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How to control Apple Music on a Mac remotely?

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If I connect my Mac to a DAC directly via USB I will be able to play hi-res content from Apple Music. My Mac mini has been used as a media server with JRiver playing to a DNLA endpoint and using airplay for more casual listening. I really do not want to use a keyboard and trackpad to navigate and control the Mac mini nor do I want the TV turned on to view the screen. Is there a way to control Apple Music on the Mac from my iPhone or iPad?

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The trouble is the new hi res stuff that is coming will only be available via Apple Music. I have access to my whole library via JRiver and can control it with my mobile devices. 

I could buy a long usb cable and use the camera connection kit to connect my iPhone to the DAC directly but that has its own problems. First, my DAC (Topping D90) has a single USB port. I don’t really want to plug and unplug it every time I want to switch between sources. 

Secondly, a wired remote? Really? Having a 10 foot cable between my chair and system is just ugly and inconvenient. Surely there will be a way to do this wirelessly right?

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Right now there's a lot of speculation about how will Apple Music work in hi-res: AirPod/HomePod/Apple TV compatibility, AirPlay 1 and 2 limits, Spacial Audio, DAC sample rate matching, subscription tiers offered etc.


We have to wait less than 2 weeks (hopefully not more) to check in person all this.


That said, if AirPlay will carry Apple Music lossless audio (and I don't see why it couldn't) you will at least reach 44.1 kHz lossless streaming from your iPhone/iPad to your Mac mini acting as a AirPlay Server using an app: https://www.airserver.com


BTW, the developer is considering to support AirPlay 2 if technically feasible. Yet to be seen if and when it will be available.


Everything over 44.1 kHz up to 192 kHz will be downsampled to 44.1 kH because current AirPlay protocol (both 1 and 2) works in this way. We will see if Apple will update current AirPlay protocols (1 or 2 or both) or even add a third version to support higher sample rates.


As said the hi-res music previously added to your Music app library will be remotely reachable and playable through Remote app. Problem is how to browse an play the rest of the catalogue or its playlists/radio stations which aren't available in Remote.


I get your "frustration" and the need to clarify the doubts. I'm in a similar boat: I use a Lumin streamer AirPlay 1 compatible, hence the aforementioned AirPlay solution limited to 44.1 kHz will at least work. I have a Mac mini as well connected to a Topping DX7 Pro via USB. This will supposedly work up to 192 kHz – unfortunately without a remote control.


For the sake of completion, you could in case use screen sharing from the Mac mini to an iPad. It's a workaround, not elegant nor convenient.

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2 hours ago, jriver said:

As said above, we need to know what it is and that will happen soon.  How open Apple Music is may be a barrier.


There are many ways JRiver can play across the network.  It might help to read this:




We'll post on our forum when we've had a chance to use it.

Cool. Apple has a web API. I keep hoping that clever folks can somehow use that to integrate inside media servers. Been using JRemote and now Panel since… Media Center 19? I upgrade ever 2 years or so. Just took advantage of the early upgrade for 28. 

JRiver solving this would be ideal, especially if it could be accessed through Panel. 

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WWDC is coming in June. I bet there will be some new airplay features unveiled then. Since you can stream HD video via airplay I assume that hi res audio shouldn't be a problem. Then the trick would just be getting a suitable airplay endpoint. Belkin just released a new AirPlay 2 receiver that has an optical output. If Apple changes the Airplay protocol to handle higher sampling frequencies, I wonder if the adapter could be made to work. How high can toslink go?

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TOSLINK, as a standard connection, was originally designed for 48 kHz. It usually reaches reliably 96 kHz.


Sometimes it has been successfully pushed to 176.4 kHz and, rarely, even to 192 kHz.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Turns out I already had a long USB cable and the camera connection kit so I went ahead and started listening to Apple Music that way. Sounds great. Turns out the iPhone is a good digital transport. In addition, I forgot that I could stream from my JRiver library via JRemote on the iPhone as well. The only sticking point is that DSD files won't stream natively. Luckily I don't own many DSD tracks. 


I would rather stream from my iPad Pro though. Problem is that I don't have a USB C to USB B cable to use. I do have an Anker USB C hub with USB A ports though. When I connect my DAC through the hub I can only get 44.1 throughput. Any idea on how to avoid that? The appropriate cable to connect my iPad is cheap so I don't mind ordering one but...


When I hooked up the iPhone it required a power connection. I know that the USB C port on the iPad Pro can deliver more juice than the lightning port so hopefully it can work on its own. Otherwise I don't know how I would add power to the USB C connection without running into the same trouble I'm having now. Guess I'll just have to wait and find out. 

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