Play FLAC music through ATV4?

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
441
131
Capri - Italy
I was wondering which other way rather than to connect a computer to the hi-fi system to play FLAC music since I have a 4th gen ATV in the audio/video chain (would add a DAC to stream the audio to the hi-fi speakers through the Audio Research preamp), any idea? Even solution which don't include the ATV would be welcome.

Grazie

Giovanni
 

Longkeg

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2014
394
164
S. Florida
Take a look at Plex. Load the Plex media server on your computer. It should automatically convert FLAC files to a format that the Plex app. for ATV can play. I have given up on iTunes to stream content to my 2 AppleTVs. Plex is a much more flexible solution.
 

SpinalTap

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2003
205
15
Bournville, UK
The problem with passing hi-res audio files through the ATV is that it will truncate any such file to 16/48 resolution, thereby mitigating the benefit of playing your FLAC files.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,078
4,669
San Jose, CA
MrMC can stream FLAC files from a network share and output it as PCM. But as SpinalTap mentioned, the ATV currently limits output to 16 bits/48 kHz.

Another option would be to convert the FLAC files to ALAC (which is lossless) and then stream via iTunes.
 

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
441
131
Capri - Italy
I see, going through the ATV I will loose the benefits of playing a FLAC vs an MP3 more or less, it will need to find a different solution but it kinda bothers me to have to attach a laptop to the preamp, will have to find a way how to go directly into a DAC without to use a computer but I see it hard, I don't want to make things more complicated, actually the computer seems the less complicated, at this moment in time I run VOX on a laptop and go directly into a line level input on the preamp, could use an USB input on the future to come DAC but the problem remains the same, maybe one day I will get a recent Mini and use the TV as a screen and use it to play both FLAC and movies locally, quite expensive vs other solutions...

Thanks everybody for the suggestions
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,315
748
Maybe you can consider an alternative - Have you investigated other streamers that allow DAS or network play of files? I have an NVidia Shield TV and for both music and movie file playback it seems to lead the pack. It would not be a replacement for your ATV but an addition. You can set it up to see your laptop (if you share the music directory) and play those files "as is" in most cases and this streamer certainly via HDMI be added to your Hi Fi system. In my case, I use it with Kodi as a player for movies and attached an external hard drive. My friends are blown away by what it can do. Why mention this option, because it would be used instead of adding an external DAC and do much much more.
 

SpinalTap

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2003
205
15
Bournville, UK
If it's available in your territory, might I suggest investigating Bluesound...

Node2 will stream content from your NAS, or,

Vault2 is all-in-one solution that will rip/store your hi-res music files, for connection to your audio system.

It's Roon ready, and also does MQA.

Control is via iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch.

http://www.bluesound.com/en-gb/components/?cl
 
Last edited:

john.burn

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2007
77
5
My vote would go for the Auralic Aries mini, it’s about the same size as an Apple TV and can stream via wifi or Ethernet pretty much anything. The sound quality is stunning from this thing. It even has airplay receiver functionality, if you needed that.

I use mine with Roon... it leaves iTunes in the dirt.

J.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,624
470
Estonia
I have used xACT to re-encode them into ALAC (in m4a container) which works well on any Apple device.
The aTV 4 limitations described above still hold.
 

JeffPerrin

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2014
420
392
Maybe hold off until the upcoming Apple TV announcement? If the rumors are true re: 4K & HDR support, perhaps audio capabilities will get an upgrade as well?
 
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zosobao5150

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2010
62
17
Central Ohio
16/48 is still going to be much better than a MP3. The issue with an MP3 is the significant amount of data that is dropped to make the file smaller. Having said all of that, I bought a Denon receiver that handles all high-res music in almost every format imaginable.


I see, going through the ATV I will loose the benefits of playing a FLAC vs an MP3 more or less, it will need to find a different solution but it kinda bothers me to have to attach a laptop to the preamp, will have to find a way how to go directly into a DAC without to use a computer but I see it hard, I don't want to make things more complicated, actually the computer seems the less complicated, at this moment in time I run VOX on a laptop and go directly into a line level input on the preamp, could use an USB input on the future to come DAC but the problem remains the same, maybe one day I will get a recent Mini and use the TV as a screen and use it to play both FLAC and movies locally, quite expensive vs other solutions...

Thanks everybody for the suggestions
 
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