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Thread: LMS and Apple

  1. #1
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    LMS and Apple

    I must say I really love LMS and iPeng - I always come back to them and find new intriguing new stuff.

    To be clear - these are no complains or reasons to leave LMS behind (at the moment), but the points could be a major improvement for a certain user segment of LMS.

    Here comes my confession:

    We are an Apple household, and I am also using Apple Music, AirPlay 2, Siri, HomePods (soon), ...



    So while I always use / return to the LMS ecosystem, there is essentially no integration with the Apple ecosystem, apart from iPeng which is really great (but slightly outdated?).

    I am really wondering: what is the reason, why there is no further integration with the Apple ecosystem? Is it because of missing Apple users who can also code? Is it because of the limitations of the Apple ecosystem?

    I think one has to differentiate between the server side and the client side. On the client side (controlling LMS player) there is iPeng. As I said, it is great, but I am still waiting for shortcut and Siri support which would be a great step forward. Your iPhone as the hub to control LMS via Siri. To be able to include LMS into automations would open the doors for further usage scenarios.

    Would it be too much to ask, to have squeezelite / LMS player on an HomePod? Probably yes, but one can dream.

    I think that most users would even be prepared to pay for new features, either via a new version, or via a new subscription model for iPeng with regular updates and new features?

    On the server side, the problem is likely more difficult, as I do not know if e.g. Apple Music integration could be managed from any other platform than a Mac. But still - it should be possible to get this integration for a Mac. I just saw there is at least a web API to https://developer.apple.com/documentation/applemusicapi (The Apple Music API is a web service that lets you access information about the media found in the Apple Music Catalog and the user's personal iCloud Music Library. ) and also https://developer.apple.com/documentation/musickitjs (MusicKit JS lets users play songs from Apple Music and their Cloud Library inside your JavaScript app.).

    I do not know enough about these APIs and the inner workings of LMS, but I think some level of integration should be possible?

    As above, I think that many Apple users would be happy to have the integration of Apple Music and would be prepared to pay for it - be it in crowd funding, or purchase / subscription of the final plugins.

    The last point is AirPlay 2. The Protokoll has been been described / cracked / ... So why is there no implementation yet as there is an Airplay one? No idea why, but would like to understand it - is it because AirPlay 2 does not offer that many advantages over AirPlay (1)?


    To sum up: LMS is great, and I even consider getting a Qobuz subscription only for LMS. But I would prefer if LMS would integrate more with the Apple ecosystem and I would happily give the money I would pay for Qobuz to the further development of LMS and the LMS - Apple integration.

    Cheers,

    Rainer

  2. #2
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    I'm the author of the Alexa skills for LMS so let me address your point on voice control of LMS via Siri and why it is (currently) not available.

    The voice control paradigm is complementary to using a GUI and not intended to replace it. If you want to browse a library then nothing beats a touchscreen or a chromebook on your lap for browsing and e.g. seeing something you haven't played in a while and deciding to listen to it. Voice comes into its own when you don't have a screen or keyboard handy or your hands are full, like when under the shower or chopping vegetables or changing diapers. It's also great for doing something decisive and concise like kicking off playback of a named favorite radio station or a daily playlist. The advantage of a dedicated room-based speech device like an Amazon Echo (or HomePod) is that the spoken response from Alexa/Siri will be properly audible with background distractions, unlike the Siri response from an iPhone laid down somewhere in the vicinity. To date, almost all Siri use is via iPhones because Apple has sold a dismal number of HomePods. But, if you have a smartphone at the ready for Siri use, why would you choose to talk to it instead of just using iPeng or Material on it?

    I have 12 Amazon Echos in my house and 10 Squeezeboxes and I heavily use voice control for almost everything in my (very) smart home, but other household members struggle to remember the correct syntax for even 5% of the commands. Voice control is very divisive and you either love it or hate it. Most of the LMS community (by far) are haters. Voice control is pickier than you may realise for how exactly you word a command and is very unforgiving of humming and hawing. Siri is much, much worse than Alexa or Google Assistant in this respect.

    LMS and its plugins/skills/actions/shortcuts is a community development and there has to be enough traction behind a platform to get developers interested to spend time. It's not commercially motivated but more a hobby or personal-interest. I wrote the Alexa skills for my own use and put over 800 hours of effort into them, so (subsequently) making them available to the community made that effort more justified in my mind. If anybody wants to do the same for Siri then it's their choice. I could have targeted Siri because we are iPhone/iPad users and also mixed PC/Mac users at home, but the market share of HomePod vs Echo made that a really easy choice not to opt for Siri. Just because a household is an 'Apple household' does not automatically mean that you should try to do everything on your Apple devices. Pick your device ecosystem wisely and don't try to fit square pegs into round holes just because you have round holes - get a few square ones too for when it makes more sense.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    LMS and Apple

    > On 21 Jan 2021, at 11:20, philchillbill <philchillbill.9vtn6n (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    > I'm the author of the Alexa skills for LMS so let me address your point
    > on voice control of LMS via Siri and why it is (currently) not
    > available.
    >
    > The voice control paradigm is complementary to using a GUI and not
    > intended to replace it. If you want to browse a library then nothing
    > beats a touchscreen or a chromebook on your lap for browsing and e.g.
    > seeing something you haven't played in a while and deciding to listen to
    > it. Voice comes into its own when you don't have a screen or keyboard
    > handy or your hands are full, like when under the shower or chopping
    > vegetables or changing diapers. It's also great for doing something
    > decisive and concise like kicking off playback of a named favorite radio
    > station or a daily playlist. The advantage of a dedicated room-based
    > speech device like an Amazon Echo (or HomePod) is that the spoken
    > response from Alexa/Siri will be properly audible with background
    > distractions, unlike the Siri response from an iPhone laid down
    > somewhere in the vicinity. To date, almost all Siri use is via iPhones
    > because Apple has sold a dismal number of HomePods. But, if you have a
    > smartphone at the ready for Siri use, why would you choose to talk to it
    > instead of just using iPeng or Material on it?
    >
    > I have 12 Amazon Echos in my house and 10 Squeezeboxes and I heavily use
    > voice control for almost everything in my (very) smart home, but other
    > household members struggle to remember the correct syntax for even 5% of
    > the commands. Voice control is very divisive and you either love it or
    > hate it. Most of the LMS community (by far) are haters. Voice control is
    > pickier than you may realise for how exactly you word a command and is
    > very unforgiving of humming and hawing. Siri is much, much worse than
    > Alexa or Google Assistant in this respect.
    >
    > LMS and its plugins/skills/actions/shortcuts is a community development
    > and there has to be enough traction behind a platform to get developers
    > interested to spend time. It's not commercially motivated but more a
    > hobby or personal-interest. I wrote the Alexa skills for my own use and
    > put over 800 hours of effort into them, so (subsequently) making them
    > available to the community made that effort more justified in my mind.
    > If anybody wants to do the same for Siri then it's their choice. I could
    > have targeted Siri because we are iPhone/iPad users and also mixed
    > PC/Mac users at home, but the market share of HomePod vs Echo made that
    > a really easy choice not to opt for Siri. Just because a household is an
    > 'Apple household' does not automatically mean that you should try to do
    > everything on your Apple devices. Pick your device ecosystem wisely and
    > don't try to fit square pegs into round holes just because you have
    > round holes - get a few square ones too for when it makes more sense.
    >
    > Just my 2 cents.



    I must agree, that I thought about using Alexa as well (one reason is the skill you developed), but I decided against it. The discussion why is not relevant to the topic at all. Let’s just say, I had my reasons why I want to stick with Siri (despite it’s shortcomings).

    The situation with HomePods will likely change, once the HomePod Mini becomes available.

    And there is one device, which you have forgotten: the Apple Watch for Siri.

    Cheers,

    Rainer


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  4. #4
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Just in case it's not widely known, if you have iPeng running then Siri can do some basic actions with LMS.

    "Hey Siri, skip track" is one of the three things I ever say to Siri . Very useful if I'm cooking, say, and playing a Spotify-generated playlist where I don't like the current track.

    (The other two are "Hey Siri, xx minutes", to set a cooking timer, and "Hey Siri, where are you?", on the off-chance that I've left my phone face-up somewhere. Make that four things: I also had a bit of fun over Christmas with a Lidl smart home system - "Hey Siri, turn on my Christmas lights").

  5. #5
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    LMS and Apple

    > On 21 Jan 2021, at 11:36, chill <chill.9vtnxc (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    > Just in case it's not widely known, if you have iPeng running then Siri
    > can do some basic actions with LMS.


    Didn’t know that - thanks. Are there any other Siri commands which work?

    >
    > "Hey Siri, skip track" is one of the three things I ever say to Siri .
    > Very useful if I'm cooking, say, and playing a Spotify-generated
    > playlist where I don't like the current track.
    >
    > (The other two are "Hey Siri, xx minutes", to set a cooking timer, and
    > "Hey Siri, where are you?", on the off-chance that I've left my phone
    > face-up somewhere. Make that four things: I also had a bit of fun over
    > Christmas with a Lidl smart home system - "Hey Siri, turn on my
    > Christmas lights").
    >
    >
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  6. #6
    Senior Member chill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    Didn’t know that - thanks. Are there any other Siri commands which work?
    I've only tried a few. "Hey Siri, pause", "Hey Siri, previous track". I'm not sure how this is achieved - maybe it's something that Pippin has specifically programmed, or maybe it's built-in audio player commands that are sent to the currently running audio player?

  7. #7
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    So while I always use / return to the LMS ecosystem, there is essentially no integration with the Apple ecosystem, apart from iPeng which is really great (but slightly outdated?).

    I am really wondering: what is the reason, why there is no further integration with the Apple ecosystem? Is it because of missing Apple users who can also code? Is it because of the limitations of the Apple ecosystem?
    I doubt there are enough users using LMS these days willing to pay for a new client side iOS app, this probably makes it less interesting for someone who have the knowledge and interest to do it for the money. The remaining opening would be for someone who are dissatisfied with iPeng, have the knowledge/time and want to do it for him-/herself or the community without a need to cover the costs/hours spent. I think most people with the knowledge are just happy enough with iPeng as long as it works with the latest iOS devices. Making something that is better than iPeng is going to be significant amount of work and the pricing scheme in App Store is designed to sell to masses rather than the relatively few geek users still participating in this community.


    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    On the server side, the problem is likely more difficult, as I do not know if e.g. Apple Music integration could be managed from any other platform than a Mac. But still - it should be possible to get this integration for a Mac. I just saw there is at least a web API to https://developer.apple.com/documentation/applemusicapi (The Apple Music API is a web service that lets you access information about the media found in the Apple Music Catalog and the user's personal iCloud Music Library. ) and also https://developer.apple.com/documentation/musickitjs (MusicKit JS lets users play songs from Apple Music and their Cloud Library inside your JavaScript app.).
    Im pretty sure the limitation here is Apple. In theory you might be able to hack around MusicKit JS but Im pretty sure Apple doesnt legally allow you to use it to stream music to other devices, the intention with MusicKit JS is likely just to be able to play Apple Music in a web browser shown to the end user. Apple basically wants to be in control on which type of devices Apple Music can be played. Licensing services to other hardware manufacturers doesnt seem to be part of their business model, they want to handle the whole ecosystem themself as long as possible. MusicKit JS likely exists only because it makes it possible to sell Apple Music to a significant amount of Windows and Android users. Its not a focus area for Apple and just exists because they would loose too many Apple Music subscribers if they didnt offer it.

    Disregarding the legal risks someone trying to hack around MusicKit JS would take I also doubt there are enough users who would be willing to pay for a LMS integration to cover the development/maintenance costs. Best hope is likely that someone tries to hack around it and offer something for free, that could possibly make it go under the radar of Apple lawyers. Would probably have to be done by someone who dont care if they get banned as Apple Developer by Apple. If you dont charge people for the integration Apple might be satisfied by shutting down your integration and banning you from further development.

    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    LMS is great, and I even consider getting a Qobuz subscription only for LMS. But I would prefer if LMS would integrate more with the Apple ecosystem and I would happily give the money I would pay for Qobuz to the further development of LMS and the LMS - Apple integration.
    There are probably a few more people that would pay 10-20 USD/month but Im pretty sure we are talking about 10-20 people rather than 100 or 1000. The situation was different 2009 when Logitech still sold commercial Squeezebox hardware to the massmarket. Most people still feel like a one time cost of 10 USD is a lot and the fact that there is no massmarket Squeezebox player hardware doesnt improve the situation/interest.

    The main reason Im still using Spotify instead of Apple Music is that Spotify is supported in LMS so I do have the same wish as you have but Im not sure Id pay 20USD/month (10 to Apple and 10 for LMS integration) for Apple Music.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets
    Starting with LMS 8.0 I no longer support my plugins/applets (see here for more information )

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    Would it be too much to ask, to have squeezelite / LMS player on an HomePod? Probably yes, but one can dream.
    Why not using my AirPlay bridge? Virtually, it gives you Squeezelite on HomePod and any AirPlay-enabled device

    On the server side, the problem is likely more difficult, as I do not know if e.g. Apple Music integration could be managed from any other platform than a Mac. But still - it should be possible to get this integration for a Mac. I just saw there is at least a web API to https://developer.apple.com/documentation/applemusicapi (The Apple Music API is a web service that lets you access information about the media found in the Apple Music Catalog and the user's personal iCloud Music Library. ) and also https://developer.apple.com/documentation/musickitjs (MusicKit JS lets users play songs from Apple Music and their Cloud Library inside your JavaScript app.).
    Last time I looked, Apple would not let you stream their music on another device than a AppleDevice
    The last point is AirPlay 2. The Protokoll has been been described / cracked / ... So why is there no implementation yet as there is an Airplay one? No idea why, but would like to understand it - is it because AirPlay 2 does not offer that many advantages over AirPlay (1)?
    Well, as the author/maintainer of AirPlay bridge / Shairtunes that gives you both ways connectivity between the two domains, I don't see the need of AirPlay2. It does not bring any new feature to these integrations and it would be *a lot* of work
    LMS 8.1.x on Odroid-C4 - SqueezeAMP!, 5xRadio, 5xBoom, 2xDuet, 1xTouch, 1xSB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5, RivaArena 1 & 3

  9. #9
    Senior Member carsten_h's Avatar
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    Hello!

    I am using mainly Apple devices (Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, iPhone, iPad) and I also have since two years a Raspberry Pi with piCorePlayer and LMS running.
    I am managing the music for LMS on my Mac with Music (before with iTunes), then I copy the library 1:1 to the LMS SSD and attach it to the Pi 4 with LMS (it is mounted read-only as the SSD has a HFS+ filesystem).
    Also I have a Pi4 with my smarthome solution named Home Assistant. I have chosen this because I used Homekit with Homebridge before but it has too many problems, is running in the cloud and there is no backup of the automations possible. So I searched for a local solution and found it in Home Assistant which has much more possibilites, is local and creates backups automatically each day which are working.

    With Home Assistant I have the possibility to control LMS for every LMS client, but I am not really using it.
    What I use to control LMS is Material Skin as a saved Webapp on all the macOS/iOS/iPadOS devices because it looks like a real app and is fast as hell.
    I have a few Amazon Fire HD tablets (8" and 10") that I am also using for LMS. There I am using the Material Skin App which can be active directly in lockscreen and uses the hardware volume buttons to control LMS.

    What I am not using is Siri as I did not find it of any use to make things easier.
    But I am sure that it is possible to export the controls from LMS inside Home Assistant to Homekit to let them be controlled by Siri.

    I am not using Apple Music, as I have my music local and Homepods are also of no really use as they can not play from the local library directly, only through Airplay. And therefore I had to use an external device to stream it to the speakers.

    For me LMS is the right solution and Apple is on the wrong way for me regarding handling of music. I am telling that although I am using only Macs at home since 1994 or so.
    When I am not at home I hear the music with my iPhone, but this is also local on the iPhone which is synced with Music on my Mac. And to be clear I am not using Apple headphones but Sennheiser In-Ears (because I am buying locally :-) not it's because they sound much better).
    Pi4 4GB piCorePlayer with LMS and Squeezelite for USB inside an Argon One case
    Pi3B+ (7" Display, Hifiberry DAC+ Pro) piCorePlayer with Squeezlite/Jivelite for Hifiberry and Bluetooth headphone inside a SmartiPi touch case
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    Ikea Symfonisk

  10. #10
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    LMS and Apple

    Thanks a lot for your response, philippe_44


    > On 21 Jan 2021, at 18:51, philippe_44 <philippe_44.9vu80n (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com <mailtohilippe_44.9vu80n (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>> wrote:
    >
    >
    > rkrug wrote:
    >>
    >> Would it be too much to ask, to have squeezelite / LMS player on an
    >> HomePod? Probably yes, but one can dream.
    >>

    > Why not using my AirPlay bridge? Virtually, it gives you Squeezelite on
    > HomePod and any AirPlay-enabled device


    That is what I am doing at the moment, AirPlay Bridge to Libratone Zip Mini 2 speakers - works nicely, no problems there.

    The question is: I will have two HomePods, paired as a stereo. Can the AirPlay bridge stream to these two as stereo? If yes, one problem is solved.

    But there remains the question of controlling the playback using Siri from the HomePod - I will try it out in about a weeks time.

    >
    >>
    >> On the server side, the problem is likely more difficult, as I do not
    >> know if e.g. Apple Music integration could be managed from any other
    >> platform than a Mac. But still - it should be possible to get this
    >> integration for a Mac. I just saw there is at least a web API to
    >> https://developer.apple.com/documentation/applemusicapi <https://developer.apple.com/documentation/applemusicapi> (The Apple Music
    >> API is a web service that lets you access information about the media
    >> found in the Apple Music Catalog and the user's personal iCloud Music
    >> Library. ) and also https://developer.apple.com/documentation/musickitjs <https://developer.apple.com/documentation/musickitjs>
    >> (MusicKit JS lets users play songs from Apple Music and their Cloud
    >> Library inside your JavaScript app.).
    >>

    > Last time I looked, Apple would not let you stream their music on
    > another device than a AppleDevice



    OK - that explains. But streaming from a running Music session on a Mac (or in a browser?) using AirPlay to LMS should work. The question: could one control that Music session from LMS? As a kind of a remote control, which should be allowed?


    >>
    >> The last point is AirPlay 2. The Protokoll has been been described /
    >> cracked / ... So why is there no implementation yet as there is an
    >> Airplay one? No idea why, but would like to understand it - is it
    >> because AirPlay 2 does not offer that many advantages over AirPlay (1)?
    >>

    > Well, as the author/maintainer of AirPlay bridge / Shairtunes that gives
    > you both ways connectivity between the two domains, I don't see the need
    > of AirPlay2. It does not bring any new feature to these integrations and
    > it would be *a lot* of work


    That answers my question - if it does not add any new features (e.g. streaming to a pair of AirPlay 2 speakers paired as stereo), there is no need to implement AirPlay 2. Actually - I could always stream to the AppleTv via AirPlay, which than sends the sound to the HomePods which are paired for stereo… Interesting.

    Thanks a gain for your answers,

    Rainer


    >
    >
    >
    > LMS 7.9 on Pi 3B+ & Odroid-C2 - *SqueezeAMP!*, 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet,
    > 1xTouch, 1 SB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000,
    > ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2,
    > Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5,
    > Riva 1 & 3
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