How to get surround sound out of Apple Music Spatial Audio?!

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OdysseyMusik

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Can someone explain (or show where to find out) how to listen to more than only stereo sound from Apple Music, please?

If I listen to their Spartial Sound presentation I can hear stereo is better than mono, but their spartial mix sounds still like stereo added some reverb/effects.....
Is it encoded where you have to have a AppleTV to decode it?
:unsure:
 

EricKalet

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Go here in QQ, we have a nice thread going with tech, links, discussion, etc
 

OdysseyMusik

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Go here in QQ, we have a nice thread going with tech, links, discussion, etc
Yeah! I've tried to find tthe info there, but no luck so far in the 15 pages😅
What I understand is that it maybe needs an Apple TV to listen to multichannel sound... Am I right on that?

I hoped that Apple Music would make it easy to listen to music in surroundsound so a lot new people could do that and make it prosper!
But if it takes an Apple TV to do it, I'm not sure about that.....
 

EricKalet

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Yeah! I've tried to find tthe info there, but no luck so far in the 15 pages😅
What I understand is that it maybe needs an Apple TV to listen to multichannel sound... Am I right on that?

I hoped that Apple Music would make it easy to listen to music in surroundsound so a lot new people could do that and make it prosper!
But if it takes an Apple TV to do it, I'm not sure about that.....
Yes to get the full Atmos effect as of present day only Apple TV4k or a Mac computer would be able to provide. Everything else is what I would describe as “quasi”Atmos via headphones, air pods, home pods or sound bars.
 

LennonCobain

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I am likely going to buy an Apple TV 4K box because I am eager to listen to the Atmos offerings in Apple Music.

Any reason not to buy the 1st generation ATV 4K versus the 2nd generation if I only intend to use for Atmos audio streaming?

Also, is it accurate that Atmos music downloads aren’t stored on the ATV and must be re-downloaded each time? Trying to figure out if 32GB is enough or to go with 64GB capacity.
 

jimfisheye

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At present Atmos decoding software is only bundled into some AV receiver products and now these new gen Apple products. You have to buy proprietary hardware that will duplicate audio interface and/or AVR hardware you already own unless you're starting from scratch. And you'll have to put up with any limitations and you may have to settle for something not as nice of fidelity as you are accustomed to. (Which might not make a lot of sense for a new format that aims to go beyond current 5.1 or 7.1 surround!)

People are doing the "pass through" workaround right now. Send the dolby encoded signal to your decoding-able hardware from your media player app.

Buyer beware and all!
I'm waiting for a true release (or liberation) and keeping my Apogee DAC channels.

So... Lossy streaming on top of the proprietary business? Just go away with that already!
 

sbrom

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At present Atmos decoding software is only bundled into some AV receiver products and now these new gen Apple products. You have to buy proprietary hardware that will duplicate audio interface and/or AVR hardware you already own unless you're starting from scratch. And you'll have to put up with any limitations and you may have to settle for something not as nice of fidelity as you are accustomed to. (Which might not make a lot of sense for a new format that aims to go beyond current 5.1 or 7.1 surround!)

People are doing the "pass through" workaround right now. Send the dolby encoded signal to your decoding-able hardware from your media player app.

Buyer beware and all!
I'm waiting for a true release (or liberation) and keeping my Apogee DAC channels.

So... Lossy streaming on top of the proprietary business? Just go away with that already!
I suspect if you give this some time, more generic solutions will arrive. For now I’m quite happy with my ATV 4K and AVR. AFAIK it is lossless for most titles: anything at or under 48 KHz, which includes all the Atmos titles and CD-based originals in Stereo. Yes, ATV will downsample anything greater than 48 KHz, but my old ears will never hear the difference ;-)
 

J. PUPSTER

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I'm looking at all this from a slightly different angle. From someone who is still evaluating the whole "Atmos" Object Surround format; I'm just encouraged that some kind of surround format is still with us and appears to be getting a real foothold thanks to decisions like Apple. I'd just appreciate more actual physical presence, but that's inevitably and gradually on it's way out for streaming (that's so these companies can have a solid and continuous hand in our wallets :censored:.) Of course this has been going on for decades as to changes in analog formats and then digital formats, and that doesn't even address the mastering issues, but we continue to buy in with hoping for that perfect version. Lots of content/ease of use wars are raging between the Mega Tech Labels/Companies for Audio/Video market dominance.; like folks now dropping Tidal for Apple TV4K. I don't believe 48kHz x 24 bit is that bad as long as the titles are mastered well; and can I also get the Atmos downmixed to my 5.1 speakers because it may be awhile, if ever that I'm able to add heights. And no, I don't believe in real surround of any kind thru headphones or little IOT gadgets.
 

jimfisheye

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I honestly don't have a problem with any sample rate. 44.1k holds a complete music signal (if such a thing made its way into it to begin with, of course). If you have converters with nice low pass eq filters you can get it back out and be none the wiser. Not to digress on that too much.

My issue is that equipment-wise it's a worst case scenario for me. I have nice Apogee DACs. These are lifetime purchase kind of products. They don't really wear out. It doesn't get much better. I have plenty of channels of audio interface. I think I could hook up at least 32 outputs right now. The first 10 would be Apogee. The rest are MOTU. I'm good with amp channels too. (Maybe not 32...) A combo AVR product with DACs that match what I'm used to just to get at the software starts at $4000. I was just scraping by freelancing before the pandemic. I find my deals on nice stuff in my travels, you know.

So I get to sit here and watch this for now.
I think there's a download available for this AVR operating system that's a thing now. (Did ya know that AVRs have their own OS now?) I don't know what programming skills would be needed to port that into an audio codec for Mac, Linux, or Windows though.

I like that I see Steve Wilson mixes out there! :)
(Salty that I can't listen to them!)
I don't like that I see stupid shit like soundbars and such using "Atmos" like a marketing term. But if it helps keep the format around, we can have our little corner and some real mixes that beg for a real system. So that's fine I suppose.

Yeah, mainly salty about the gross profiteering right out of the gate with hiding this software in hardware.
 

Audiowannabee

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Well atm Atmos for me is not gonna happen anytime soon either...its been a very messed up year in more ways than one

I need a new AVR Atmos enabled n the thought of adding 4 speakers on ceiling for heights isnt happening anytime soon

Besides from what im seeing n reading there's still little to No content yet n the thought of monthly subscription fees is a very big turnoff

It will probablybe another year or two before Atmos takes off thru apple
 

jimfisheye

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If I saw meters moving, then I'd solo the height channels from some mix in my current 5.1 array. Assuming I heard audio that sounded like it was probably the ceiling channels of a mix...
Now I'd be motivated to hang some speakers and set up the extra 2 side channels on the floor.

It really has to happen in that order and it really starts with releasing the playback codec.

Oh, and it's going to have to show signs of being a real mix! (So... Very likely the one or two Steve Wilson mixes and absolutely nothing else for a good spell!) We know there are going to be botched mastering disasters and phony upmixes galore. I'm not hanging speakers from the ceiling for shit like that.
 

ar surround

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Regarding this Apple TV 4K "thingy": So looking at the Apple store, you buy the latest generation 32GB or 64GB box. Plug it into an HDMI port on an Atmos capable AVR. Then run another HDMI cable from the AVR to the TV. Then you pay your $10 a month for Apple Music. Right?

 

OdysseyMusik

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I have analyzed Apple's Atmos streaming. Yes, it's lossless. Yes, it sits in a 5.1 LPCM container. But some of these mixes are pretty bad when used on a proper surround system, that's the issue.
Cool! Isn't LPCM like WAV where FLAC (or ALAC?) have half the size?
I thought Apple would use their ALAC format for lossless audio, but maybe it only goes up the 2 channels and not 7.1 as FLAC does?!....
 

jonfo

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Yes, ATV will downsample anything greater than 48 KHz, but my old ears will never hear the difference ;-)
And if your receiver has Audyssey room correction engaged, then 24/48 is all you get anyway. It downsamples anything higher to that before the DSP. And most are pretty happy with that.
 

jonfo

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Any reason not to buy the 1st generation ATV 4K versus the 2nd generation if I only intend to use for Atmos audio streaming?
I have both gen ATV4K, for music, either works. So yes, a first Gen ATV4K will output Apple Music Atmos over HDMI to a receiver.

To get Atmos from Disney+ or Netflix content on the first-gen (or second as well) requires that the ATV think there is an actual 4K display in the loop as well. But one can trick it with a $30 adapter between the ATV and the receiver, the ATV 'sees' a 4K / Atmos capable device and sends that, then the adapter downsamples the video to 1080P, but passes the Atmos audio. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VP37KMB
 

sbrom

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I have analyzed Apple's Atmos streaming. Yes, it's lossless. Yes, it sits in a 5.1 LPCM container. But some of these mixes are pretty bad when used on a proper surround system, that's the issue.
Thanks for the analysis! I’d be curious how you did it, from a technical perspective.

Regarding mix quality, as you say ”some” are poor mixes. Many are very good. Hopefully in the long term the newly introduced mixes show some outstanding examples. Most everything follows a normal distribution, we can expect outliers on both sides :)
 
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