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Article: Apple Music Lossless Mess Part 2: AirPlay

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6 minutes ago, bbosler said:


Isn't is possible that the stream retains whatever it is that triggers the HDCD light but alters the data in other ways?

There is no common way to alter a file and still leave the 16th bit untouched. Sure, if someone wanted to hack a file to make it pass this test, but be lossy, it could be done. However, in the real world, all common ways of modifying data destroy the 16th or 24th bit with the HDCD information (Conversion to AAC or MP3, Convolution, Volume control, etc…).

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I think it’s great that this info is out there to see and ensure a good implementation of lossless for playback over hifi systems. We shouldn’t get too excited yet I think as the lossless rollout has only just begun and like any streaming service it will take a while for the hardware stack to catch up. Given we aren’t paying any extra I don’t see any issues with this. I think it’s worth also bearing in mind that on Apples official support page for lossless last updated June 10 there is no mention of Airplay as a method of listening to lossless. 
Still really appreciate this as based on the forums I assumed Airplay would be valid. That said my 2 main systems are Airplay 1 so in a way I am getting lossless anyway by the sounds of it! I bought an Apple TV for the spacial audio, wonder if that does bitperfect (specced up to 24/48 in the settings).


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I had to 

6 hours ago, Marco Klobas said:

I forgot to ask: on macOS, did you always choose AirPlay within Music app? Have you tested choosing AirPlay through volume menu bar (system-wide) instead?


I had to try this for myself. When I change the system-wide audio device to an AirPlay 2 device, "alerts and sound effects" continue to play through they built in speakers, confirmed in Audio MIDI Setup.


I was thinking that I would need to do something to prevent email alert notification from interrupting the music, but as long as there are no other open apps with audio output, I assume the signal should remain bit perfect for 16/44.

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Hi Chris,


thanks so much for the tests.

Regarding video 1, you wrote:


"At 0:35 into the video you can see what happens when I adjust the volume. As soon as the volume is not at 100%, bit perfection is lost and the HDCD indicator turns off. When I increase the volume back to 100%, the indicator illuminates blue once again."


So, if I understand correctly, does the AirPlay volume in iOS always have to be at maximum to be bit-perfect?

Since the AirPlay volume also controls the volume of my Naim UnitiQute 1 (shairport-sync + Raspberry + HiFiBerry Digi + UnitiQute Digital SPDIF or AirConnect on my Mac Mini) and it is not possible to keep the amplifier volume at maximum , how can I solve?

As for AirConnect (link to the post I created https://github.com/philippe44/AirConnect/issues/356) that I use with my Naim UnitiQute 1, would you be able to test with this too?

Compared to shairport-sync, this software receives from AirPlay and then sends to the receiver via UPNP. The program code is not the same as shairport-sync but both can only receive ALAC as per the AirPlay 1 standard.

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