24/96 Apple Lossless + AirPlay

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Joey_Corleone, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I *think* I know the answer to this question, but I wanted to get some confirmation. So, it seems iTunes can support 24/96 files no problem. I have been able to convert 24/96 FLAC to apple lossless and play them in iTunes with no issues.

    However, what I am wondering is if you can stream the high def files via AirPlay to an Airplay device in full resolution. My thought is that this is not something that is currently supported. I am pretty sure that this is because of

    1) Regardless of the source file, iTunes will convert it to 16/44 Apple Lossless prior to sending the file over AirPlay

    2) I think all the AirPlay capable devices, like my Yamaha RX-A720, expect a 16/44 file.

    So, for things like the new LZ 24/96 FLACs it seems I have to store the FLAC somewhere else on my file server and stream that directly to the receiver. This works well

    Can anybody confirm if what I said here is correct?
     
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  2. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    Similar questions get asked a lot, and the answers are a bit tricky. The simple answer is that AirPlay and AirPlay devices currently can't do higher resolution than 16/44. The answer changes when you go beyond wi-fi and start talking about wired connections and third-party hardware components.

    There's a fairly long thread on this on an Apple community support thread: AirPlay & downsampling

    The most recent post makes this point: "Open Audio-MIDI Setup and choose AirPlay. You'll see that the only option is 16/44.1. It downsamples (or upsamples) everything to those rates. No need to do tests connecting Apple TVs to DACs; you can see that you can't output anything else."
     
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  3. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Airport Express works at 16 bit / 44.1kHz with all audio converted to ALAC before being sent to the AEX via Airplay. The Apple TV converts everything bia Airplay 16 bit / 48kHz, which is a bit odd. Other Airplay devices (e.g. Arcam's Airdac) have 24 bit / 96+kHz internals, but will still receive that same 16 bit / 44.1kHz audio irrespective of the source format. No way round that bottleneck using Airplay alone at present.
     
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  4. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Yeah, I was aware of the bizarre AppleTV conversions to 48Khz on the output, which is why I don't use it for that purpose. I stream Airplay to my Yamaha AVR instead. I was more interested in seeing about streaming 24/96 ALAC content. Seems that based on what you are saying, the primary reason this cannot be done is because iTunes transcodes the source to 16/44 ALAC regardless of the format of the source file, which is what I thought.

    I hope Apple will add 24/96 streaming capability to Airplay in iTunes, but I wouldn't hold my breath
     
  5. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin Wild & Crazy Guy

    Location:
    Plano, TX
    If you use the AppleTV menus to play music from an iTunes library, it goes straight to 16/48 without being converted to 16/44 first since it doesn't go through AirPlay. Should sound better, one less conversion. Also, if you have things in your iTunes library at 16/48 they will be passed bit perfect using that method.
     
  6. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    99% of my iTunes library is 16/44 ALAC ripped from my CD library. I am more comfortable having the native 16/44 sent to the yamaha via airplay and leaving it bit perfect as opposed to having the Apple TV upconvert to 16/48. That is why I don't use my AppleTV for music. Pity, because it is a nice product.
     
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