AirPlay

mr.m.kaufman's Avatar

mr.m.kaufman

15 Dec, 2018 11:03 PM

It's supported by beaTunes, right? I'm running 5.1 and iTunes on the same laptop shows my two AirPlay speakers. beaTunes only shows my laptop speakers.

I've restarted beaTunes several times, started and stopped iTunes several times (seeing the AirPlay speakers every time), made sure any other iTunes was not open (although that shouldn't make any difference), and even checked Music on my iPhone to verify it can see the speakers. All is well except beaTunes still only shows the default output device - no AirPlay!

What do you suggest? Thanks

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 16 Dec, 2018 12:16 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    I'm sorry, but Apple has changed the way AirPlay is offered to applications, which broke AirPlay support in beaTunes.

    What do you suggest?

    As a workaround, under macOS system preferences -> sound -> output, choose your output device.

  2. 2 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 16 Dec, 2018 03:37 PM

    mr.m.kaufman's Avatar

    Well that... totally sucks. I have multiple AirPlay speakers in different
    rooms, as well as an AudioEngine DAC plugged into a USB port for my primary
    listening room. Choosing *one* output device in Preferences is not a viable
    option for my case. I suppose this support thread will inform others that
    AirPlay is broken, if they search far enough, but I suggest you update your
    documentation to indicate AirPlay support is NOT a feature on a Mac, like
    it isn't on Windows. Hendrik, after superior music matching, AirPlay
    support was the other reason I've been considering beaTunes. If it can only
    output to one place at a time it's a non-starter :-(.

    Did Apple make AirPlay support impossible for you, or do you plan to
    re-introduce the feature in the future (soon!)? Otherwise I'm back to
    iTunes :-(.

    Thank you.

  3. 3 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 16 Dec, 2018 05:47 PM

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    And by the way, I cannot select AirPlay devices for Output in Sound Preferences. "This device has no output controls." Replicated on three different Sierra and High Sierra systems. And since you can only choose one device anyway, as I said that won't solve my issue.

    Don't even think about Audio Midi Setup... Totally different intentions/use cases, and it can't be made to solve this regardless.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by hendrik on 18 Dec, 2018 04:17 PM

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    Hey there,

    sorry for replying so late. I did some more investigating what the current state of AirPlay support by Apple is on macOS, and so far I can only tell you: It's very poor.

    I will keep on looking.

    -hendrik

  5. 5 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 18 Dec, 2018 10:37 PM

    mr.m.kaufman's Avatar

    I'm sure you're even busier than usual at this time of year, as are most of us, so no worries. Your customer service is still stellar :-).

    Many companies sell AirPlay-compatible speakers and other audio equipment, so although Apple have been jerks about unilaterally deciding to screw over some of their customers, I can't see supporting AirPlay, especially from a Mac, as deteriorating or disappearing any time soon. After all, it's how you send music to HomePods! So your statement mystifies me a bit... Unless you meant that Apple's AirPlay support for *other* applications on a Mac (i.e. APIs) is "very poor"? "Other" meaning anything except iTunes?

    Well, regardless, thank you for continuing to look into this. As I said, it's a must-have feature for me. No pressure :-).

    -Mark

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by hendrik on 19 Dec, 2018 06:22 AM

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    Unless you meant that Apple's AirPlay support for other applications on a Mac (i.e. APIs) is "very poor"? "Other" meaning anything except iTunes?

    Yes, I meant APIs.

    After researching for a while, I decided to post question on StackOverflow, but with no success so far. :-(

    -hendrik

  7. 7 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 19 Dec, 2018 03:44 PM

    mr.m.kaufman's Avatar

    AirParrot 2 also cannot handle AirPlay speakers properly (at all!) on my
    test systems. So beaTunes isn't the only broken one. And THEY have AirPlay
    as a primary feature!

  8. 8 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 19 Dec, 2018 08:22 PM

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    Checking other software as well, AirFoil works perfectly in my environment... So whatever they are doing with Apple's current (High Sierra) implementation is spot on.

    Unfortunately, playing through AirFoil to my AirPlay speakers is delayed compared to the output through any direct-connect device :-(. This is something that gets discussed a lot by people trying to do what I am doing, and I am afraid even if you get AirPlay working in beaTunes again, you still won't have any control over the delay in its audible output compared to direct-connect speakers. A buffering delay is built into AirPlay, and how would you know when the AirPlay speakers are actually playing music after that buffering? Which is why iTunes works so well, because Apple knows this and I bet they are using a private/hidden API to ensure music sync's to all audio outputs using AirPlay and direct!

    So I appreciate your continued efforts, but unless you can do AirFoil one better, and perfectly synchronize direct-connect output with AirPlay output, AirPlay support in beaTunes will be incomplete compared to iTunes in exactly the use case I need :-(. Sure, I could pipe audio from an Apple TV into my DAC and then the direct-connect speakers, turning them into AirPlay speakers as well to have a homogenous environment. That would make AirFoil's sync issues moot. But geez, this is just getting more and more painful compared to just settling on iTunes' less-than-ideal-but-still-works Genius matching instead of beaTunes.

    Still interested in getting AirPlay functional through beaTunes, though. Good luck and thanks for the hard work!

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by hendrik on 23 Dec, 2018 10:36 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Checking other software as well, AirFoil works perfectly in my environment... So whatever they are doing with Apple's current (High Sierra) implementation is spot on.

    Unfortunately, playing through AirFoil to my AirPlay speakers is delayed compared to the output through any direct-connect device :-(.

    There always seems to be a little bit of latency involved, when streaming like this, to make up for network issues.

    Which is why iTunes works so well, because Apple knows this and I bet they are using a private/hidden API to ensure music sync's to all audio outputs using AirPlay and direct!

    Yeah. They might have some sort of sync mechanism.

    So I appreciate your continued efforts, but unless you can do AirFoil one better,

    I won't unless, Apple presents a suitable API. I have filed a bug with them, but that unfortunately does not mean it's going to be addressed anytime soon.

    For what you are trying to do, I'd recommend dumping Apple and looking into Sonos or the like. They have been doing this for years, AFAIK quite successfully.

    But geez, this is just getting more and more painful compared to just settling on iTunes' less-than-ideal-but-still-works Genius matching instead of beaTunes.

    You could still use the beaTunes-iTunes integration. I.e. create playlists in beaTunes and play them back via iTunes. I know, that's a crutch, but perhaps better than nothing.

  10. 10 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 24 Dec, 2018 03:01 AM

    mr.m.kaufman's Avatar

    Given my current investments, it's a much better choice for me to do as I mentioned. Hook up the speakers I had been using direct-connected (through an AudioEngine DAC) to an Apple TV and pipe optical output from there to the DAC instead. That'll put all three of my output endpoints on AirPlay, so no synchronization issues. AirFoil seems to play quite nicely with beaTunes, directing your audio output to AirPlay speakers, so this integration should do the trick. I may have to find a good Bluetooth or wireless remote solution to start and stop and adjust beaTunes output like I could with the Apple IR remote, but that's a minor consideration.

    I'm gonna keep watching to see if/when you ever get AirPlay working again, with Apple's cooperation...

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by hendrik on 24 Dec, 2018 12:38 PM

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    Given my current investments, it's a much better choice for me to do as I mentioned.

    Understandable.

    AirFoil seems to play quite nicely with beaTunes, directing your audio output to AirPlay speakers, so this integration should do the trick.

    Nice!

    I'm gonna keep watching to see if/when you ever get AirPlay working again, with Apple's cooperation...

    I have started another attempt to figure out how it could be done: https://lists.apple.com/archives/coreaudio-api/2018/Dec/msg00028.html

    I don't have much faith in receiving a useful answer, but it's worth a try.

    Happy holidays!

  12. 12 Posted by mr.m.kaufman on 30 Dec, 2018 04:40 PM

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    A last update on this issue...

    beaTunes is such a superior alternative to iTunes for the music matching I
    want, so once I got it working in my environment, I bought a license. Thank
    you for all the support along the way, Hendrik.

    My final setup:

    - Music in folder-based libraries on a Samsung external SSD.
    - Media server is a 2017 MacBook Air running High Sierra.
    - A pair of AudioEngine A5+ powered speakers fed by their D1 DAC.
    - An AudioEngine D8 subwoofer.
    - The DAC takes optical out from an Apple TV (with a fake HDMI plug to keep
    it happy).
    - Two Wren V5US wireless AirPlay speakers in other rooms.
    - A Monoprice Mini Display Port to HDMI adapter plugged into the Air, and
    another HDMI fake-out plug in that. This lets the Air operate in clamshell
    mode so I don't have to keep it open wherever I end up putting it.
    - Since the Air doesn't have an IR port, and so does not support the Apple
    remote, I picked up a cheap RF presentation remote on Amazon (
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014CFO2XY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    ).
    - To make the remote work properly (at all!) on my Mac, I licensed USB
    Overdrive. Highly recommend. Mapped the remote's buttons to various
    keystrokes to directly control beaTunes.
    - To make beaTunes audio broadcast to my three AirPlay speaker instances I
    licensed AirFoil. Highly recommend.

    So beaTunes is at the heart of a nice integration of hardware and software
    that is now delivering great music to my ears that's been in my library for
    years, but I've never heard :-). Well done, Hendrik.

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by hendrik on 02 Jan, 2019 06:50 PM

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    Thank you for sharing and an awesome New Year!

    -hendrik

  14. hendrik closed this discussion on 02 Jan, 2019 06:50 PM.

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