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Reasons for AirPlay 2?


LCC0256
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I am missing something obviously. Someone please explain the advantages of Airplay 2 over my current set up using AirPlay "1":


 My home network is set up through newest generation AirPort Extreme as my router with 4 Apple TVs, 1 AirPort Extreme, and one Airplay speaker all in separate rooms. All devices are all hard wired with Cat 6 ethernet cabling (Wired connection suggested to me by someone on this forum years ago) with strategically placed gigabit switches.  With the additional Blu Ray/ DVD players, game consoles etc in our home there are a total of 15 devices on my network. (Including an old headless MacBook Pro I have ripped all my home movies and copy protected DVD’s on that too is available to the Apple TVs)


The ATV’s are subsequently connected to AV Receivers (via either HDMI or optical as is the AirPort Extreme TOSlink /optical) The airplay speaker is simply connected via ethernet cable. The iTunes music library is sitting on my 2007 vintage iMac updated with SSD and maxed out memory. Home sharing turned on and It's only function is to serve as audio "server"  When the iMac is on and iTunes is open I can control the playing of my entire library/playlists etc (Including volume control) in any combination of rooms from any of the Apple TV’s or iMac or my newer MacBook Pro.


Through the Remote app I can control all functions mentioned above from my iPad, iPhone, and even my iPod touch 2nd Generation.  (Not to mention my children’s MacBooks their iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.


Total control from every Apple device I own. NO latency issues ever. I have been streaming music in my home for 7 years. I upgraded my AirPort Extreme to the newest generation and have added Apple TV’s over the years. Never one problem with “dropouts” or other streaming issues. Since I am an Apple Music subscriber I can stream music that is not on my iMac hard drive.

 

Siri is not something I would use in this context and I sure as hell am never going to want anyone or anything listening into conversations in my home (unless they already are without my knowledge !) 
Maybe AirPlay 2 will enable different streams to different rooms at the same time? If not someone explain to me how Airplay 2 is gonna improve my set up?

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Yes, I think AirPlay 2 will let you stream different music to different rooms, but I don't think from the same device. I don't see how that would be feasible. I think the main advantage is better synchronization; if you've ever used AirPlay to multiple devices, there is some latency. Apparently AirPlay 2 buffers a lot of music - one minute or more - to ensure synchronization in case of any bandwidth issues. 

I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Thank you once AGAIN Kirk. In years past there may have been some latency I heard (The "echo" effect) and only at a few times at that.  In the past year I simply have not heard any delay at all. I can hear 3 rooms in my home from one end of the house. I deliberately play all 8 systems at the same time to see if I can hear any delay. We will chalk it up to my hearing not being as good as most - because I just dont hear any delay whatsoever. 

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There are lot of advantages to Airplay 2.

Multi-device streaming but that was already possible through iTunes or something like Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil.

https://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

I've done multi-room streaming using this for several years at least in a 5200 sq ft house to many devices and never had a hiccup.  

 

So;

1.  Airplay 2 streams to multiple devices and you can control it from a Mac or an iOS app.

2.  The cache is much larger and Airplay 2 streams faster than real time to eliminate buffering.  Of course it plays in real time even though it streams faster than that.

3.  The source device can pull directly from the source like Spotify Connect does.  A lot of people don't know this about Airplay 2.

4.  Airplay 2 is software only which is why many existing devices can do an update and use Airplay 2.

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On 2/1/2018 at 11:23 AM, kirkmc said:

And with the current AirPlay, you can't control multi-room from an iOS device. 

 


Kirk

I can turn on and off both of my Airport Express's, all 4 of my Apple TV's, and my iMac speaker system  while also being able to adjust volume individually on each one when my iTunes remote (on either my iPhone, iPad or my iPod Touch) is linked with my master iTunes library on my iMac.

 

Those Apple TV's and Airport Express's are connected via ethernet to my home network and are subsequently connected to individual AVR's via either HDMI or optical (TOSlink)  all in different rooms.  

 

  The respective AVR's have to be powered on of course but it activates the Apple TV's and Airport Express's. To my way of thinking that is being able to control multiple devices in multiple rooms with Airplay. Now the master library iMac has to be on but that is true no matter if we are discussing Airplay or Airplay2.

 

As for the cache being larger for Airplay 2 and eliminating buffering - I play 8 systems in one home with no latency or buffering issues so I would say that is a non issue for me.

 

I am not sure I fully understand what is meant by source device being able to pull from the source. I would like to better understand that feature of Airplay 2. 

 

Airplay 2 is in fact software so I understand it can play on other devices. For now and the near term I have no need to leave the Apple architecture. It works on all my apple devices and that is sufficient for me. 

 

Since I switched to Apple 10 years ago for my business computer needs - it has been a huge blessing. (Compared to the prior 14 years using the other brand )

 

1 iMac and 1 MacBook Pro have lasted the entire ten years (with updated SSD's and memory)  My children got through high school and college with one MacBook Pro a piece (Again with updated SSD's and maxed out memory) . We have iPads and iPhones and they too have given LONG trouble free service. They currently have iPhones 7's while I am still on 5s. Apple put new batteries in all 3 for $29 each.  This is why I probably won't wander off the Apple reservation for a while to come. 

 

 

On 2/1/2018 at 11:22 AM, DarwinOSX said:

There are lot of advantages to Airplay 2.

Multi-device streaming but that was already possible through iTunes or something like Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil.

https://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

I've done multi-room streaming using this for several years at least in a 5200 sq ft house to many devices and never had a hiccup.  

 

So;

1.  Airplay 2 streams to multiple devices and you can control it from a Mac or an iOS app.

2.  The cache is much larger and Airplay 2 streams faster than real time to eliminate buffering.  Of course it plays in real time even though it streams faster than that.

3.  The source device can pull directly from the source like Spotify Connect does.  A lot of people don't know this about Airplay 2.

4.  Airplay 2 is software only which is why many existing devices can do an update and use Airplay 2.

 

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1 hour ago, LCC0256 said:

 


Kirk

I can turn on and off both of my Airport Express's, all 4 of my Apple TV's, and my iMac speaker system  while also being able to adjust volume individually on each one when my iTunes remote (on either my iPhone, iPad or my iPod Touch) is linked with my master iTunes library on my iMac.

 

Those Apple TV's and Airport Express's are connected via ethernet to my home network and are subsequently connected to individual AVR's via either HDMI or optical (TOSlink)  all in different rooms.  

 

  The respective AVR's have to be powered on of course but it activates the Apple TV's and Airport Express's. To my way of thinking that is being able to control multiple devices in multiple rooms with Airplay. Now the master library iMac has to be on but that is true no matter if we are discussing Airplay or Airplay2.

 

As for the cache being larger for Airplay 2 and eliminating buffering - I play 8 systems in one home with no latency or buffering issues so I would say that is a non issue for me.

 

I am not sure I fully understand what is meant by source device being able to pull from the source. I would like to better understand that feature of Airplay 2. 

 

Airplay 2 is in fact software so I understand it can play on other devices. For now and the near term I have no need to leave the Apple architecture. It works on all my apple devices and that is sufficient for me. 

 

Since I switched to Apple 10 years ago for my business computer needs - it has been a huge blessing. (Compared to the prior 14 years using the other brand )

 

1 iMac and 1 MacBook Pro have lasted the entire ten years (with updated SSD's and memory)  My children got through high school and college with one MacBook Pro a piece (Again with updated SSD's and maxed out memory) . We have iPads and iPhones and they too have given LONG trouble free service. They currently have iPhones 7's while I am still on 5s. Apple put new batteries in all 3 for $29 each.  This is why I probably won't wander off the Apple reservation for a while to come. 

 

 

 

 

I'm not Kirk but you seem to be responding to some things I said.

I could not agree more about the stability of Airplay 1.  As I said earlier I have used it for years in a 5200 sq ft two story house with many devices at once using Airfoil.  Endpoints were Apple TV, Yamaha receivers with built in Airplay, and standalone speakers with an Apple TV or Airport Express connected by optical.  Never had any issues.  If you are having issues with Airplay 1 it's your network or your endpoint.  Some endpoints use Airplay chips that aren't very good but that will be eliminated by Airplay 2 as it is software only.

By source device pulling from the source I mean it works or can work like Spotify Connect.  If Spotify Connect is built in to a device like a receiver or speaker that device will pull Spotify music from your device over your network to Spotify over the internet.  So it will play from Spotify directly and your phone is just a remote not the source of the music.

The reason it's good that Airplay 2 has a bigger cache and transmits faster than real time is more people than before will airplay to multiple devices at once and this will give a higher chance of success for people with poor wifi or physical networks.

I replaced all my Alexa based light bulbs etc. this weekend with Homekit and when i get my HomePod next Friday will sell my stereo paired Sonos Ones.  They are ok for the price but bass is muddy and boomy and overall detail is poor. I use them as bedroom speakers.

My main speakers are Kef LS50W's which are pretty amazing but they are $2200.  I think the HomePod will an improvement on the Sonos Ones plus I also want the privacy you get with Siri and Homekit.  Stereo pairing can't come soon enough for me with the HomePod but it sounds like it is not far away.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, kirkmc said:

What is there to configure in a wi-fi network? 

 

Are you expecting me to go into detail about choosing a quality and updated cable modem and WiFi router and endpoints to ensure solid and consistent performance?  Or how your WiFi router should be configured? Because that what is required for good performance of any sort of streaming nothing specific the Airplay. 

If you have a specific endpoint like an AV receiver with Airplay built in its the receiver airplay chip or software and you should make sure it’s up to date. 

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Thank you so much for helping me better understand Darwin. I did want you to reply to me to help educate me on Airplay 2. The Links are so helpful too. Your time to help me is sincerely appreciated and has hit the mark squarely. 

 

 Kirk is correct I have read for years about other people having latency issues with Airplay. After I wired my entire home with ethernet cable (at the suggestion of people on this site) I never had another problem. That was a long time ago. You must remember he is a journalist - and believe it or not there are some journalist who do still have the ability to report in an unbiased fashion. I have been reading his articles for years and never got the idea he was either for or against Apple per se. I have found most all of his articles instructive informative and interesting. (Even the ones that go over my head somewhat) I will go as far as to say I have learned more about how to use and enjoy my Apple products through his articles and communications with him than any other person - including my personal contacts. Kirk calls a spade a spade period without fear of who it will upset or rile up. There are damn few of those types left around anywhere.  

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AirPlay is a consumer technology. It's designed so Joe Sixpack can stream music in his home, perhaps even simultaneously to, say, his kitchen and dining room. If it fails, it's not because Joe hasn't configured his wi-fi network in some arcane way, or because he didn't buy "audiophile" Ethernet cables. It's because the protocol itself isn't robust enough. AirPlay 2 adds a bunch of methods for ensuring better syncing. and longer buffering to eliminate drop-outs, which are extremely common. 

I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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