Apple Joining the Atmos streaming game!

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RustyStatic

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I have to admit I’m loving this more and more. I’ll probably still buy big box releases on bands I love but I admit this makes it hard too. the ease and convenience is great.
Yeah, piggybacking on this and @atlantasteve, I was wondering when I would again be facing a seismic shift in the platforms I subscribe to and my go-to apps and hardware... and the combo of the high res upgrade and atmos streaming has tipped me over. I've been having a few thoughts:

1. Roon has been comically unstable for me over the years, regularly not connecting at the exact moment I want it to (having people over and wanting to stream one of my meticulously crafted playlists but... nah, Roon can't be bothered so I retreat to Apple Music), albums regularly disappearing and reappearing (about 3000 are missing right now for some reason, but who's counting)... and as much as I've been trying to make it work, it has started becoming just silly and I'm tired of being an apologist for it even though the UI/UX is beautiful when it works. You can upload lossless stuff to Apple that isn't available for streaming, and boom, it's there, it works, piece of cake.

2. Qobuz is similar. Used it for the high res and the depth of the catalog, but it's super unreliable anywhere other than at home/wired and the native app itself leaves a lot to be desired in terms of UX. I find myself regularly having to bail on it when it's skipping/churning and use Apple Music, because it "just works". Wouldn't it be awesome if Apple Music had high res? WAIT A MINUTE....

3. Others have commented on this, but I've personally found that with an Apple TV 4K into a Marantz SR8015, even on a 5.1 system as opposed to full-blown atmos, it is CAPABLE of sounding tremendous and as good as any disc I pop in. The Tom Petty ("Wallflowers") and the new Lake Street Dive ("Obviously") are just two proof positive examples of how brilliant the experience can be, and the ease of use is just fantastic.

4. So, it is a blast sampling all of the atmos content as they add it (and this thread is pure gold for folks sharing their finds—thank you, and let's keep it up!)... and no longer questioning the hardware, because it is every bit as capable, but the mixes themselves. Some are brilliant, and some are just baffling... Tom Sawyer was never fantastic on disc but this version they've got up here sounds like compression is being turned on and off in various channels throughout... it's... not good. The version of Free Bird they've got up is also nowhere near the one on Southern Surroundings but maybe if you like your music (especially vocals) to sound like it's coming from the other side of a gas station bathroom door, this might be your bag. :p

Going forward, I think I'm gonna be leaning on:

Stereo listening, both at home and on the go: Apple Music
Multichannel listening: JRiver whenever possible, physical discs for the exceptions
Video content: physical discs whenever possible

The idea of simplifying my setup, platforms, and subscriptions is super appealing... workflow even more so. Feels like the day is here!
 
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mrcond

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Yeah, piggybacking on this and @atlantasteve, I was wondering when I would again be facing a seismic shift in the platforms I subscribe to and my go-to apps and hardware... and the combo of the high res upgrade and atmos streaming has tipped me over. I've been having a few thoughts:

1. Roon has been comically unstable for me over the years, regularly not connecting at the exact moment I want it to (having people over and wanting to stream one of my meticulously crafted playlists but... nah, Roon can't be bothered so I retreat to Apple Music), albums regularly disappearing and reappearing (about 3000 are missing right now for some reason, but who's counting)... and as much as I've been trying to make it work, it has started becoming just silly and I'm tired of being an apologist for it even though the UI/UX is beautiful when it works. You can upload lossless stuff to Apple that isn't available for streaming, and boom, it's there, it works, piece of cake.

2. Qobuz is similar. Used it for the high res and the depth of the catalog, but it's super unreliable anywhere other than at home/wired and the native app itself leaves a lot to be desired in terms of UX. I find myself regularly having to bail on it when it's skipping/churning and use Apple Music, because it "just works". Wouldn't it be awesome if Apple Music had high res? WAIT A MINUTE....

3. Others have commented on this, but I've personally found that with an Apple TV 4K into a Marantz SR8015, even on a 5.1 system, it is CAPABLE of sounding tremendous and as good as any disc I pop in. The Tom Petty ("Wallflowers") and the new Lake Street Dive ("Obviously") are just two proof positive examples of how brilliant the experience can be, and the ease of use is just fantastic.

4. So, it is a blast sampling all of the atmos content as they add it (and this thread is pure gold for folks sharing their finds—thank you, and let's keep it up!)... and no longer questioning the hardware, because it is every bit as capable, but the mixes themselves. Some are brilliant, and some are just baffling... Tom Sawyer was never fantastic on disc but this version they've got up here sounds like compression is being turned on and off in various channels throughout... it's... not good. The version of Free Bird they've got up is also nowhere near the one on Southern Surroundings but maybe if you like your music (especially vocals) to sound like it's coming from the other side of a gas station bathroom door, this might be your bag. :p

Going forward, I think I'm gonna be leaning on:

Stereo listening, both at home and on the go: Apple Music
Multichannel listening: JRiver whenever possible, physical discs for the exceptions
Video content: physical discs whenever possible

The idea of simplifying my setup, platforms, and subscriptions is super appealing... workflow even more so. Feels like the day is here!
Great post. I’m stating the obvious here, but I love it when things work as advertised, and it’s incredibly frustrating when they don’t.
 

Cheezmo

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Great post. I’m stating the obvious here, but I love it when things work as advertised, and it’s incredibly frustrating when they don’t.
For example, I have a Music library on my M1 Mac Mini server, and if I try to turn on Sync Library, it works on it for 1-2 hours then Music crashes. I've submitted feedback with crash logs to Apple, so maybe it will be fixed in 2 years. I guess it just isn't to be ;-)
 

sjcorne

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If you're into this kind of pop, not much my cuppa, but a good mix, I reckon.

Dua Lipa's - Future Nostalgia
Checking it out now and I'm pretty disappointed - there's so many layers to this album, but it's all upfront save for the odd harmony vocal or sound effect (such as the percussion in "Don't Start Now") that's mixed to the back at very low volume. It could've been so much more. That being said, the Atmos mix does seem a bit more dynamic than the stereo version.
 

woody

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3. Others have commented on this, but I've personally found that with an Apple TV 4K into a Marantz SR8015, even on a 5.1 system as opposed to full-blown atmos, it is CAPABLE of sounding tremendous and as good as any disc I pop in. The Tom Petty ("Wallflowers") and the new Lake Street Dive ("Obviously") are just two proof positive examples of how brilliant the experience can be, and the ease of use is just fantastic.
I have the same receiver combined with the Apple TV 4K and I am at the moment making the most of my free subscription period for both Apple Music and Tidal.
I have 11.2 speakers set up in a not exactly ideal ATMOS configuration, however the quality of sound is definitely as good as any disc. (The Tidal free subscription period is a good option for the access to 'Yello- Point' alone.)

Will likely settle with the Apple subscription alone as it represents better value for money.
 

perzon57

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I have the same receiver combined with the Apple TV 4K and I am at the moment making the most of my free subscription period for both Apple Music and Tidal.
I have 11.2 speakers set up in a not exactly ideal ATMOS configuration, however the quality of sound is definitely as good as any disc. (The Tidal free subscription period is a good option for the access to 'Yello- Point' alone.)

Will likely settle with the Apple subscription alone as it represents better value for money.
'Yello- Point' is on Apple Music too.:cool:
 

perzon57

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Hmmmmm. I have been using the link attached to the 2021 new release thread- which looks like it is missing a few titles.

Good news though!
I have it in my album list, haven't played it for a while as I have the disc.Will check it out later today.
 

César

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Two tracks by Hans Zimmer belonging to Dune's soundtrack are here in Apple Music, in Atmos: Paul,'s Dream and Ripples in the Sand. Just search by artist and they are there. Not so much discreet, but very enveloping. Music is so so, I was hoping for more as I have very high expectations for the movie
 

humprof

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The New York Times "Wirecutter" column tackled Dolby Atmos last week, with a special focus on Apple Music. Unlike most mainstream journalists, this guy actually seems to know what he's talking about. A sample: "The concept is intriguing. However, in our experience testing Atmos, we’ve found that the technology delivers its most realistic effects when played through front and rear speakers and actual ceiling-mounted overhead speakers; the simulations of overhead sounds that it creates for simpler systems are rarely as convincing."

 

humprof

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Whoa: "Atmos bitstreaming support for all us geeks into Atmos music who don't have (or want) an Apple TV"! Be still, my heart!
Sadly, no progress on this yet--neither WASAPI support nor Atmos bitstreaming support.

And granted: I'm not really conversant in this kind of thing, but having tried Apple Music Electron, I don't see how either of those capabilities could ever be added. As the developer admits, Apple Music Electron "basically just loads the Apple Music web player in an electron container." And no matter what "container" it's run in, Apple Music web player is a barebones web-based version of Apple Music with no built-in capability of changing playback settings, as far as I can see.

(Plus, at the moment, anyway, I can't sign in to my Apple account on Apple Music Electron without getting a spurious "not available in your country or region" error. Supposedly this was fixed in the latest build, but if so, then it broke again right away.)

@dabl, am I missing something?
 

fredblue

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Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but the new Atmos version of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" on Apple Music is far superior to the 5.1 mix from the Hopes & Fears DualDisc DVD-A. It's fully discrete, with piano and strings isolated in the rear/height speakers. I wish they'd re-do the entire album.
having some fun with the 4K ATV and lots of Spatial Audio goodies in 5.1 but man i can't find this track at all..! maybe its not available in the UK? 😔
 

fredblue

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PSA: Unlike Tidal, Apple Music will send a downmixed discrete 5.1 signal to legacy gear that pre-dates Atmos. I attached my Apple TV 4K to one of these units and was able to use it in conjunction with my Marantz 4070 quad amp.
this is very true! i've been doing it all night! 🥳some stuff pans out better than others but its all surround-y for sure! 😋
 

fredblue

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Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" is another 'hidden' Atmos track worth checking out - the instrument & vocal placements are almost the same as the old DVD-A 5.1 mix, but they restored the missing lead vocals during the chorus.
so the little star * next to the track means its in Atmos? 🤔
 
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