Apple Music - Dolby Atmos Playback From Mac

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bookofsaturdays

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I do 5.1.2 atmos from MacBook -> multichannel DAC via USB. Mac -> multichannel audio interface via USB seems to work too.

Whether atmos from MacBook -> HDMI -> AVR works or not seems less clear according to @humprof above.
Thank you, sorry I actually just meant straight 5.1. Tried this morning and same as @humprof I was initially only getting stereo but my receiver showed 6 speakers engaged. I read further on about the "Atmos always on" issue, turned that to Auto and I'm getting 5.1! Thanks everyone this is so exciting! No need for an ATV now!
 

stereoptic

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@humprof - What are the settings>Video>HDMI setup on the Marantz SR6014?
Which video output are you using? Is the monitor powered on? There may be some handshaking between the PC, Marantz, and the monitor that may be a problem?
 

humprof

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@humprof - What are the settings>Video>HDMI setup on the Marantz SR6014?
Which video output are you using? Is the monitor powered on? There may be some handshaking between the PC, Marantz, and the monitor that may be a problem?

Thanks; without having much technical knowledge, I'm also thinking, vaguely, that there must be some kind of a handshake issue here. But like @sjcorne, I'm also thinking that if there were only an AC-3 passthrough option, that would largely resolve things. We know that Midi AUDIO Setup has a 5.1.2 Atmos option (and, pre-OS 12.4, that it had a 7.1.4 Atmos option; I've seen screenshots from other people's setups)--even though, on my system, anyway, the speaker test folds signals meant for the overheads into the left and right surrounds. (Which is also suspicious: if Core Audio can natively handle Atmos, then why isn't it correctly detecting my AVR's Atmos capability and routing the signals accordingly?) So if the Apple Music software is indeed decoding the Atmos signal rather than passing it through, then how and why is it miscommunicating that signal to the AVR?

To answer your questions: in the Apple Music settings, I've tried both the "Better" and "Best" video output. And I've tried things with the monitor (an old, 1080p 24" Samsung) both on and off. On the Marantz, the Video>HDMI Setup settings are as follows:
  • HDMI Audio Out: AVR
  • HDMI Pass Through: On
  • --Pass Through Source: Chromecast (I've tried switching it to both "Media Player," which is what I've named my laptop input, and "Last"; no difference)
  • --RC Source Select: Power On + Source
  • HDMI Control: Off
  • --ARC: Off
 

stereoptic

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Thanks; without having much technical knowledge, I'm also thinking, vaguely, that there must be some kind of a handshake issue here. But like @sjcorne, I'm also thinking that if there were only an AC-3 passthrough option, that would largely resolve things. We know that Midi AUDIO Setup has a 5.1.2 Atmos option (and, pre-OS 12.4, that it had a 7.1.4 Atmos option; I've seen screenshots from other people's setups)--even though, on my system, anyway, the speaker test folds signals meant for the overheads into the left and right surrounds. (Which is also suspicious: if Core Audio can natively handle Atmos, then why isn't it correctly detecting my AVR's Atmos capability and routing the signals accordingly?) So if the Apple Music software is indeed decoding the Atmos signal rather than passing it through, then how and why is it miscommunicating that signal to the AVR?

To answer your questions: in the Apple Music settings, I've tried both the "Better" and "Best" video output. And I've tried things with the monitor (an old, 1080p 24" Samsung) both on and off. On the Marantz, the Video>HDMI Setup settings are as follows:
  • HDMI Audio Out: AVR
  • HDMI Pass Through: On
  • --Pass Through Source: Chromecast (I've tried switching it to both "Media Player," which is what I've named my laptop input, and "Last"; no difference)
  • --RC Source Select: Power On + Source
  • HDMI Control: Off
  • --ARC: Off


hmm - I wonder if the monitor is blocking the signal somehow. I don't know, but maybe a HDCP 2.2 connection is required?
What about if you disconnect the monitor out cable and any associated settings?
 

humprof

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hmm - I wonder if the monitor is blocking the signal somehow. I don't know, but maybe a HDCP 2.2 connection is required?
What about if you disconnect the monitor out cable and any associated settings?

Wouldn't hurt to try, I suppose--although as I say, I currently get the same results whether the monitor is on or off. (And I don't have any problem with Atmos playback when streaming Apple Music from my ATV4K--or, when an Atmos soundtrack is available, from streaming video services via Fire Stick or ATV4K.) Of course, without a monitor connected, it's extremely difficult to change settings on the Marantz. . . .
 
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humprof

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It belatedly occurred to me that one way to rule out the HDMI cable as the source of my problem (and to test @sjcorne's conclusion that the Apple Music software is somehow at fault) would be to play an Atmos file via some other means. On my Windows machine, I do that regularly, using either the Windows Movies & TV player or VLC to play Atmos-encoded mp4 and mkv/mka files. (Kodi is another possibility for Atmos playback.)

Edit: so...I downloaded VLC for Mac (M1 chip) and still can't get the Mac to pass through a bitstream to my AVR over HDMI without converting it to PCM. This, despite the fact that in VLC's Audio > Audio Device settings, I can choose between "marantz-AVR" and "marantz-AVR (Encoded Output)," and there's also a "Force detection of Dolby Surround (Auto, On, Off)" setting in the advanced Preferences > Show All > Audio menu. I'm not sure I have all of the other Audio and "Advanced" Preferences figured out, though.
 
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stereoptic

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Wouldn't hurt to try, I suppose--although as I say, I currently get the same results whether the monitor is on or off. (And I don't have any problem with Atmos playback when streaming Apple Music from my ATV4K--or, when an Atmos soundtrack is available, from streaming video services via Fire Stick or ATV4K.) Of course, without a monitor connected, it's extremely difficult to change settings on the Marantz. . . .
Yep, but you can always use the web interface to change settings.
 

mkt

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Has anyone gotten atmos in safari to work? (I think that I periodically ask this question in hopes of getting a different answer)
1654633129960.png

1654633460739.png

 

humprof

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Has anyone gotten atmos in safari to work? (I think that I periodically ask this question in hopes of getting a different answer)
View attachment 79917
View attachment 79918

I haven't tried--but it may be another case where it works, but only with built-in speakers and/or AirPods.
 
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humprof

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I'm tired, for now, of banging my head against the wall re getting Atmos to my AVR over HDMI. But I finally decided to listen to some Atmos tracks over the MacBook's own speakers, and . . . damned if it isn't pretty convincing. Listening to Jon Batiste's WE ARE, I hear sounds as if they were coming from 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock on the 2-D plane, and from at least slightly above & behind me, too. Now I'm debating whether to keep the AirPods Pro that I bought on sale (also at Costco) as a gift, but the giftee didn't want. . . .
 

~dave~~wave~

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Now I'm debating whether to keep the AirPods Pro that I bought on sale (also at Costco) as a gift, but the giftee didn't want. . .

i say keep 'em! they're not half bad! 👍

Not to take this thread off-topic, but I concur.
I recently got a pair, and loving them.

As a bonus, I recently figured out to import my audiogram to my iPhone, which is much better than using the preset eq settings in Apple Music.
Restored the sizzle to the cymbals and maracas.

We could take this offline or start a new thread, but here's a short YT video about their new features from a hearing impairment perspective.

 

~dave~~wave~

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If you are getting stereo/binaural then it seems that the Music app needs to be set to Auto on the Dolby Atmos dropdown menu. If it is set to Always On, people are reporting that they get binaural and not Atmos.
Indeed: I had set Atmos to "Always On," and I was getting stereo playback only (even though my AVR read the incoming signal from the MacBook as "Multi-Channel"--not Atmos). When I switch the setting to "Auto," I finally get 5.1 playback, whereas before I was only getting 2.0.
Just upgraded to Monterey on my 2017 iMac and lost the 5.1 playback from display port HDMI to my AVR.

Thankfully I remembered this post, changing the Atmos playback setting in Apple Music Preferences from always on to automatic did the trick! 😃
 

humprof

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There's a bunch of reasons--okay, and rationalizations--that I decided to swallow hard and shell out for a new MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, in spite of being a lifelong Apple hater and a lifelong cheapskate. (The first reason: I've nursed along my 2009 ThinkPad for about as long as I could.) But the review, below, in Sound On Sound played a part. It announces its theme in the subheading: "Apple’s most powerful laptop computer ever has been explicitly designed with music in mind." And paragraph two concludes: "What's more, nearly every Apple executive featured in the launch presentation emphasised the important role music plays at the company. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, even began the keynote by saying the event was about two things: 'Macs and music.'" You can find a bunch of YouTube videos by self-styled audio professionals touting the new machines' suitability for production purposes, too. So the devil on my shoulder whispered in my ear that if I ever did make good on my vague intention to learn some mixing and/or upmixing basics in retirement, then this machine would be a Good Thing To Have. And since Apple is supposedly all-in on Atmos, then--naif that I am--I naturally assumed that when a MacBook was deemed "explicitly designed with music in mind," that implicitly meant Atmos music. (Especially when the first illustration in the review clearly shows an Atmos mixing session, and later on the reviewer emphasizes how "audio professionals are unlikely to use built‑in loudspeakers" or even consumer quality headphones to listen back to their mixes.)

Well, caveat emptor. I guess all those audio professionals aren't trying to work in Atmos (yet). Except maybe for this guy, who I think has been cited here before. He's talking specifically about problems with Apple's "Spatial Audio" and their reliance on DD+JOC, but I think what he's spotlighting is also related to this thread. Why would you design a new line of machines to be professional quality workstations, then make if difficult, if not impossible, for those professionals to monitor the Atmos mixes they make on that machine?
 

mkt

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Has anyone gotten atmos in safari to work? (I think that I periodically ask this question in hopes of getting a different answer)
View attachment 79917
View attachment 79918
And it works? I don't think that I have never gotten any other streaming service to do atmos in a browser.
1658273135669.png

EDIT Only with safari browser, no atmos with chrome or Firefox
 
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madscot

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My mobile phone provider has just given me six months apple tv for free YAY, BUT it seems that it’s useless without an apple tv 4k, the other alternative is buying apple airpods to listen (atmos in headphones…really), has anyone found a way to play it in atmos without buying expensive stuff i don’t want or need? I have a perfectly good atmos home theatre system
 

LuvMyQuad

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My mobile phone provider has just given me six months apple tv for free YAY, BUT it seems that it’s useless without an apple tv 4k, the other alternative is buying apple airpods to listen (atmos in headphones…really), has anyone found a way to play it in atmos without buying expensive stuff i don’t want or need? I have a perfectly good atmos home theatre system
I assume you are talking about playing music.

Six free months of Apple TV is only TV. Apple music is a separate subscription. But there are devices other than an Apple 4k box that can play Apple TV. I play it on a 4k firestick. It cannot play Apple music however. AFAIK Apple music in surround is only available with an Apple TV box. You might as well take advantage on the Apple TV offer though.
 

bookofsaturdays

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My mobile phone provider has just given me six months apple tv for free YAY, BUT it seems that it’s useless without an apple tv 4k, the other alternative is buying apple airpods to listen (atmos in headphones…really), has anyone found a way to play it in atmos without buying expensive stuff i don’t want or need? I have a perfectly good atmos home theatre system
You can download the Apple TV app on devices like Roku, I’m unsure if it streams stuff in Atmos as I don’t have the capability but it probably does 5.1.

It is possible to get at least 5.1 using Apple Music on a MacBook Pro using HDMI into your AV receiver. I’m doing it myself as I got 3 months for the price of 1. You need the latest MacOS and it probably doesn’t work on older generation MacBooks, but I think mine might be from 2017 so anything from that and above you should be good to use a MacBook, if you’ve got one
 

madscot

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I assume you are talking about playing music.

Six free months of Apple TV is only TV. Apple music is a separate subscription. But there are devices other than an Apple 4k box that can play Apple TV. I play it on a 4k firestick. It cannot play Apple music however. AFAIK Apple music in surround is only available with an Apple TV box. You might as well take advantage on the Apple TV offer though.
Sorry, my mistake, it’s apple music i’ve got
 
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