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Old Oct 8, 2012, 04:16 AM   #1
Boo The Hamster
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iTunes through speakers, but...

Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it's AV related so I'll plough on.

I have a Macbook Pro, an iPod Classic and an iPad.

Music-wise, my iPod sits in a dock, attached to my hi-fi's amplifier. It sounds absolutely fine, but if I want to see what's playing, or change the music, then it's down on my hands and knees, peering at a tiny screen.

I can leave the Macbook on, and wirelessly play the whole iTunes library through my ipad, which is much more convenient, but obviously we go from a nice hi-fi system to a small, tinny speaker.

What I'd like to be able to do is play my entire music library (which won't fit on the iPad my any stretch of the imagination, so it'll have to be coming from either the iPod or the Macbook), through the hi-fi, but be able to control it via my iPad.

Thus I would be able to sit on the sofa or at the dining table, and control the music without having to get up, and without having to peer at a tiny screen.

I don't believe this is possible, but I was just wondering if someone out there knew different?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 04:23 AM   #2
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It can be done...But you need another bit of hardware to get "Airplay" An Apple TV can achieve this, cost roughly $100 or thereabouts..I have 2 and can verify they work well with my wifi setup...Other boxes are also available, but I can't vouch for them.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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Or plug your macbook pro into your Hifi and then use the iTunes remote to control the Macbook's iTunes from your iPad ?

Or as before use the iPad as a big remote and use it to push music from macbook to hifi via an airport express / apple tv.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 12:48 PM   #4
davidoloan
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You need the Remote app. Its an Apple app and its free in the app store.

Just turn on homesharing on both your computer and ipad. This will allow you to control the music playing on the computer, or any computer or apple tv on your network.

You can then connect your Mac directly to your hifi. If you have a traditional stereo hi fi you will probably need a DAC to convert your digital output to the analogue input on your hi fi. Your hi fi might just have a digital input but its unlikely.

Or as Gary said above get an Airport Express, connect it to your hi fi and then you don't need to connect your Mac with a cable to the hifi. If you do this you will be using the internal DAC of the Airport Express which is OK but you could add an external DAC. You use the remote app on the ipad.

Or use an Apple TV and you can play the music on your mac by having your iTunes library appear on your Apple TV using homesharing and either use the apple tv remote or the remote app on the ipad to control the apple TV. You will need to connect your TV to your hi fi for this and unless you use an external DAC you will use the TV's DAC which is usually pretty low quality.


Last edited by davidoloan; Oct 8, 2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 12:59 PM   #5
mic j
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I have airport express connected to hifi and iPad with remote app as the controller works well. Occasionally it will lose wifi connection for a short time, usually only seconds but I did want to mention it. Also have an aTV connected to my TV/AVR, which allows me to airplay to AVR.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 01:15 PM   #6
marzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic j View Post
I have airport express connected to hifi and iPad with remote app as the controller works well. Occasionally it will lose wifi connection for a short time, usually only seconds but I did want to mention it. Also have an aTV connected to my TV/AVR, which allows me to airplay to AVR.
+1. this is pretty much my setup. Airport Express connected to a receiver, controlled with an iPad using the Apple Remote app or streamed from the iPad using shared music library. But the Remote App is a much better interface.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 01:34 PM   #7
warvanov
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I think others have explained this, but here you go anyway. You have two options.

1) Cheap option. No additional purchase required. Plug your MacBook directly into your stereo. Download the Remote app onto your iPad and use that to controll the music playing in iTunes on your MacBook.

2) Less cheap option. Requires purchasing an AppleTV or AirPort Express. Plug the ATV or APX directly into your stereo. Use your MacBook to play music to the stereo over wifi using AirTunes. You can also use the same method of downloading the remote app to your iPad to control the music your MacBook is streaming to the stereo.

If you currently have a funcational wifi network set up then the Apple TV is the smart purchase. You'll be able to use it to watch Netflix, Hulu and all of your iTunes content as well as being able to use it for AirPlay streaming.

If you don't currently have wifi set up, or want an additional wifi router, then the AirPort Express is also a solid purchase.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warvanov View Post
If you currently have a funcational wifi network set up then the Apple TV is the smart purchase. You'll be able to use it to watch Netflix, Hulu and all of your iTunes content as well as being able to use it for AirPlay streaming.

If you don't currently have wifi set up, or want an additional wifi router, then the AirPort Express is also a solid purchase.
if there's no TV at this location, you should go with the express, the aTV doesn't play too well without a TV attached.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 03:34 PM   #9
marzer
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Originally Posted by warvanov View Post
If you currently have a funcational wifi network set up then the Apple TV is the smart purchase. You'll be able to use it to watch Netflix, Hulu and all of your iTunes content as well as being able to use it for AirPlay streaming.
If the OP has a TV at that location and has no need for the additional features of the Airport Express, I agree go with the Apple TV.

If there's no TV at that location (as is my case), go with the Airport Express. It can be setup and managed in place from any computer (or iDevice) with the Airport Utility. An Apple TV needs to be hooked to a TV to be setup and managed.

Even if not neded up front, the additional features the AE adds to a home network can come in handy over time.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 04:45 PM   #10
Boo The Hamster
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That's fantastic!
Many thanks, one and all.

We do have a current wifi network, and the hifi sits under the tv, so an Apple TV sounds like it would be the sensible purchase.

Just looking at a picture of the socketry on the back of an ATV, and I'm not sure which output you'd use to a standard 3.5mm stereo pair of inputs on an analogue amp. Don't think you can run an optical audio out to an analogue input.
Maybe there's a converter out there - I shall investigate.

Cheers.

And you can!
I used to have a high end DAC when I was a total hifi geek, but sadly it died a couple of years back, and since I was using the ipod most of the time, it never got replaced.
Looks like you can buy tiny DACs now, that will do the job nicely. There's a Lindy on Amazon that comes highly recommended for less than 35.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 11:41 AM   #11
davidoloan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo The Hamster View Post
I used to have a high end DAC when I was a total hifi geek, but sadly it died a couple of years back, and since I was using the ipod most of the time, it never got replaced.
Looks like you can buy tiny DACs now, that will do the job nicely. There's a Lindy on Amazon that comes highly recommended for less than 35.

Thanks again, everyone.
Boo : If you buy the Lindy DAC : instead of running the optical from the Apple Tv to the DAC, you can run it from the TV to the DAC.

This will improve the quality of sound from your TV as well at no extra cost.

It also means you won't have to switch inputs. AUX or TV on your Hi Fi will be the button for both the TV and Apple TV.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 04:32 PM   #12
Boo The Hamster
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Thanks, David.

So does that work even when the TV is switched off? Does the signal just run 'through', even if the set isn't on?

The bit I'm confused about at the moment (and this is because I've never actually used an Apple Tv), is this.

I downloaded the Remote app, and have been enjoying controlling iTunes on the Mac to a stupid degree. Simple things please simple minds, I guess. So far, so good. But the music is coming out of the Mac's speakers.

So. I can go shopping and introduce an Apple TV to the setup, and (via one route or another) hook the ATV up to the amp.

Through the magic of wireless electrickery, the Mac sees the ATV.

How does the Mac know to send the signal out to the ATV (and on to the amp), and not just play it through it's internal speakers?

Or does it play through the speakers too?

/scratches head

This must be how my Dad felt when he was presented with a video, 30 years ago...
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 05:04 PM   #13
davidoloan
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Originally Posted by Boo The Hamster View Post
So does that work even when the TV is switched off? Does the signal just run 'through', even if the set isn't on
No, you need the TV on, but if you send the optical from the Apple TV to the Hi Fi you won't need the TV. You could experiment with an optical cable from both the Tv and the Apple TV but your DAC would need 2 optical inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo The Hamster View Post
I downloaded the Remote app, and have been enjoying controlling iTunes on the Mac to a stupid degree. Simple things please simple minds, I guess. So far, so good. But the music is coming out of the Mac's speakers.

So. I can go shopping and introduce an Apple TV to the setup, and (via one route or another) hook the ATV up to the amp.

Through the magic of wireless electrickery, the Mac sees the ATV.

How does the Mac know to send the signal out to the ATV (and on to the amp), and not just play it through it's internal speakers?

Or does it play through the speakers too?

/scratches head

This must be how my Dad felt when he was presented with a video, 30 years ago...
When you get an Apple Tv you click on the computers icon and it will ask you to turn on homesharing which you must have already done on your iTunes and iPad to be able to browse your Mac library. Once you have turned on homesharing on the Apple Tv too, it is authorised to stream the music, video or pictures from your MAC. So it will only play on the Apple TV. You never have to touch the MAC other than have iTunes running.

On the remote app in the top left beside your MAC library name there is a square with another square hiding behind it. Click on that and it will show a symbol for your library. After you get an apple TV another symbol will appear there for your Apple TV. You could have many Apple TV's and give them names like Kitchen and they would all appear there so you can control each one. Other iTunes libraries can also appear there.

You can also access the MAC itunes on your iPad. So you can lie in bed and watch a movie on your iPad that is actually on your computer by clicking on the shared libraries as long as homesharing is turned on on that device.

If there is more than one iTunes account in the house you can turn on homesharing on that computer using the same homesharing email address and you can share see both libraries on your iPad or Apple TV.

If you get an apple TV before your dac arrives you can connect most TVs with RCA cables to a hi fi. The quality won't be as good, but it will work in the meantime.

Streaming large video files works well, but the bigger they get the better your router needs to be. When we moved from an isp router to the airport extremes I tried it wirelessly and my blu ray rips started immediately which they did not on the ISP router. All smaller files like 2 - 8 GB should start right away even on a lower quality router.

Whichever way you choose to set it up you will love it.

Oh and don't forget you need a HDMI cable too. For some reason it is not in the box.

Last edited by davidoloan; Oct 9, 2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 05:26 PM   #14
Boo The Hamster
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That all sounds like it makes sense!
Thanks again.
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 04:09 AM   #15
Boo The Hamster
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Thanks to everybody who chipped in with advice. Rigged this up over the weekend and it works perfectly!

Cheers!
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 05:40 PM   #16
Boo The Hamster
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...and I spoke too soon!

Just tried it again this evening, and things seem to have one awry. Sort of.

Previously, the remote app on the iPad controlled iTunes on the Macbook. If I selected a track, I could see iTunes jump to it.

And more importantly, the music played via ATV, through the DAC and on through my amp and speakers.

And it continued to do so when I turned the TV off.

But his evening...

Fire up remote. The first thing it does is connect to the ATV.
Select my music library on the remote, and there are all my albums.
Start playing one, and iTunes on the Mac stays paused (which I don't think it did before)... But the music's playing through both the TV and the amp/speakers.

But when I turn the TV off, to just have the music playing through the hi-fi, it kills the music full stop.

I must confess to being baffled.

I'll have another play around tomorrow - maybe it's the order things get turned on?

Most annoying though.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 02:45 PM   #17
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The Remote app on the iPad/iPod/iPhone can control either the AppleTV directly or iTunes on your computer. Sounds like you're controlling the AppleTV directly in this case, which is why iTunes on your computer stays paused. This doesn't have to be a big deal, but it's a distinction worth noting.

I've got my AppleTV connected to my TV via a Denon receiver, so things might be different. I mostly leave the TV off for music and I have no issues with audio playback. If I have the TV on, then turn it off, I usually get a dropout (few seconds long) while the HDMI chain renegotiates, then audio resumes.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 07:56 AM   #18
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All ok again - turned out to be that most common of issues...

User error!
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 08:39 AM   #19
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Apple TV would be the easiest solution. Plus you could use it for video as well. Only downsize to this is that it will not play hi-rez files (24/96) or above currently. The convience factor trumps that for me though. My ALAC files sound pretty damn good through my Onkyo/Polk setup with the ATV. Plus I love using my iPad as the controller/now playing display.
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