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ATV Questions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Duffinator, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Now that it looks like ATV is going to be around for a while I need to figure out a few things before 2.0 arrives.

    1. Is there a way to identify which music files are MP3, AAC and WAV while looking at them in ATV? While most of my files are ripped at 192 kbps or purchased off of iTunes I have many of my favorite albums also ripped as wav's and would like to listen to them when I'm doing some serious listening through my HT.

    2. Is there a way to have my ATV automatically select a specific source when it's powered up? I have my PC (soon to be Mac Mini) connected via LAN and it's the only source I use so it's annoying to have to select it each time.

  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Realize that it'll probably be different in 2.0.

    1. No, there's no way to tell, unless you create and sync your own smart playlists and play from there.

    2. 1.1 usually "remembers" the last used source and starts up there. Annoying in the cases where that machine has gone to sleep.

  3. macrumors 6502

    Well I hadn't though of creating a playlist of WAV's so that's helpful. Seems so obvious now. :D

    I usually power off my ATV with my HT so I guess that's the issue. So if I left the power on and just turned it off would it remember the source? I also turn off my source as well so maybe this is just wishful thinking.
  4. macrumors 6502

    In Apple TV 2.0 you no longer switch between sources the way you do today. In 2.0 you enter a share from within the appliance submenu. i.e. Under movies you select Shared Movies and then enter the movies section of the particular share.

  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Just remember smart playlists are your friend.

    I find that my :apple:TV even forgets what language and resolution it is supposed to use if I power it down hard, so I really try to avoid that.


    Have you actually played with it? Can you confirm (or not) if it might be able to use a Time Capsule or other NAS as a source?

  6. macrumors newbie

    Question for the ATV users. Do you expect to have the ability to select a movie after dinner, and then sit down a few minutes after it starts downloading to watch it?
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    What kind of broadband connection do you have?

    I have FiOS so could probably get away with it. :p

  8. macrumors newbie

    Typ. cable connection - started a movie download at 6:15 this evening, now at 10:45 there is 65 minutes left in the download. :eek:
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    FWIW I've usually been able to download TV show content (SD of course) in ~1/4 time. So a 21 minute show takes ~ 5-6 minutes. Today the iTunes store is super busy, for obvious reasons, so try again when things get back to "normal".

  10. macrumors newbie

    Thanks, that is good to hear. :cool:
  11. macrumors 6502a


    This isn't my experience. Under 1.1 my :apple:TV reverts to its own HD as the source if another selected source is interrupted, and doesn't reconnect on its own. In other words, if I have one of my computers selected as a streaming source and that computer goes to sleep or gets restarted (or even if iTunes on that computer is shut down), the :apple:TV will switch to its own HD as the source and stay there, even if the streamed source becomes available again. I have to reselect the streaming source from the 'sources' menu to make it active again.
  12. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Yes, that's what mine does too, but as long as the connection is uninterrupted it remembers its place.

  13. macrumors 6502

    No. I have DSL at about 4 mbps per DSL Reports. For my first HD download I'll start it before I go to bed at night.
  14. macrumors 6502

    It will only use iTunes on a Mac or PC as a source.

  15. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Thanks. That's definitely what I would expect, but there have been a number of posts suggesting it could use Time Capsule as a source. Guess I'll just wait and see....

    Is this from direct hands-on experience?

  16. macrumors 6502


  17. Moderator


    Staff Member


  18. macrumors 6502


    Will there be any changes on how ATV reads the folder structures for photos? For example it only reads the first layer under Mypictures in XP. I have my folder structure set with another layer deep. Or is this a PC thing and when I switch to a Mac it won't be an issue?

    Thanks, Duff
  19. macrumors 6502

    Folders will continue to behave the same for this release.

  20. macrumors 65816


  21. macrumors 6502

    My question wasn't about whether or not I can hear a difference. But it's about identifying which files are which. Certainly I'm not the only one ripping CD's at different bit rates. I started another thread a while back asking what was passed through via optical to my HT and the responders said it was the full uncompressed WAV file. If it's only 320 kbs then there is no point on ripping as WAV's as I keep all my CD's and my intent was not to backup my collection but to listen to the music on iTunes via my HT and whole house distribution.

    I never said I unplug my ATV. MY HT is fairly complicated and I use a power conditioner/switcher to turn everything on/off including my ATV. From my perspective since there is memory in the ATV it should remember the last source used and reconnect when powered up.
  22. Moderator


    Staff Member

    ?Que? It's either Apple Lossless or 320kbps, but it can't be both. Most Apple Lossless files I have ever encoded come in around 600-800 kbps. and I don't think either Apple Lossless or 320 kbps AAC/MP3 would be very useful coming out of the digital audio port, since that is expected to be straight PCM (a.k.a. WAV).

    Are you perhaps thinking of the Airport Express' AirTunes?

  23. macrumors newbie

    Kevin, just spitballing here, but could you store all your movies on the Time Capsule and have two versions of iTunes, one on your computer and one on the TC? Will your songs show as a source on the ATV or will this not work?
  24. macrumors 65816


    I'm talking about how iTunes encapsulates what it transmits to AppleTV (or AirPort Express)... It was my understanding from conversations with people who broke this down backwards and forwards that any bitstream larger than 320Kbps is transcoded on the fly to 320Kbps AAC.. You're right, Apple Lossless is basically AAC VBR. What happens though, since your optical input has to recognize the bitstream as Linear PCM, the file once streamed to the AppleTV is retranscoded back to 16-bit Linear PCM... regardless of the origin size (I've tried this with 24-bit LPCM audio and gotten the same result... comes out as 16-bit LPCM).

    This isn't really necessarily a problem because the issues with artifacts or aliased frequencies are not a byproduct of compression or encoding... they are a byproduct of reconstruction errors at the decoding side. There are many technologies that have come into play to mitigate reconstruction errors since digital audio was being researched decades ago, and first deployed professionally in the early 1980's. So, none of these things should be of concern to you... but I'm just elucidating this because had I never told you... you would never have noticed.

    Now it'll be interesting to see if you suffer the placebo effect...now that I told you, you will start hearing a difference and that difference, my friend, is only imaginary.

    The only REAL discernible difference in fidelity through all my professional work with audio, I can safely say, is when comparing 16-bit Linear PCM or less with 24-bit Linear PCM. The increase in amplitude resolution is ridiculous... 65,536 possible values per quantization interval at 16-bit LPCM versus 16.7 MILLION at 24-bit LPCM.

    Unfortunately, few if any recordings are ever mastered to 24-bit Linear PCM. There currently exists only one disc format that can support it... DVD-Audio. SACD performs inadequately by comparison, with a dynamic range equivalent to 19-bit LPCM at best, rendering it not worth the additional expense.

    I understand... my point is that you shouldn't have to encode them in anything higher than 192Kbps AAC at most. I can spot the very insinuation of audiophile snobbery from low Earth orbit, and as one who records, mixes and masters in 24-bit Linear PCM, I don't stand for that pseudoscientific nonsense. So I guess that was my way of firing a warning shot back across your bow... but I wouldn't go the trouble of changing what you've already encoded. It has to get reconstructed to 16-bit Linear PCM anyway before your HT can play it. I'm just saying iTunes sends it to AppleTV during streaming as 320Kbps bitstream... but then AppleTV reconstructs the 16-bit LPCM and sends to your HT over fiber. There's no reason that you'd ever know because there aren't enough errors upon reconstruction so as to be perceptible. (see my above paragraphs in response to the other poster)

    What you're doing is equivalent to unplugging the AppleTV... A computer remembers settings because it saves them to preference files on quitting an application and upon shutting down the system. RAM is volatile storage. When you cut power to it, whatever it stored is gone. By switching AppleTV off hard with that "power conditioner" (a bunch of overpriced audiophile snake oil btw)... since you're not running AppleTV through any kind of power down cycle (it doesn't have one)... you're erasing that information. If the ability to shut it all off in one switch is more critical to you, then just deal with the fact that you have to reselect your stream source every time.

    As for your home theater being complicated... Well, uncomplicate it. Anything that looks convoluted probably is.
  25. macrumors 6502

    I'm not sure how you would run iTunes on the Time Capsule...


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