10, 23:34
In our holiday flat I use Spotify on iPad streamed to an Airport Express. By and large this works fine except for....

The Airport Express keeps disappearing from the network. It takes a power cycle for it to reappear. This is a known problem.
If your iThing dings and peeps when emails etc. arrive, this will be broadcast over the top of your music.
If you are using your iThing for other things while listening, expect to lose your music if the app/web page you are using takes over the sound card.

K

nonnoroger
2012-10-11, 00:13
Airplay audio is 44.1/16

Apple Airport Express will only output 44.1/16. - fully bit transparent.

Apple TV2 and TV3 will only output 48/16 - always re-samples audio only Airplay streams, only bit transparent with video soundtracks ( already at 48).

Dave

Thanks for the confirmation - I was going on my Apple TV 3rd gen and Airport Express both only offering 44.1 KHz in the OSX Audio Devices window.

Note also that the Apple Remote app allows iTunes on a Mac to be controlled remotely, does wake up (at least my) sleeping Mac, but also brings the screen on (which a SB player does not).

nonnoroger
2012-10-11, 00:32
What's more of a limitation is that you can only have a single stream from an iOS device, multiroom only really works from a Mac

Strangely, I can only get multiple Airplay speakers offered when I use the Remote app to control iTunes. From the Mac itself in iTunes I only see the Apple TV offered for the multiple speakers option. The Airport Express is seen and can be selected as a single destination. In the Audio Devices window, only Airplay is offered as part of a Multi-Output device and not individual Airplay speakers. This is with OSX 10.8.2 on a 2009 Mac Mini.

New Daddy
2012-10-11, 05:22
I just realized that one thing that I'll miss in substituting iDevice for SB is the "favorites".

Is there an app for iDevice that aggregates favorites across different services in the same way that the favorite function of mysqueezebox (or LMS) does? Conceptually, I think it can be done through the OS's "share" function. If done properly, such favorites aggregator can be even more versatile than mysb.com's favorite, as it can collect tracks or album from non-streaming service such as Shazam (music search app).

andynormancx
2012-10-11, 07:10
I just realized that one thing that I'll miss in substituting iDevice for SB is the "favorites".

Is there an app for iDevice that aggregates favorites across different services in the same way that the favorite function of mysqueezebox (or LMS) does? Conceptually, I think it can be done through the OS's "share" function. If done properly, such favorites aggregator can be even more versatile than mysb.com's favorite, as it can collect tracks or album from non-streaming service such as Shazam (music search app).

The simple answer is no.

There is no iOS generic "share" function. The share popups that you see from the builtin apps are not configurable by third party code, you can't change the list of things that you can share to within those builtin popups.

Communicating between apps on iOS is very restricted. All you can really do is use the URL schema functionality to publish/subscribe to urls.

So for example app A could register to handle urls staring with "myappa:" and other apps could link to urls in that format which open app A. It is up to app A to define what is contained in the url and what it means.

You could in theory use that approach to create a favourites aggregator. But only if all the apps whose favourites you wanted to aggregate built in support for your url schema for saving favourites and also had their own schemas for launching favourites.

Which just isn't going to happen.

A similar scheme would be more workable on Android, but again only with the co-operation of all the third party apps/services you wanted to support.

nekomatic
2012-10-17, 01:33
If anyone's looking at Airplay as an alternative to Squeezebox, it's also worth looking at Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil (http://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/) which gives you selective control of which app(s) send audio and allows Macs, PC's, iDevices and Android devices to act as receivers, as well as AirPlay hardware devices. From my experience so far it doesn't have quite the same remote-control capability as you get with Squeezebox or with Apple Remote controlling iTunes playing to real Airplay devices - so you might need to access the computer that's sending the audio from time to time, which might be a pain if it's a headless server - but it's an option.

There's also AirServer (http://www.airserverapp.com), which despite being marketed as a way of using your computer as a big display for iOS games works perfectly well to turn your PC or Mac into an AirPlay audio destination.

qirex
2012-10-18, 10:30
The thing that's really missing for me in AirPlay solutions is how I use mine as a bedroom system, the duet is perfect for me because the controller can be used for basic functions like volume control, play/pause and track skip without looking at it. I'm mostly an Apple household but if I'm reading before I go to sleep and something on shuffle I don't want to hear comes on the scenario of unlocking my phone, switching apps and then being able to do those basic operations is unacceptable. There's some stuff that doesn't look that bad like the new Denon Ceol Piccolo that has an IR remote but the alarm functionality seems to only work with local sources and not AirPlay.

bhaagensen
2012-10-18, 13:11
the scenario of unlocking my phone, switching apps and then being able to do those basic operations is unacceptable.


Thats not necessary when Airplaying using an iOS device. Volume is accessible through the hardware controls and basic controls accessible on the lock-screen (as in iPeng also). I think any app supporting Airplay must work like this...

banned for life
2012-10-18, 15:50
Can I take an airplay device (Apple TV?) to other places and access all my music at another place and using an internet connection and without playing from the iCloud?

Now is. Just curious.

bfl

DaveWr
2012-10-18, 23:41
Can I take an airplay device (Apple TV?) to other places and access all my music at another place and using an internet connection and without playing from the iCloud?

Now is. Just curious.

bfl

Airplay is just a local wifi transport system. It allows an iDevice or Mac to send audio or audio and video to a receiver. Where they get that audio from is nothing to do with Airplay. It is just a replacement for 50 metres of cable, it only does 16bit 48k audio. Apple express similar but 16 bit 64k audio only.

Dave

nekomatic
2012-10-19, 00:43
Can I take an airplay device (Apple TV?) to other places and access all my music at another place and using an internet connection and without playing from the iCloud?

If I read this correctly... no. The nearest Apple solution to what I think you're asking is iTunes Match.

Dave, doesn't iTunes on Windows do AirPlay then?

DaveWr
2012-10-19, 00:51
If I read this correctly... no. The nearest Apple solution to what I think you're asking is iTunes Match.

Dave, doesn't iTunes on Windows do AirPlay then?

No idea I don't do windows, Linux and OSX only.

Dave

PS you can use 'back to my mac' feature of ICloud to remote access files.

bobm
2012-10-23, 13:36
Airplay is limited to CD quality - 16bit/44.1 Khz - only a problem if you have any higher def music to play as it will be downsampled.

Can you purchase lossless files from Itunes? Also, would Itunes allow me to rip my current CD;s to loosless format. Just curious, not ready to give up my touch for a long time. -Bob

garym
2012-10-23, 13:44
Can you purchase lossless files from Itunes? Also, would Itunes allow me to rip my current CD;s to loosless format. Just curious, not ready to give up my touch for a long time. -Bob

no you can't purchase lossless from itunes. Yes, you can use itunes to rip to ALAC (lossless). But itunes is not the greatest secure ripper. Better using dbpoweramp or EAC.

bobm
2012-10-23, 14:04
no you can't purchase lossless from itunes. Yes, you can use itunes to rip to ALAC (lossless). But itunes is not the greatest secure ripper. Better using dbpoweramp or EAC.

I have dbpoweramp, I use it for Flac but it can do ALAC as well? Thanks Bob

garym
2012-10-23, 14:07
I have dbpoweramp, I use it for Flac but it can do ALAC as well? Thanks Bob

yes, dbpa will rip to ALAC.

bigbossman
2012-10-23, 14:45
Well in terms of SQ it's no contest - I've had the Pioneer N50 on loan for review, streaming from my Macbook Air via airplay was nowhere near as good as the same files on a flash drive plugged into the port on the front fascia.
Pity really as this could have been a SB replacement (most of my files are ALAC which the N50 can only handle via Airplay.

banned for life
2012-10-23, 14:56
If I read this correctly... no. The nearest Apple solution to what I think you're asking is iTunes Match.

Dave, doesn't iTunes on Windows do AirPlay then?

The question was about using my music remotely.

Is the Apple TV hardware locked to your location (or your Apple Account?)

It's a question of whether the device allows playback from any location.

BFL

bobm
2012-10-23, 15:30
yes, dbpa will rip to ALAC.

Interesting, so an ITouch loaded with ALAC files and a reciever that supports Airplay would compare to my touch playing flac? -Bob

aubuti
2012-10-23, 15:57
In terms of functionality as a single player (i.e., not sync'd with other players), yes, more or less. The comparability of the sound quality would depend in large part on the receiver, including its DAC.

And of course, the iTouch's max capacity of 64GB translates into maybe 200 - 250 albums in ALAC, so even people like me with a modest music library would have to be very selective about what subset of the library to load onto the iTouch.

garym
2012-10-23, 17:37
Interesting, so an ITouch loaded with ALAC files and a reciever that supports Airplay would compare to my touch playing flac? -Bob

Possible but Doubtful on several dimensions. Keep your squeezebox touch!

bigbossman
2012-10-23, 17:54
Interesting, so an ITouch loaded with ALAC files and a reciever that supports Airplay would compare to my touch playing flac? -Bob

Actually, if you have iTunes open (PC or Mac) and home sharing on you should be able to stream your entire library via Airplay using your iPod Touch (go to 'more' in your iPods menu and select 'shared' - any libraries that are home share enabled will show up here).
Just don't expect sound quality to match that of the SB Touch, or any SB IMHO.

nekomatic
2012-10-24, 00:27
Actually, if you have iTunes open (PC or Mac) and home sharing on you should be able to stream your entire library via Airplay using your iPod Touch (go to 'more' in your iPods menu and select 'shared' - any libraries that are home share enabled will show up here).
Just don't expect sound quality to match that of the SB Touch, or any SB IMHO.

If you're playing the music from your home library on the iPod Touch itself, via Home Sharing, that's not using Airplay.

If you're sending the audio from the iPod Touch to a receiving device like an Airport Express, Apple TV, or third-party AirPlay receiver, that's using Airplay. The audio you're sending could be from files stored on the iPod itself or from files stored on the computer and accessed using Home Sharing. But in the latter case you could also play the files in iTunes on the computer itself, under the control of Apple Remote on the iPod, and send the audio from iTunes to your receiver via AirPlay. (At least you can for a Mac, I still don't know if this is available on PC's.)

If you're playing music on the iPod through a dock that takes the digital audio from the iPod then the sound quality should be however good the DAC etc in the dock is, subject to the 'limitation' of 16 bit / 44.1 kHz. Similarly the quality from an AirPlay receiver should be whatever its DAC and output circuitry provides, given a lossless source file.

nekomatic
2012-10-24, 00:34
The question was about using my music remotely.

Is the Apple TV hardware locked to your location (or your Apple Account?)

It's a question of whether the device allows playback from any location.
As far as I know the Apple TV can play back your music collection anywhere you like (assuming power, Internet and a display) but this is using iTunes Match, not Airplay. So (a) you'd need to subscribe to iTunes Match, and (b) playback would be at 256 kbps AAC (I think), no matter what format or quality your source files back at home were. And because it's not Airplay I think you would need a display in order to operate the Apple TV.

bigbossman
2012-10-24, 02:24
If you're playing the music from your home library on the iPod Touch itself, via Home Sharing, that's not using Airplay.

If you're sending the audio from the iPod Touch to a receiving device like an Airport Express, Apple TV, or third-party AirPlay receiver, that's using Airplay. The audio you're sending could be from files stored on the iPod itself or from files stored on the computer and accessed using Home Sharing. But in the latter case you could also play the files in iTunes on the computer itself, under the control of Apple Remote on the iPod, and send the audio from iTunes to your receiver via AirPlay. (At least you can for a Mac, I still don't know if this is available on PC's.)

If you're playing music on the iPod through a dock that takes the digital audio from the iPod then the sound quality should be however good the DAC etc in the dock is, subject to the 'limitation' of 16 bit / 44.1 kHz. Similarly the quality from an AirPlay receiver should be whatever its DAC and output circuitry provides, given a lossless source file.

Sorry, let me qualify - I used my iPod as a remote while I had the N50. Using the wireless dongle on the Pioneer I was to access my home shared libraries and stream content to it using Airplay. Obviously using the iPod as a sort of wireless hotspot.
The N50 came up as an Airplay device along with my 2 Apple TV's.
Worked fine it did too :-)

bobm
2012-10-24, 09:25
Possible but Doubtful on several dimensions. Keep your squeezebox touch!

I do plan on keeping the touch for sure!

I am curious, I like the touch since I use the digital out into my reciever and take advantage of the recievers internal dacs. Works perfect for me. Is that the same with Airplay, are we sending a digital stream to the receiver and using the receiver's internal dacs? If that is the case, and we are using lossless, the quality should be pretty close between the two? What about Apple TV or airport express, do they have digital out? What am I missing?

Thanks Bob

garym
2012-10-24, 09:31
I do plan on keeping the touch for sure!

I am curious, I like the touch since I use the digital out into my reciever and take advantage of the recievers internal dacs. Works perfect for me. Is that the same with Airplay, are we sending a digital stream to the receiver and using the receiver's internal dacs? If that is the case, and we are using lossless, the quality should be pretty close between the two? What about Apple TV or airport express, do they have digital out? What am I missing?

Thanks Bob

I'm no expert on airplay. just recalling things I've read, there may be resampling to 16/48 (from 16/44.1), not using 24/x, thus not as good at digital volume control, no 24/96, etc. etc. There are other threads on this and I'm sure someone that knows can clarify/correct me.

Mnyb
2012-10-24, 09:41
Yes there seems to be no sure way of knowing that you really get bitpeefectness with apple , not that most people would care but us who do care seems to own squeezeboxes already :)

bhaagensen
2012-10-24, 09:44
iTunes Match supports ALAC.

Airplay is LAN-only (for all intents and purposes)

All Apple devices (Macs/iDevice/Apple TV/AE) all have digital outs (in some form).

Streaming e.g. ALAC with Airplay and using digital outs *should* be bitperfect.

bhaagensen
2012-10-24, 10:12
As far as Apple TV vs. SB goes, here are some personal specifics, divided into stuff one is good at and the other one not, and vice versa.

Pro Apple TV:
- Fits perfectly into an Apple ecosystem including their cloud-services.
- Streaming all kinds of sounds, videos and pictures from all kinds of Apple devices, is a breeze. This is important since most video- and music-services have apps or clients for said devices. This in addition to all other more random youtube, etc. content, one can pull of the big net.
- Best-effort-kind-of-good SQ by using digital outputs into DACs etc (though opinions vary as to whether its bit perfect). This means that I think the quality is pretty good - wether or not its actually The Best Possible, is not that important - nor is it optimised with this in mind.
- The way I use and think of it is, as "as a means of getting a better viewing/listening experience than on the smaller device".

Pro SB:
- Bitperfect
- High-res
- WAN-streaming (without cloud-subscritions)
- I can 100% manage my own library the old fashion way - no cloud stuff etc.
- When up and running - its independent of computers/iDevices/etc. Its just good old high-fi with a thingy that happens to source over the network.

So I use both as I believe they (in the present state) serve the same, but different purposes :)

Edit: I believe there are ways of obtaining guaranteed bitperfectness (for native resolutions), but they entail going through lots of hoops and hoplas defeating the entire purposes of the design/user experience

DaveWr
2012-10-24, 12:29
I'm no expert on airplay. just recalling things I've read, there may be resampling to 16/48 (from 16/44.1), not using 24/x, thus not as good at digital volume control, no 24/96, etc. etc. There are other threads on this and I'm sure someone that knows can clarify/correct me.

Airplay is 16/44.1 always, so source is converted to that.

If receiver is Apple TV, it only outputs 16/48 for audio. So it resamples.

If receiver is Airport Express, it outputs 16/44.1, same as Airplay signal, subject to WiFi capability / quality.

If source is ALAC 16/44.1 everything's bit perfect, if using max volume setting.

Dave