iTunes 8 users grapple with missing Dolby surround sound

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    iTunes is an utter piece of shit. It used to be a well designed music player and it became a media player designed by a bunch of retarded monkeys.



    Whoa... easy!



    Admittedly iTunes has had to expand to become a jack of all trades, however I think it does the best job possible right now for dealing with managing your media, apps etc.



    However I do think a back-to-the-drawing board approach may help, as it is still based around music first and foremost and video was a later addition. Not to mention the name.. iTunes... Seeing as though this app does so much more than just 'Tunes' now, a re-branding might be in order - I guess that is the problem becoming a household name...
  • Reply 22 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Murphster View Post


    Makes you want to buy a windows machine don't it?



    Apple seem to have lost the plot of late. Whatever happened to "it just works"?





    The problem occurs on Windows too. would have been funnier if you'd said makes you want to use an iTunes alternative.



    I have this issue and it really annoys me. PC hooked up to Dolby decoder and Sony HDTV. QuickTime seems to have no clue as to what it should be doing with the AC3 track. Other media players, such as PowerDVD and Nero Showtime, have no issues sending the data to the relevant sound processor. There really isn't an excuse for this not working if everyone can get it working.



    For clarity, this only affects HD TV shows with a 5.1 sound track. It's only movies which are limited to the Apple TV. iTunes claims to playback 5.1 on any computer.
  • Reply 23 of 32
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,143member
    The problem isn't windows, it's iTunes, for either platform.



    I know many windows users who complain of iTunes in one way or another. I can only shrug because it works for me on my Mac without issue, although I haven't rented any HD or 5.1 capable shows or movies. Although I'm not using non-iPods, converting from one player or another (iPod 3G still working after 5+ years) and I'm not trying to play weird video content from odd online sourcs (diVx or otherwise).



    Apple needs to get 5.1 working. 5 months is ridiculous.
  • Reply 24 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    When they say "normal stereo mix" do they mean just the L and R channel, without any of the Dolby Pro logic encoding?



    It's difficult to tell if the stereo mix has Dolby Pro logic info imbedded, as most modern home cinema amplifiers have Dolby Pro logic II, which will attempt to create surround-sound effects even if the info it's getting is pure stereo.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    The audio output used does matter. Digital Dobly (5.1) can only be outputted using the optical output.



    Indeed. And Macs have had optical audio out for quite a while now, and many PCs have it too.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    So the L/R composite output (and I believe the speakers on the computer itself, as there is no decoding of Dolby Digital being done by the computer) would go silent when trying to output Dolby Digital.



    No, the intelligent thing to do here would be to down-mix the Dolby Digital to stereo, then you wouldn't need two entirely separate audio tracks in the file. Maybe AC3 passthrough requires a different licence than an AC3 decoder (which would be required to down-mix) and Apple is trying to avoid those licensing fees.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    However, the optical output should be able to handle the normal stereo mix (with or without the dolby Pro Logic encoding). And thus, the optical output should never go silent if that's what selected.



    That's true, and it doesn't go silent with stereo. It goes silent when the Dolby Digital soundtrack is selected.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    To tell you the truth, I didn't even know that iTunes was even capable of outputting Dolby Digital.



    That's the whole problem! It doesn't! It's meant to, otherwise how could anyone "enjoy 5.1-channel Dolbly Digital surround sound audio" on their "computer" (quoted from iTunes store HD shows info page)?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post


    I haven't heard any complaints on the AVS forum concerning not being able to get Dolby Digital out when using a Mac Mini as a HTPC.



    Apple's DVD player will pass through AC3 via the optical out. VLC will pass through AC3 via the optical out. QuickTime can pass through AC3 if the AC3 track isn't DRM protected (using Perian). iTunes 8 should be able to pass through AC3, but it doesn't. Apple is aware of this yet it continues to advertise HD shows' AC3 tracks as working on a computer.
  • Reply 25 of 32
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member
    I guess Apple DVD Player does 5.1 sound internally (although it didn't work until Leopard) and it's just plain broken in QuickTime. Maybe the fix is in QuickTime X and they're trying to avoid the issue till then.
  • Reply 26 of 32
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    I don't know of anyone that would waste their time hooking their Mac up to a 5.1 surround system, and then sit in front of the computer to watch TV or Movies. I also think it is pointless to connect a computer to a TV, when I would rather watch the actual HD broadcast (or TiVo) or a BluRay/DVD movie. Much better quality than anything off iTunes. This problem doesn't affect the AppleTV, so I don't think it is that big of a problem, and a software fix is all that is needed, so stop whining about minor issues.
  • Reply 27 of 32
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    It seems QuickTime has always been a bit finicky about surround sound. But a point of clarification in the article... The title says the issue is with Dolby Surround (aka, Dolby Pro Logic), which I believe is limited to 4.0 surround, not 5.1. My understanding is that only HD movie rentals via AppleTV are 5.1 surround using AC3. None of the HD TV episodes I have (only a few) are 5.1. All of them say "Stereo" under Channels, which suggests Dolby Surround (4.0) at best.



    This would explain the stereo output since Dolby Surround matrixes the 4 channels into a 2-channel stereo signal which is compatible with any stereo setup. 5.1 surround would require 6 discrete channels. Without 3rd party extensions, can QuickTime even play 5.1 surround? It sounds like Quicktime is failing to properly decode the matrixed signal.



    Close, but if you're going to nit-pick...



    The term Dolby Surround is a bit overloaded and can mean quite a few different things. It can mean anything from the original "Dolby Surround" to a "Dolby" Digital 9.1 "surround" sound.



    If talking about the two channel matrix versions... two channels can be used to store matrix encoded material which can be extracted to simulate additional channels. Originally this was done with just a mono surround channel. Then a center channel was added with pro-logic. Then it was upgraded to include both a center channel and stereo surround channels. Nowadays it can even refer to using matrix decoding to go from 5.1 to 9.1 to achieve height effects. (Dolby Pro Logic IIz)



    So in summary: The article title was acceptable for layman usage, but also technically correct as well.
  • Reply 28 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    I also think it is pointless to connect a computer to a TV, when I would rather watch the actual HD broadcast (or TiVo) or a BluRay/DVD movie.



    The concept of an HTPC has obviously passed you by. Or gone over your head.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    Much better quality than anything off iTunes.



    And what if you don't have access to the HD broadcast (it's debatable that that's higher quality than iTunes HD) or BluRay/DVD?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    So I don't think it is that big of a problem



    You think it's OK for Apple to flat-out lie to their customers?
  • Reply 29 of 32
    sandorsandor Posts: 549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames42 View Post


    Didn't realise there were that many users out there hooking up their computers to their surround systems. I'd understand if they could view in HD the content on their televisions, but my understanding is that (at least protected) HD output is now restricted. So without an Apple TV, you'd get great Dolby Digital sound, but only 480p video.



    my macintosh runs SageTV and functions as the HTPC in my living room, so getting, and keeping, AC3 passthrough has been an issue with every update of QuickTime since 7.5.5
  • Reply 30 of 32
    4metta4metta Posts: 365member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    iTunes is an utter piece of shit. It used to be a well designed music player and it became a media player designed by a bunch of retarded monkeys.



    I'm sure problems will continue to plague iTunes for as long as it continues to break bloatware records.



    Fuck you, Apple. Fuck you right in the butt.



    Quoted for sheer hilarity.



    (Although I do wish they would stop adding features to iTunes that just make it buggy. Quality control has been taking a turn for the worse.)
  • Reply 31 of 32
    bandittbanditt Posts: 23member
    Since about 3 weeks ago my iTunes rental movies work with 5.1 on my MacMini! Before then I used to only get garbage from my receiver when choosing Dolby Surround and was forced to watch Stereo in Dolby ProLogic.



    Did the Quicktime Update or 10.6.3 finally fix our Problem???
  • Reply 32 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BandiTT View Post


    Since about 3 weeks ago my iTunes rental movies work with 5.1 on my MacMini! Before then I used to only get garbage from my receiver when choosing Dolby Surround and was forced to watch Stereo in Dolby ProLogic.



    Did the Quicktime Update or 10.6.3 finally fix our Problem???



    For me, the problem was fixed ages ago (I'm sill running Leopard). Glad to hear it's working for you too.
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