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

1235

Comments

  • Reply 81 of 106
    lawjamesglawjamesg Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Had a HomePod on order, canceled it last night after there is a question of what it plays and doesn't play.  I do have and use Apple Music, but I also use XM radio streaming on my iMac that I'd like to stream to the HomePod but now I'm not 100% sure I can do this, so I'll wait and see how it plays out....a little disappointing that is so complicated.  
  • Reply 82 of 106
    bluefire1 said:
    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?
    You can play those songs in your iTunes library but only via AirPlay originating in the Mac or iOS device holding the songs.  But not by Siri on the HomePod.
    You can use Siri on the HP to play those songs, but only if you first upload all your d***** music to Apple and pay them via iTunes Match to stream it all back to you.

    But you cannot use Siri on the HP to play music on an iTunes library shared on your local network.

    I've invested a lot of time curating my iTunes library, and with my slow internet connection uploading it all just to be able to use Siri on an HP doesn't make sense.  I have other ways to stream music around the house.  If I can't do it with Siri as it is, I have no use for a HomePod.
  • Reply 83 of 106
    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.

    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.
    While I suppose it's theoretically possible to reproduce really low frequencies with a small driver, it has been my almost universal experience that speakers with small woofers don't reproduce the bottom octave-and-a-half very well (if at all), even with long-excursion drivers. What many do is exaggerate a limited range of higher bass frequencies which calls attention to the beat but at the expense of muddying things up a little.

    It's probably not a big deal in a product like this, where even the perception of bass will be an improvement over most of what's out there, but I don't think pipe organ enthusiasts are going to be particularly impressed. Of course, it's fair to sacrifice those listeners to appease the much larger number of buyers who prefer a speaker that is smaller than a microwave oven.
  • Reply 84 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. :-)


    Even after I described the advantages of power over USB-C compared to MagSafe, you still think it's stupid?
    Soli
  • Reply 85 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    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.

    […]

    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.
    Adding to that…
    • If you want a magnetic connector on your cable you still have that option.
    • The part of the PSU-cable combo that is likely to wear out and break is the cable, so having a detachable cable and it being a standard USB reduces that cost ($80 to $20 from Apple)
    • Since batteries are rated for all day battery life instead of less than 3 under normal use, there's less reason to have your Mac notebook plugged in where people could trip over the cable.
    • If you have that port free you can use it for many other things since it's USB-C and TB3 with support for up to 100W of power.
    • There are plenty of great mini docks that allow those that like to add wired peripherals and monitors to their Mac notebook to only un/plug a single USB-C cable, which just adds to the convenience.
    edited February 2018 lorin schultzfastasleep
  • Reply 86 of 106
    It's a low quality audio product anyway. So limiting its output to data reduced ("compressed") source material via iTunes is quite appropriate. No one appreciative of the work competent musicians put into their recordings ever listens to their music unless it is totally lossless. Since the dawn of binary bits guestimating the lost parts of the harmonic spectrum music has seen a downward spiral of quality... MP3 is akin to 78rpm shellac disks. The best Apple offer customers today via their anyolditunes store is still way short of the benchmark for audio recording and replay.
  • Reply 87 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.
    Apple knows better than you what you want to play. Just like how you can’t encode your own H.265 video to play in iTunes; you have to use theirs.
  • Reply 88 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    tallest skil said:
    Just like how you can’t encode your own H.265 video to play in iTunes; you have to use theirs.
    1) H.265 is a codec standard which Apple licenses.

    2) You can use any number of encoders which iTunes, QuickTime X, other Apple apps and OSes will play without issue.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 89 of 106
    Soli said:
    2) You can use any number of encoders which iTunes, QuickTime X, other Apple apps and OSes will play without issue.
    Wonder why my Handbrake-encoded H.265 videos only give me audio, then…
  • Reply 90 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    Soli said:
    2) You can use any number of encoders which iTunes, QuickTime X, other Apple apps and OSes will play without issue.
    Wonder why my Handbrake-encoded H.265 videos only give me audio, then…
    No idea, but I'd guess it's a settings issue, but you also may want to try their nightly builds.

    Additionally, I highly recommend just making it easy on yourself and giving an app like iVI 4 a go, assuming you're using a Mac. They have a free trial, and they even use Handbrake as their encoding engine but simplify the process by allowing you to not only grab metadata about a file name (including a cover image), adding subtitles, and removing languages you may not want, but also letting you rename the file, import into into iTunes, and many other features. Perhaps most importantly is the wonderfully fast and convenient striping of the Matroska container for an MPEG-4 container without requiring any conversion of the H.264/H.265 content.

    edited February 2018 tallest skilfastasleep
  • Reply 91 of 106
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    wizard69 said:
      Apples new speaker will need more openess than it currently has and a flexibility to work off the grid, before i consider it.  By off the grid i mean with no internet connection to the wider world and handling the streams i want to send it.  
    I'm totally with you on this.  I own my music (or at least the physical media and the rights to play it forever), and I don't give devices that I can't control unfettered connectivity to the internet.  Ever.

    That said, I'd love to have local voice control, and I'd be interested in giving the fancy audio tech a try in my own environments.  $350 would be a no-brainer, I'd probably buy at least 2.
  • Reply 92 of 106
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member

    "Hey Siri, play songs from my iTunes library"
    becomes
    "Hey Siri, upload all of my vast iTunes music to Apple, charge me to store it there, and them stream it back to me."
    Exactly, ^this^.  Great comment for a newbie, welcome to AI!

    I purchase all my music.  Either via iTunes (anonymously, of course!), or on physical media.  I will never, ever subscribe to a service that requires my bits to be on someone else's servers, let alone require me to pay to use my own previously-purchased music. 

    Separately, as others have mentioned, the time it would require to rip and upload my entire music library would be ridiculous.  Especially when most of it is rarely listened to.  For infrequently listened to music, it's far easier and more efficient to take the 20 seconds to put the media in a physical player once/year or less.
    edited February 2018 pte apple
  • Reply 93 of 106
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    bluefire1 said:
    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?
    You can play those songs in your iTunes library but only via AirPlay originating in the Mac or iOS device holding the songs.  But not by Siri on the HomePod.
    You can use Siri on the HP to play those songs, but only if you first upload all your d***** music to Apple and pay them via iTunes Match to stream it all back to you.

    But you cannot use Siri on the HP to play music on an iTunes library shared on your local network.

    I've invested a lot of time curating my iTunes library, and with my slow internet connection uploading it all just to be able to use Siri on an HP doesn't make sense.  I have other ways to stream music around the house.  If I can't do it with Siri as it is, I have no use for a HomePod.
    Are you 100% sure of this?

    I have other solutions as well, so I'm not hurting for options.  And my music-playing devices do not have any internet connectivity.  To be honest, I'm not even sure if I can use AirPlay, because IIRC didn't it used to require the playing device (like Apple TV) to have internet connectivity to verify an appleID.  It's been a long time since I messed with this stuff, is that still the case?

    If all of what you say above it true, then I probably have no use for a HomePod either.  I hope other usage options are available.
  • Reply 94 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,388member
    blah64 said:
    bluefire1 said:
    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?
    You can play those songs in your iTunes library but only via AirPlay originating in the Mac or iOS device holding the songs.  But not by Siri on the HomePod.
    You can use Siri on the HP to play those songs, but only if you first upload all your d***** music to Apple and pay them via iTunes Match to stream it all back to you.

    But you cannot use Siri on the HP to play music on an iTunes library shared on your local network.

    I've invested a lot of time curating my iTunes library, and with my slow internet connection uploading it all just to be able to use Siri on an HP doesn't make sense.  I have other ways to stream music around the house.  If I can't do it with Siri as it is, I have no use for a HomePod.
    Are you 100% sure of this?

    I have other solutions as well, so I'm not hurting for options.  And my music-playing devices do not have any internet connectivity.  To be honest, I'm not even sure if I can use AirPlay, because IIRC didn't it used to require the playing device (like Apple TV) to have internet connectivity to verify an appleID.  It's been a long time since I messed with this stuff, is that still the case?

    If all of what you say above it true, then I probably have no use for a HomePod either.  I hope other usage options are available.
    There are a limited number of voice commands that work with Google Assistant even off-line, no internet connection at all.
    • Play Music
    • Open Gmail (works with any app name on the device)
    • Turn on Wi-Fi
    • Turn up the volume
    • Turn on the flashlight
    • Turn on airplane mode
    • Turn on Bluetooth
    • Dim the screen

    The "Open" command can be used to launch any app that's installed on your device, not just Gmail. "Play Music" is a bit unique in that it doesn't just launch directly into your music player of choice, but actually starts playing a randomly chosen track. If you are offline, it will pick locally stored music.

    Yes very limited function but it's leaves open the possibility it could expand. 


  • Reply 95 of 106
    maestro64 said:
    Ok this is clear is mud, can any confirm it will support your iTunes Library even if it does not include iTunes purchases. My entire library consisted of CD which I ripped over the last 20 yrs, I have not bought too many digital only songs from Apple iTunes store. It announcement make it sound like only iTunes purchases are supported. I am assuming if i stream from my computer it will work. I am thinking if you have purchase it know what you purchase will play them via siri requests. My Homepod is due the 9th so i will see how it works, but a heads up would be nice.
    Yes it will but you have to use iTunes Match and pay monthly.

    Then its all accessible and you can even use Siri
    "Hey Siri, play songs from my iTunes library"
    becomes
    "Hey Siri, upload all of my vast iTunes music to Apple, charge me to store it there, and them stream it back to me."

    We're talking about an Apple iTunes library here people!  This is not a "third party" situation!
    It's completely free to open iTunes, or the iTunes Remote app, and playback to an HP endpoint, as one has always been able to do with AirPlay speakers. The paid services are to have your entire music library accessible via the cloud and voice-controlled. 
    Then the HP is nothing more than AirPlay speakers for me.
  • Reply 95 of 106
    blah64 said:
    bluefire1 said:
    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?
    You can play those songs in your iTunes library but only via AirPlay originating in the Mac or iOS device holding the songs.  But not by Siri on the HomePod.
    You can use Siri on the HP to play those songs, but only if you first upload all your d***** music to Apple and pay them via iTunes Match to stream it all back to you.

    But you cannot use Siri on the HP to play music on an iTunes library shared on your local network.

    I've invested a lot of time curating my iTunes library, and with my slow internet connection uploading it all just to be able to use Siri on an HP doesn't make sense.  I have other ways to stream music around the house.  If I can't do it with Siri as it is, I have no use for a HomePod.
    Are you 100% sure of this?

    I have other solutions as well, so I'm not hurting for options.  And my music-playing devices do not have any internet connectivity.  To be honest, I'm not even sure if I can use AirPlay, because IIRC didn't it used to require the playing device (like Apple TV) to have internet connectivity to verify an appleID.  It's been a long time since I messed with this stuff, is that still the case?

    If all of what you say above it true, then I probably have no use for a HomePod either.  I hope other usage options are available.
    I'm certainly not 100% sure but this is based on what others have reported, based it seems on Apple's published specs.  I hope I'm wrong, if not now then in a future update.  But I'll wait for feedback from the early adopters.
  • Reply 97 of 106
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,447member
    Soli said:
    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.
    Uh, the aluminum is sandwiched between two layers of acrylic. It's not on the outside of the disc.
  • Reply 98 of 106
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,447member
    lawjamesg said:
    Had a HomePod on order, canceled it last night after there is a question of what it plays and doesn't play.  I do have and use Apple Music, but I also use XM radio streaming on my iMac that I'd like to stream to the HomePod but now I'm not 100% sure I can do this, so I'll wait and see how it plays out....a little disappointing that is so complicated.  
    Here, you can stream absolutely everything on your iMac to your HomePod:
    https://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/mac/

  • Reply 99 of 106
    Soli said:
    2) You can use any number of encoders which iTunes, QuickTime X, other Apple apps and OSes will play without issue.
    Wonder why my Handbrake-encoded H.265 videos only give me audio, then…
    Handbrake has so many settings it's easy to overlook something that breaks compatibility with Apple's engine. If you haven't already, try it with one of the presets intended for your specific Apple product. If it works, you can use that as a baseline from which you can customize to your liking. I prefer to use a short snippet of test material so I don't have to wait all day to see the results of any changes, since the only way to get useful results is to change the parameters one at a time.

    I get the feeling I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I felt the need to commiserate. I haven't tried an H.265 encode myself yet, so I'm hoping the problems you're having are setting related and not systemic.
  • Reply 100 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    Soli said:
    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.
    Uh, the aluminum is sandwiched between two layers of acrylic. It's not on the outside of the disc.
    You can peal the foil off a perfectly good CD with ease. I've done it with a bad disc… because it was already starting to peel. There wasn't some "sandwich" of nearly impenetrable and rigid acrylic between the foil. It was simply the foil adhered to one side of the only plastic disc component with the label built into the top and an incredibly thin coating on top to make it smooth and shiny. There are countless videos on YouTube that show this.
Sign In or Register to comment.