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MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Anyone using iTunes Home Sharing?

Trying to help somebody who is blind.

I have a Mac, but no iPad.
He has an iPad, but no Mac (he has a PC).
He's 2000 miles from me.

I spent time in the spring/summer ripping his CD collection into AIFF format and then importing the AIFF's into iTunes on his PC. From there I put some of the music onto his iPad (not all of it because he has nearly 600GB of music - he's an audiophile with nearly 1000 CD's and several thousand vinyl albums)

I put the music onto the iPad because he can use Siri to voice control access to the music, and it's been working remarkably well for him.

To get the music on the iPad to his $50k stereo, I installed an Arcam rBlink »www.arcam.co.uk/products,rseries···link.htm bluetooth adapter on his preamp to accept a bluetooth music stream from the iPad. This is working fine but since he is an audiophile he's disappointed in the sound quality (it's better than good, but not up to his standards).

So I'm looking at getting him a much better quality DAC - NAIM or something better - but this requires a USB connection - and hence a wired connection to the music library. That's why I'm now asking about iTunes Home Sharing.

Does anyone here know if when using iTunes Home Sharing with a PC (or Mac) and an iPad,
a) whether Siri will still respond to voice commands to select tracks?
b) If it will, where does the music stream from - the Mac or the iPad?
c) HoIf the music stream outputs from the Mac, do I control the output stream from the Mac (ie. select USB as output)?

Thanks


kitsune

join:2001-11-26
Sacramento, CA

Home sharing will allow you to play the content from the iMac ON the iPad (locally). It will continue to work basically the same as the content already stored on the iPad. He just gets access to the entire library.

You can use the Remote app from apple to control the music on the iMac instead.

There is one other option. You can get an Apple TV and connect it via either HDMI or optical to the stereo. Then you can access the content through the apple tv with a good connection but not run a wire from the computer to the stereo.



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

1 recommendation

reply to MaynardKrebs

Instead of the AppleTV approach, you could get an Airport Express. It connects to the wireless network and has optical/analog out (I'd recommend optical). Then instead of playing to the bluetooth device (which will transcode the audio into a low quality format), he can just play the audio to the Airport Express.

AirPlay uses Apple Lossless (like FLAC, has no effect on audio quality) at 44.1kHz, so the AIFF to AL conversion should result in zero quality loss. Really, you should just convert all his music to AL in iTunes. It'll save a ton of space.

You should be able to get an older Airport Express (all of them support AirPlay) for pretty cheap these days. It'll be 802.11g, but you don't need a ton of bandwidth for audio.

»www.apple.com/airport-express/
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPlay
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Daemon
Premium
join:2003-06-29
Berkeley, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
·webpass.net

said by Thinkdiff:

Instead of the AppleTV approach, you could get an Airport Express. It connects to the wireless network and has optical/analog out (I'd recommend optical).

One advantage of the Apple TV is that it includes Voiceover, which will make it easier for him to control. You can use AirPlay on the computer to push music from the computer to the AppleTV, but you can also use HomeSharing on the Apple TV to pull music from the computer to it too.

an Airport Express is a workable solution, but unless he needs an additional WiFi router, the GUI of the Apple TV is useful, and you can wire it up with ethernet. I have an airport express and I find them to be a bit unreliable at times--requiring frequent reboots. The Apple TV has been more reliable. (Though I have the old wall-wort type, not the new white-apple-tv type)
--
-Ryan
I use Linux, OS X, iOS and Windows. Let the OS wars die.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
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Reviews:
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1 recommendation

said by Daemon:

the GUI of the Apple TV is useful, and you can wire it up with ethernet.

PAUSE!

How the F will the GUI of the Apple TV be useful to a blind guy?!?!


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

2 edits
reply to Daemon

said by Daemon:

You can use AirPlay on the computer to push music from the computer to the AppleTV,

That works on the Airport Express, too?

said by Daemon:

an Airport Express is a workable solution, but unless he needs an additional WiFi router, the GUI of the Apple TV is useful, and you can wire it up with ethernet.

Airport Express has ethernet and will act as a WiFi access point only if you want it to. If you don't, you can disable the wireless or just have it join an existing network. Seems like a benefit to me.

said by Daemon:

I have an airport express and I find them to be a bit unreliable at times--requiring frequent reboots. The Apple TV has been more reliable. (Though I have the old wall-wort type, not the new white-apple-tv type)

I have 2 of the original 802.11g and 1 of the last 802.11g (before the -n came out) in service, no issues at all.

AppleTV would require an HDMI to analog audio or HDMI to coax/optical converter.

I'm not saying the AppleTV is a bad solution for everyone, but it definitely seems like the wrong solution here if all the user cares about is playing audio on his stereo (there may not even be a TV nearby).
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Nezmo
The name's Bond. James Bond.
Premium,MVM
join:2004-11-10
Coppell, TX
kudos:1

said by Thinkdiff:

said by Daemon:

You can use AirPlay on the computer to push music from the computer to the AppleTV,

That works on the Airport Express, too?
...

NVM. I misread.
--
My Gallery
Formerly Nezmo

Daemon
Premium
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Berkeley, CA
Reviews:
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reply to dennismurphy

said by dennismurphy:

said by Daemon:

the GUI of the Apple TV is useful, and you can wire it up with ethernet.

PAUSE!

How the F will the GUI of the Apple TV be useful to a blind guy?!?!

voiceover.
--
-Ryan
I use Linux, OS X, iOS and Windows. Let the OS wars die.

Daemon
Premium
join:2003-06-29
Berkeley, CA
Reviews:
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·webpass.net

1 edit
reply to Thinkdiff

said by Thinkdiff:

AppleTV would require an HDMI to analog audio or HDMI to coax/optical converter.

Apple TV includes optical digital out.

You're right about the TV though--if there is no TV near the stereo, then an apple TV is not that useful.
--
-Ryan
I use Linux, OS X, iOS and Windows. Let the OS wars die.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
reply to MaynardKrebs

Airplay.

Just get an airplay device: an airport express, or mac mini second hand, or anything.

If he wants real audiophile quality then get a good quality USB DAC attached to the macmini and then airplay to it using Siri from the ipad.



TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
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join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx
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said by justin:

Airplay.

Just get an airplay device: an airport express, or mac mini second hand, or anything.

I recently installed 4 of these: Bose Airplay systems, to play music in all rooms from iTunes. I am no audiophile, but these sound absolutely beautiful. What I like is that you don't need an airport express, they work directly off airplay's 802.11 and show up in iTunes with the name you assign each. Each unit can also be volume controlled by a remote control, so you can tweak each one in the room you are in.

--
"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"



justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
Reviews:
·iiNet

1 recommendation

Yes my favorite purchase this year was the bowers and wilkins A7 it sounds wonderful even though it doesn't have much stereo separation. If I can afford it I'd like to buy a couple more. IOS7 allows you to select multiple airplay outputs and they all play in sync.

The only problem if you can call it that is when you play a game on your phone and have the sound effects going to airplay perhaps over a podcast or something, there is a big lag

bluetooth streaming sucks, stay well away, even to a mediocre factory car stereo you can hear the degradation.



Nezmo
The name's Bond. James Bond.
Premium,MVM
join:2004-11-10
Coppell, TX
kudos:1

said by justin:

Yes my favorite purchase this year was the bowers and wilkins A7 it sounds wonderful even though it doesn't have much stereo separation. If I can afford it I'd like to buy a couple more. IOS7 allows you to select multiple airplay outputs and they all play in sync.
...

I have two Airport Expresses, two iHome iW1's and an Apple TV that I stream to. The Apple TV and one of the AEXs actually hook to the same receiver but the AEX is necessary to provide an analog feed for my Zone B on my receiver (and, as it turns out, needed to overcome the problem below).

They do indeed all play in sync beautifully with one exception. If you send audio to the Apple TV and have it's audio played back over the HDMI and also have the same audio fed to another non Apple TV/HDMI Airplay capable device you will hear a slight out of sync due to the HDMI processing (I have not tested the optical out). If I toggle the audio between the Apple TV and the AEX connected to the same receiver, the AEX audio is in in sync with all other Airplay devices playing back the same audio.

Anyway, just be aware of this.
--
My Gallery
Formerly Nezmo

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to Daemon

said by Daemon:

said by dennismurphy:

said by Daemon:

the GUI of the Apple TV is useful, and you can wire it up with ethernet.

PAUSE!

How the F will the GUI of the Apple TV be useful to a blind guy?!?!

voiceover.

I have doubts how useful Voiceover will be for him as he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music (he used to own radio stations). He can decide the artist & album & track in his head without resorting to any prompting. I think that Voiceover will just piss him off with its 'nanny-like' prompting.

Since he's blind (Politically correct it would be 'vision impaired'), speech recognition is preferred. This is why I want to use Siri.

What I really want is an iPad/iPod to be a voice-activated remote control for a Mac-resident iTunes library.

iTunes on iPad ~~Siri~~ Mac--->usb--->DAC--->Preamp

where
~~~ = wireless link
---> = wired link
and where 'Siri' is the end-to-end link back to Apple's speech recognition service

In reality what is required to help make this work is for Apple to let Siri understand about iTunes libraries located anywhere on a LAN (ie. Mac with the library on a NAS/SAN storage).


TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
Premium
join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless
reply to justin

said by justin:

The only problem if you can call it that is when you play a game on your phone and have the sound effects going to airplay perhaps over a podcast or something, there is a big lag

Yes, it's by design though. Airplay buffers the audio for 2 seconds, ostensibly to keep all the airplay devices in synch in the event there is a momentary laps in the WiFi connection. I discovered this while attempting to use airplay to stream audio from a streaming video source like Netflix.

I finally ended up speaking to Apple and was told that the delay was designed into Airplay. There is a software solution though airfoil player, which delays the video by 2 seconds, bringing everything into synch again. It's part of the Airfoil package.

I have the bowers and wilkins NM1 speakers USB connected to my iMac. The Stereo separation is excellent, mainly because of the physical separation between the units. Airserver allows another Airplay enabled device to use the computer-connected speakers as a remote speaker system. So you can play music on an iPad, and have it come out on all Airplay speakers as well as a Mac connected speaker system. The Mac shows up as another speaker in the Airplay volume control.

--
"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"


kitsune

join:2001-11-26
Sacramento, CA
reply to MaynardKrebs

said by MaynardKrebs:

I have doubts how useful Voiceover will be for him as he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music (he used to own radio stations). He can decide the artist & album & track in his head without resorting to any prompting. I think that Voiceover will just piss him off with its 'nanny-like' prompting.

Since he's blind (Politically correct it would be 'vision impaired'), speech recognition is preferred. This is why I want to use Siri.

What I really want is an iPad/iPod to be a voice-activated remote control for a Mac-resident iTunes library.

iTunes on iPad ~~Siri~~ Mac--->usb--->DAC--->Preamp

where
~~~ = wireless link
---> = wired link
and where 'Siri' is the end-to-end link back to Apple's speech recognition service

In reality what is required to help make this work is for Apple to let Siri understand about iTunes libraries located anywhere on a LAN (ie. Mac with the library on a NAS/SAN storage).

Then I would go with an Airplay device (Airport Express, or speakers/receiver that is airplay compatible). Controlling iTunes on the mac from the iPad or iPhone doesn't support use of Siri AFAIK. However, using an airplay device will give you better fidelity plus the way you control the music will be the same as it is now.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
reply to MaynardKrebs

said by MaynardKrebs:

In reality what is required to help make this work is for Apple to let Siri understand about iTunes libraries located anywhere on a LAN (ie. Mac with the library on a NAS/SAN storage).

As kitsune See Profile said, this doesn't exist. Your best bet is switching to Apple Lossless encoding to fit as much music as possible onto the iPad (they make 128GB iPads.. If you have 600GB of uncompressed music, you could fit 1/4 or so of it on there), then get an AirPlay compatible device.

If you go the Airport Express (or AppleTV) route, a good optical DAC will meet or exceed a USB DAC.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!

kitsune

join:2001-11-26
Sacramento, CA

said by Thinkdiff:

said by MaynardKrebs:

In reality what is required to help make this work is for Apple to let Siri understand about iTunes libraries located anywhere on a LAN (ie. Mac with the library on a NAS/SAN storage).

As kitsune See Profile said, this doesn't exist. Your best bet is switching to Apple Lossless encoding to fit as much music as possible onto the iPad (they make 128GB iPads.. If you have 600GB of uncompressed music, you could fit 1/4 or so of it on there), then get an AirPlay compatible device.

If you go the Airport Express (or AppleTV) route, a good optical DAC will meet or exceed a USB DAC.

With homesharing you don't need to store it all on the iPad. You can access the library on the computer from the iPad. However, streaming it from the computer to the iPad, then airplay to the Express will tax the wireless network more. So, if he has interference issues it could be a problem. Just something to keep in mind.