Apple confirms HomePod audio sources limited to Apple Music, iTunes purchases, podcasts & ...

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  • Reply 61 of 106
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Nice to see the Apple TV specifically mentioned.

    These are the supported sources: 

    • Apple Music (subscription required)
    • iTunes Music purchases
    • iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription
    • Beats 1 Live Radio
    • Podcasts
    • Content via AirPlay to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac

    Ars Tenchnina: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/apple-clarifies-which-audio-sources-are-supported-on-homepod-speakers/
    edited February 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 62 of 106
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    PhillyJim said:
     So can’t we use the Bluetooth to pair with our TVs?
    yes if you use an Apple TV
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 63 of 106
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,954member
    Notsofast said:
    fallenjt said:
    I'm torn by this. I really want wait for 2nd generation of the HomePod, but my heart says: it's now. damn it.
    Second generation won't be for several years.  There's  a reason they put an super powerful processor in it, the A8, that can get updates over the air.  Your safe buying now as the hardware in it is already top in industry so that won't need to change. 
    Right. And any updates it does get aren’t going to be massive bandwidth hogs. Minor tweaks & security updates. This thing will last quite some time.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 64 of 106
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,954member
    bonobob said:
    Siri can currently play songs from my local iTunes library on either my Mac or my iPhone.  There is no reason whatsoever that Siri could not also do the same on a HomePod.  It depends only on Apple making the decision to enable it there.
    On Mac? How?!?!?
  • Reply 65 of 106
    Soli said:

    2) CDs use a lot or power compare to other physical media, and the magnetic film can wear off...
    CDs store information optically, not magnetically. There is no wear during playback.
    cornchip
  • Reply 66 of 106
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,966member
    I'm trying to get my head around the HomePod and what it's supposed to be/do. It is and expensive supposedly high fidelity speaker with Siri built in that will only work independently with apple subscription services, Beats1 radio and podcasts. It sounds like you can use your own library or other services such as spotify if you stream them from another device via AirPlay. It's integrated with home kit, which is currently pretty limited and uses Siri as a digital assistant. Is that it? (I say 'supposedly high fidelity' since there are very few people who have actually been able to use/review it at this time, so we really don't know how good the sound quality is until it comes out.)

    Regarding mono/stereo, it uses room scanning and beam forming technology to create a stereo effect from one point, but these technologies all depend on where you are standing relative to the speaker, so is it going to figure out where someone is standing in the room and adapt in real time? Calling it true 'stereo' seems to be a bit of a stretch. It depends on what you are listening to and how you listen, of course, but for devices like these, audio quality is generally much more important than true stereo anyway. We have a  JBL BT speaker that is technically mono, but sounds quite good, and if I'm listening to music in the kitchen, I don't care about stereo, I just want it to sound good.

    I understand that Homekit is Apple's entry into home automation, but given that it's not compatible with any of the other home automation systems already on the market that ends up being quite limiting. As a digital assistant, I've been less than impressed with siri, too. She does fine with things like 'set timer for 30 minutes), but beyond that she gets lost pretty quickly, IME. 

    Maybe I'm missing something, but in the end, what this seems like is a fancy expensive speaker with modest digital assistant capabilities that requires you to subscribe to an Apple service unless you want to use as a de facto bluetooth speaker for your iPhone.
    Spike_Lightfoot
  • Reply 67 of 106
    I don't understand why there is so much disappointment that other music or audio services/apps (for now at least) will have to use AirPlay to send music/audio to HomePod. Is there a disadvantage that I'm not aware of? Isn't it the same as when you watch or listen to something from your computer to your Apple TV? or your iPhone/iPad to your AirPods? I find it quick and easy. I must be missing something.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 68 of 106
    Would it be too much to ask of a $350 mono speaker that it at least have an AUX audio input? Then it could play whatever the customer wants to play.
    Not mono. It has seven speakers and performs channel separation, including L and R. 

    Next. 
    Not mono? Certainly not stereo or any other multichannel format. It's a single point source. We've known for decades that bouncing waves around off the walls of the listening space does not recreate the ambience of the recording space. It may sound pleasing and create a novel sense of artificial space, but it's ultimately just another cool parlour trick. It may not be mono in the traditional sense, but it's not the same as physically separating sources.
  • Reply 69 of 106

    For a few years now I've felt like they need to hire someone at Apple whose only job is to go around and slap anyone who makes really stupid anti-consumer decisions, and they should be able to unilaterally reject certain ideas (such as one port on the macbook, not supporting third party streaming services, getting rid of magsafe, and making stupidly large phones).

    I guess that person is Tim Cook, but he apparently is busy doing other things.

    (of course, none of this has stopped me from ordering a HomePod. I'm just concerned about being able to set it up with my ancient 5S and 2nd gen iPad).

    The mistake many of us make, me included, is assuming that our wants represent those of the majority. Sometimes what we want isn't actually the only good way to accomplish something.

    While I can't imagine any argument that supports a single port on the MacBook -- that one just seems too much even for the most ardent fanboy apologist -- I very much like the large iPhone and find that I now like power over USB-C much more than MagSafe.

    The larger phone demands less dexterity and visual acuity. It's easier for me to hit the right buttons and read text.

    Power via USB-C provides several benefits: flexibility if power sources, including external batteries; the ability to plug power into whichever port is convenient at any given moment rather than being fixed to a specific port; the ability to use the "power" port for something else (like a display or a drive or an audio interface or whatever) when it isn't being used for power. The concern about pulling an expensive laptop onto the floor isn't an issue. A USB-C connector doesn't fit tight enough to drag even a lightweight computer. We've had several cable snag incidents, and in every single case the plug popped out just like a MagSafe connector would.

    I still feel frustrated when Apple's decisions affect my ability to use my gear the way I want to, but I'm also learning to at least explore APPLE'S way of doing things (as opposed to how I think it should be done) to see if there are advantages I didn't think of.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 70 of 106
    zoetmb said:
    Soli said:
    Would it be too much to ask of a $350 mono speaker that it at least have an AUX audio input? Then it could play whatever the customer wants to play.
    1) Is it mono? That isn't how I've read the technical breakdown of how it works.

    2) Why can't you play anywhere without a 3.5mm headphone jack? It does have wireless options. Hell, the most common speakers I see at the beach these days are battery powered with BT.

    3) If you know Apple has removed the 3.5mm jack from iPhones why would anyone think that they'd include one on the HomePod? It anything I'd think we should be counting down the clock to when other Apple devices get their 3.5mm jack removed.
    Re #1:  If it's stereo, it will be interesting to see how well the stereo imaging is coming from a single small device.   With most similar systems, you need two for stereo and I thought that's how this worked as well.   It's funny how we've gone backwards (IMO) and most of these speaker systems are mono now.   

    Re #3:   Apples and oranges.   The 3.5mm jack on the iPhone is an OUTPUT jack.   Kent is asking for an INPUT jack and I agree.   I realize almost everyone here thinks that physical media is obsolete, but I have 1000+ CD's and it would have been nice to have the option of plugging in a CD player or any other source and many other speaker systems do this.    Doesn't matter to me...unless the Home Pod sounds better than a full fledged stereo system, I'm not the market for it as I do have a full-fledged stereo system in my living room.    Apple and others have accomplished remarkable things in regards to sound quality, but you can't escape the physics:  if you want to reproduce sound properly, you have to push a lot of air and a small system can't.   
    Apparently the woofer in this thing has insanely long excursion, like a full inch or so. That on its own obviously does not guarantee anything, but it does at least speak to the issue of pushing a lot of air.
  • Reply 71 of 106
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    bitmod said:
    macxpress said:

    For a few years now I've felt like they need to hire someone at Apple whose only job is to go around and slap anyone who makes really stupid anti-consumer decisions, and they should be able to unilaterally reject certain ideas (such as one port on the macbook, not supporting third party streaming services, getting rid of magsafe, and making stupidly large phones).

    I guess that person is Tim Cook, but he apparently is busy doing other things.

    (of course, none of this has stopped me from ordering a HomePod. I'm just concerned about being able to set it up with my ancient 5S and 2nd gen iPad).

    So everyone should be slapped at Apple unless its for something you specifically want....got it! I didn't know Apple should revolve around you. 
    Mmmm... I'd say for something that 100% of people want, yourself included. 
    Who "wants" less features and less abilities and less future proofing and less functionality and less options that tie you down, hinder you? Products that are not fully developed, not fully capable? 
    Who... who wants that? 

    Nobody... the answer is nobody. 

    Apple no-longer sells products, it only sells Apple. 
    This isn't a home speaker designed to make people's lives better... it's a product to padlock people into Apple and make it hard for them to leave. 
    IGNORE THE 88 BILLION IN PROFITS! NO ONE WANTS THEIR STUFF! 

    (Runs off into the night screaming, waving banana)
    fastasleep
  • Reply 72 of 106
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    So basically, between Apple Music, iTunes Match and AirPlay, it can play just about anything?

    No wait! There’s no SCSI port! Fail!

    guerrofastasleep
  • Reply 73 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    zroger73 said:
    Soli said:

    2) CDs use a lot or power compare to other physical media, and the magnetic film can wear off...
    CDs store information optically, not magnetically. There is no wear during playback.
    I meant metallic. The reflective film does wear off since it's just adhered to the plastic. You can also get disc rot from the oxidation. Bottom line: Back up your discs.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 74 of 106
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 387member
    cornchip said:
    bonobob said:
    Siri can currently play songs from my local iTunes library on either my Mac or my iPhone.  There is no reason whatsoever that Siri could not also do the same on a HomePod.  It depends only on Apple making the decision to enable it there.
    On Mac? How?!?!?
    Click on the Siri icon, say "Play the Beatles", or whatever you want to hear played, and Siri will play it from the local iTunes library, using the iTunes app. (This is on High Sierra, but it has worked since Siri came to the Mac.  Also, I don't have any Apple music subscriptions, so there is no ambiguity as to where the music can be found.)
  • Reply 75 of 106
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,304member
    Maybe I missed it but what about songs in my iTunes library that weren't purchased from iTunes Music and aren't connected to Apple Music.
    Will those songs not be available to play on HomePod?
  • Reply 76 of 106
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,419member
    No Spotify is a dealbreaker for me. Maybe this will evolve by next holiday season.
    You appear to have misread the article. It states clearly that HomePod supports AirPlay. This means you can stream Spotify, Tidal, radio, video, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, mp3s, and basically any kind of digital audio you want to. Via AirPlay. As for Apple adding native Spotify support: you know how Google has to pay App,e billions of dollars per year to be a native search engine? How Qualcomm paid Apple billions of dollars in rebates to keep them as an exclusive client? Yeah, I don’t think Spotify has the money. Particularly not if they lose their lawsuit.
  • Reply 77 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    zoetmb said:
    Soli said:
    Would it be too much to ask of a $350 mono speaker that it at least have an AUX audio input? Then it could play whatever the customer wants to play.
    1) Is it mono? That isn't how I've read the technical breakdown of how it works.

    2) Why can't you play anywhere without a 3.5mm headphone jack? It does have wireless options. Hell, the most common speakers I see at the beach these days are battery powered with BT.

    3) If you know Apple has removed the 3.5mm jack from iPhones why would anyone think that they'd include one on the HomePod? It anything I'd think we should be counting down the clock to when other Apple devices get their 3.5mm jack removed.
    Re #1:  If it's stereo, it will be interesting to see how well the stereo imaging is coming from a single small device.   With most similar systems, you need two for stereo and I thought that's how this worked as well.   It's funny how we've gone backwards (IMO) and most of these speaker systems are mono now.   

    Re #3:   Apples and oranges.   The 3.5mm jack on the iPhone is an OUTPUT jack.   Kent is asking for an INPUT jack and I agree.   I realize almost everyone here thinks that physical media is obsolete, but I have 1000+ CD's and it would have been nice to have the option of plugging in a CD player or any other source and many other speaker systems do this.    Doesn't matter to me...unless the Home Pod sounds better than a full fledged stereo system, I'm not the market for it as I do have a full-fledged stereo system in my living room.    Apple and others have accomplished remarkable things in regards to sound quality, but you can't escape the physics:  if you want to reproduce sound properly, you have to push a lot of air and a small system can't.   
    Apparently the woofer in this thing has insanely long excursion, like a full inch or so. That on its own obviously does not guarantee anything, but it does at least speak to the issue of pushing a lot of air.
    The excursion of the Google Home Max woofer is 22mm, very similar to the HomePod, and a pair of 'em rather than one.  That's probably why some reviewers comment the Home Max has too much bass. Now if you were to ask my son or his friends or his friend's friends, all under 30, I doubt they'd complain about too much bass. But with the price of these smart-speakers they aren't really the ones who can afford to buy them. Us older folks who can like more subtlety to our sound. 
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 78 of 106
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,389member
    gatorguy said:
    The excursion of the Google Home Max woofer is 22mm, very similar to the HomePod, and a pair of 'em rather than one.  That's probably why some reviewers comment the Home Max has too much bass. Now if you were to ask my son or his friends or his friend's friends, all under 30, I doubt they'd complain about too much bass. But with the price of these smart-speakers they aren't really the ones who can afford to buy them. Us older folks who can like more subtlety to our sound. 
    No, excursion of a woofer in and of itself is not why a system would have 'too much bass', not at all. It's a matter of the crossover point. Designing it to be too high in the frequency response muddies mids and highs and providing too much power to the bass end of the spectrum also skews the spectral response.

    Just because your new Corvette or Mustang has over 600HP doesn't mean you have to fry the tires at/from every stop.

    Long excursion woofers are needed to move a lot of air for room filling volume, or all you have are near-field speakers. Tweeters not so much. I'll make a gross generalization— nobody wants to pay $350 for a mono speaker to only sit next to their computer.

    As you mentioned, for the kidz, it's all about the bass. Boom boom thumpin' bass. For audiophiles/critical listeners it's about realistic spectral balance. Of course some performances are all about that bass, so a realistic spectral balance still wouldn't appeal to some of us (read: me). Also, I appreciate detecting figures on the strings of a guitar (acoustic or electric) and the bow on the strings of a violin. Musical nuance is important to me. (And I also want Siri available far-field).

    I still say the HomePod is a mono speaker. It may redefine mono if its DSP can truly provide a realistic sound stage from a single speaker rather than just randomly place sounds at other than one point as would a typical single speaker from an amp/rcvr with DSP 'concert hall' options.

    For the time being, this needs two quality speakers with a good signal source. Just as most headphones don't really provide a true, realistic listening experience but provide much enjoyment to audiophiles/critical listeners and casual listeners alike, the HP may provide enjoyable sound for a lot of people who don't expect the same experience as a dedicated music system from it.

    I think the real test will be how the HP sounds when paired with another. The portability (needing only a power cable) and ease of setup combined with Siri (hopefully on the road to constant, needed improvement) and good sound is probably more important to the target market than a truly accurate soundstage. 

    In the end, good or great audio is subjective and personal. I want the HomePod to please please me. I'll give it a couple of weeks and decide after actually listening to it at home instead of making ridiculous unfounded claims.
  • Reply 79 of 106

    For a few years now I've felt like they need to hire someone at Apple whose only job is to go around and slap anyone who makes really stupid anti-consumer decisions, and they should be able to unilaterally reject certain ideas (such as one port on the macbook, not supporting third party streaming services, getting rid of magsafe, and making stupidly large phones).

    I guess that person is Tim Cook, but he apparently is busy doing other things.

    (of course, none of this has stopped me from ordering a HomePod. I'm just concerned about being able to set it up with my ancient 5S and 2nd gen iPad).

    The mistake many of us make, me included, is assuming that our wants represent those of the majority. Sometimes what we want isn't actually the only good way to accomplish something.

    While I can't imagine any argument that supports a single port on the MacBook -- that one just seems too much even for the most ardent fanboy apologist -- I very much like the large iPhone and find that I now like power over USB-C much more than MagSafe.

    The larger phone demands less dexterity and visual acuity. It's easier for me to hit the right buttons and read text.

    Power via USB-C provides several benefits: flexibility if power sources, including external batteries; the ability to plug power into whichever port is convenient at any given moment rather than being fixed to a specific port; the ability to use the "power" port for something else (like a display or a drive or an audio interface or whatever) when it isn't being used for power. The concern about pulling an expensive laptop onto the floor isn't an issue. A USB-C connector doesn't fit tight enough to drag even a lightweight computer. We've had several cable snag incidents, and in every single case the plug popped out just like a MagSafe connector would.

    I still feel frustrated when Apple's decisions affect my ability to use my gear the way I want to, but I'm also learning to at least explore APPLE'S way of doing things (as opposed to how I think it should be done) to see if there are advantages I didn't think of.
    Yeah, I probably stepped over the line with the large iPhones. Clearly there is a market for them. I stand by my assertion that the other things are stupid. :-)


  • Reply 80 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    macgui said:
    gatorguy said:
    The excursion of the Google Home Max woofer is 22mm, very similar to the HomePod, and a pair of 'em rather than one.  That's probably why some reviewers comment the Home Max has too much bass. Now if you were to ask my son or his friends or his friend's friends, all under 30, I doubt they'd complain about too much bass. But with the price of these smart-speakers they aren't really the ones who can afford to buy them. Us older folks who can like more subtlety to our sound. 
    No, excursion of a woofer in and of itself is not why a system would have 'too much bass', not at all. It's a matter of the crossover point. Designing it to be too high in the frequency response muddies mids and highs and providing too much power to the bass end of the spectrum also skews the spectral response.

    Just because your new Corvette or Mustang has over 600HP doesn't mean you have to fry the tires at/from every stop.
    Thanks, great post. :)

     FWIW tho I was commenting on Google's emphasis on bass with a pair of high-excursion woofers, with even more than the "completely unheard of in the home speaker market" 20mm excursion of the HomePod on its single woofer, but I appreciate your mention that just because it can doesn't mean it has too. You are correct. 

    In any event I would still expect the HomePod to have better overall clarity even if it's doesn't boom-boom.
    edited February 2018
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