Can I play iTunes audio through digital (TOSLINK) output?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Mr_Ed, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #1
    I'm trying to find out if I can get iTunes music to play through a TOSLINK output. I've got my mac pro hooked up and local digital TV audio (from EyeTV) comes through just fine. I also get 5.1 surround when playing DVDs but I cannot get any other sound from the computer to play through my home theater receiver. I have "Digital Output" selected as my sound output device in "System Preferences" and I have tried many different combinations of "Format" (44100 - 96000 Hz) and channel combinations (2ch-16 bit, 20 bit, 24, bit + Encoded Digital Audio) in the "Audio MIDI Setup" utility.

    It would be nice to be able to get ALL my sound, including music, through the same digital/optical output. Am I I wasting my time trying to do something that is not supported?
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    I know it works with AirTunes from an AirPort Express, I'd expect it to also work with the built in optical headphone jack.

    TEG
     
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #3
    Yes, you can. And your problem doesn't make sense. I can switch between audio and video through optical without any problems. Do movies have optical sound when you play them through iTunes? If so, then it should work for your audio files as well.
     
  4. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #4
    I'll try to play a movie to see, but iTunes music is definitely not working for me. I even made sure I tried with music I ripped from my own CDs which should not have any DRM junk.

    TEG: It's a Mac Pro so it's not the hybrid analog/optical headphone jack available on MacBooks, AirPort Express and other models. It's a straight TOSLINK optical jack like the ones you find on the back of DVD players and home theater receivers.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #5
    There was some weird stuff I went through in the Audio MIDI setup as far as optical output went - this was in Tiger and I can't remember what I did, but perhaps it can jog someone's memory to mention it. Basically the output format wasn't in the format it was showing up as.

    EDIT:I realise how spectacularly unhelpful that is, but hopefully it will tug on someone's long-term recall.

    Also, make sure you aren't running other applications which may be switching outputs elsewhere. If in doubt, reboot the system, don't launch any audio-related apps before you start iTunes and see if the problem persists.
     
  6. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #6
    I still can't get any audio from iTunes regardless of material (movies, music). Here's the strange part:

    In EyeTV preferences I have "Digital Output" selected and EyeTV audio plays just fine. But I had iTunes playing a song in the background (which I could not hear) and when I started EyeTV, the "Audio MIDI Setup" window showed the channels switching to "Encoded Digital Audio", and iTunes audio started coming from the tiny built-in speaker in the Mac Pro, while EyeTV audio was coming out of my stereo :confused:

    When I shut down EyeTV, all sound (including iTunes on the built-in speaker) stops and the channels on "Audio MIDI Setup" revert to "2ch-16bit" (or whatever it was previously set to).

    Not sure what else to try . . . .
     
  7. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I have some Logitech Z5500 5.1 speakers connected via toslink and I can get all my audio through the speakers.

    However if I try to play music whilst a DVD is playing the music will be played thought the internal speaker as you are unable to output both an encoded and unencoded (not sure if this is quite correct) signal at the same time.

    Often I have to switch off and on my speakers to get them to start playing anything, though this may be more of a problem with the speakers.

    I used to also have a problem with EyeTV 2 causing some issues, though I think an update for EyeTV 2 fixed that or possibly updating to EyeTV 3.

    In Tiger I had to make sure in Audio MIDI Setup the Format was set to 44100.0Hz and 2ch-16bit otherwise it played some audio through the internal speaker.

    I don't know if it will help but I've attached a screenshot of the setting I use.
     

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