New MacBook Pro drops optical audio out through headphone jack

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 84
    xixoxixo Posts: 431member
    reason? simple - forcing digital audio to DRM controlled output. the actual hardware cannot cost more than fifty cents. Apple is a media company not a technology company.

    "Apple: enhancing shareholder value while working to retain our trust"
    avon b7VSzulc
  • Reply 62 of 84
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 392member
    I use that feature everyday. Use the optical to a ZVOX box to play apple music in the office from the MBP. Sound quality is much improved.
  • Reply 63 of 84
    Thanks. I hadn't been too happy with Dell although the XPS line had some decent options...
  • Reply 64 of 84
    lkrupp said:
    As someone has already pointed out, Apple’s explanation of why they left the headphone jack in the new MacBooks is total bullshit. Professional audio power users use USB interfaces, NOT the analog 3.5mm jack. They used to use Firewire until Apple gave up on it. Hell, even I use a USB Phono Plus interface to get vinyl LPs into my iMac. It has a built-in RIAA phono pre-amp input, standard line in/out, optical in/out, and digital coax s/pdif in. And I’m just an amateur hobbyist. 

    There is NO logical reason for the headphone jack to be on the new MacBooks if the iPhone 7 doesn’t. 

    That's weird, the last Journal of the Audio Engineering Society made no mention of you being appointed spokesperson for the industry. (Just kidding, just kidding, seriously, joking, don't get mad!)

    I'm actually forced to use the 3.5mm jack on the Mac all the time. More often than I'd like. It would be a nuisance to lose it. Not insurmountable obviously, but a hassle. I'm glad it's there. I don't think I've ever been in a control room that didn't have a 3.5mm stereo plug wired to a pair of inputs for emergencies or playback of client material.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 65 of 84
    jkichline said:
    I know of precisely ZERO people or professionals in audio engineer that have ever used optical audio output from a MBP headphone jack. 

    Hi, my name is Lorin. Pleased to meet you!

    There. Now you know one audio engineer who uses the optical out from a MacBook Pro. On a regular basis, even. I realize I'm the ONLY one who does, but at least now you know someone.

    The Mac sits next to the console for playback of unexpected, one-off, or last-minute material. The optical out feeds a Lucid DAC that produces +4dBu balanced even with 0VU = -20dBFS sources (like video).

    Obviously I can do the same with a USB or Thunderbolt interface, but finding one capable of delivering +26dBu like the Lucid is a challenge and EXPENSIVE. I understand that every upgrade causes collateral damage. I accept that. This one is just a bigger expense than most.
    edited November 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 66 of 84

    drtkyu said:
    When my 2013 Macbook Pro - Thunderturd Display setup dies... I'm done with Macs. This new laptop offering is sad. No MagSafe, crappy GPU offerings, a dearth of useful ports, no quad core offerings except on the 15inch, RAM limited to 16GB, and questionable removal of the escape and function keys... If anyone is skipping this years offering, what are you purchasing instead? I'm thinking I might look at Razer... Any other good options? I could always run MacOS in a vm if needed.
    you're bitching about the function keys? get fucking real. not even the garden variety trolls care about the function keys. 
    No need to be a jerk. I question if there will be many programs updated to take advantage of the oled strip in a meaningful way. Its an interesting idea, and useful for some. However, for me it is not. I will miss the feedback from an Escape key press when I'm typing in an editor. Sure I can adapt and change, I do all the time. However, personally, I'd prefer keys with response over some flash.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 67 of 84
    drtkyu said:

    [...] I'd prefer keys with response over some flash.

    When I use Pro Tools I have to plug in an external keyboard because it uses the number pad keys for many important functions. Maybe you'll want to do that, too, to retain tactile function and escape keys.

    If it's ONLY the esc key you're concerned about, I think I read somewhere that you can map that function to another key, like the tilde key. I don't know that for sure, though.
  • Reply 68 of 84
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    xixo said:
    reason? simple - forcing digital audio to DRM controlled output. the actual hardware cannot cost more than fifty cents. Apple is a media company not a technology company.

    "Apple: enhancing shareholder value while working to retain our trust"
    how is apple a media company when they make the vast majority of their money from non media? answer: they aren't and you're full of it. 

    schiller even addressed this tinfoil hat conspiracy theory in the buzzfed article. he laughed at it. rightly so. 
  • Reply 69 of 84
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member

    drtkyu said:

    drtkyu said:
    When my 2013 Macbook Pro - Thunderturd Display setup dies... I'm done with Macs. This new laptop offering is sad. No MagSafe, crappy GPU offerings, a dearth of useful ports, no quad core offerings except on the 15inch, RAM limited to 16GB, and questionable removal of the escape and function keys... If anyone is skipping this years offering, what are you purchasing instead? I'm thinking I might look at Razer... Any other good options? I could always run MacOS in a vm if needed.
    you're bitching about the function keys? get fucking real. not even the garden variety trolls care about the function keys. 
    No need to be a jerk. I question if there will be many programs updated to take advantage of the oled strip in a meaningful way. Its an interesting idea, and useful for some. However, for me it is not. I will miss the feedback from an Escape key press when I'm typing in an editor. Sure I can adapt and change, I do all the time. However, personally, I'd prefer keys with response over some flash.
    1) you've never even used it, yet somehow feel qualified to shit on it. 

    2) when you aren't posting angry, cliche, spec-worship nonsense, i'll get rosier in my replies. 
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 70 of 84
    Why do I need to try it out? I could type on a tablet right now and get the same awful experience. If you think a significant share of MacOS developers will update their software to use this oled strip in a meaningfull way, you are going to be waiting a long long time. At least they offer an option without the strip, so its pointless to care much. Oled strip aside, this is not a good laptop. Its shit.
    VSzulc
  • Reply 71 of 84
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    macxpress said:
    tokyojimu said:
    They better not drop it from the Mini!
    This is old technology and Apple sees its not widely used. 
    Quite an invasion on privacy! What other data is Apple collecting, without my approval?
  • Reply 72 of 84
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,240member
    macxpress said:
    tokyojimu said:
    They better not drop it from the Mini!
    This is old technology and Apple sees its not widely used. 
    Quite an invasion on privacy! What other data is Apple collecting, without my approval?
    If you didn't explicitly click "Allow" during installation/Setup, there is no "invasion of privacy". 

    Take your underwear off your head. You're looking silly. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 73 of 84
    spheric said:

    Take your underwear off your head. You're looking silly. 

    I dunno, I think it looks rather fetching. It's a bold look, no question, but it seems the logical evolution of the trend that brought us the man bun.

    Also, I think @philboogie may have been making a tongue-in-cheek observation about people's perceptions of Apple's claims around knowing how its computers are used. For example, there's no way Apple could know that I use the optical audio output every day in my work. Am I one of very few people who do, or are there millions of others? There's simply no way for Apple to know. That means it's odd to hear an Apple executive say a feature is being dropped because "nobody uses it." We tend to accept the idea that these assessments are accurate even though it's hard to imagine how they could be.

    For the record, I'm not complaining about the removal of the optical output, Im just using it as an example. Neither am I saying that Apple is wrong -- in fact, more often than not their guesses are probably right -- but let's remember they are just that: guesses. Apple doesn't have a crystal ball that sees into the hearts and minds of users. All they know is what sells and what we tell them. They're ordinary people who put their underwear on their heads one leg at a time like the rest of us.
    SpamSandwichbaconstang
  • Reply 74 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    spheric said:

    Take your underwear off your head. You're looking silly. 

    I dunno, I think it looks rather fetching. It's a bold look, no question, but it seems the logical evolution of the trend that brought us the man bun.

    Also, I think @philboogie may have been making a tongue-in-cheek observation about people's perceptions of Apple's claims around knowing how its computers are used. For example, there's no way Apple could know that I use the optical audio output every day in my work. Am I one of very few people who do, or are there millions of others? There's simply no way for Apple to know. That means it's odd to hear an Apple executive say a feature is being dropped because "nobody uses it." We tend to accept the idea that these assessments are accurate even though it's hard to imagine how they could be.

    For the record, I'm not complaining about the removal of the optical output, Im just using it as an example. Neither am I saying that Apple is wrong -- in fact, more often than not their guesses are probably right -- but let's remember they are just that: guesses. Apple doesn't have a crystal ball that sees into the hearts and minds of users. All they know is what sells and what we tell them. They're ordinary people who put their underwear on their heads one leg at a time like the rest of us.
    1) You don't think the OS keeps records of how often ports are used, battery charge cycles, and other HW and SW features which it then sends back to Apple as anonymized data (assuming you opt in to their diagnostic monitoring)?

    2) If they really used "no one" then that's poor on them. There are still people using USB 1.0 and floppy drives somewhere. TOSlink maybe obsolecing and not the best option for digital audio, but it's definitely still around. Since they kept the 3.5mm jack I'd argue that optical audio could have been still been included.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 75 of 84
    Soli said:

    1) You don't think the OS keeps records of how often ports are used, battery charge cycles, and other HW and SW features which it then sends back to Apple as anonymized data (assuming you opt in to their diagnostic monitoring)?


    Of course. Snipped from the comment to which you replied:

    lorin schultz
     said:

     All they know is what sells and what we tell them.

    So the question is "How much are users telling Apple?"

    How many Mac users in your circle of friends, family, clients and colleagues share their use information with Apple, and how many of them turn it off because of misplaced privacy concerns? In my case, a quick poll of whatever co-workers happened to around (who surprisingly are almost exclusively Mac users) found all but one of them (so, seven) had deselected the "share" option during setup, and the one who hadn't didn't know about it and indicated that she would now be turning it off, even though I explained to her that she should leave it on. Two were Windows users, one of whom hates Apple. I didn't ask why. That gives us a sample size of ten people. Obviously that is more than enough to draw absolute conclusions! (*Wink!*)

    Then there's workplace use. In our plant, I think the firewall prevents my information from leaving the building (though no one on site seemed to know for sure). That may be an indication that Apple is not able to collect usage data for corporate and institutional settings.

    Again, I'm mostly just playing Devil's Advocate here. There's no question that Apple does an excellent job of trying to stay on top of how its products are used. I'm just saying that it is not only possible but quite likely that a huge contingent of users could be doing things with their Macs that Apple wouldn't know about. That opens up the possibility of Apple concluding that a particular feature is not being widely used when it actually is. I'm not saying it DOES happen, just that it COULD, so people shouldn't be so quick to assume "Apple knows best." That's all.
    baconstang
  • Reply 76 of 84
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member
    AppleZulu said:
    mike1 said:
    Absolutely would miss the digital out on an ATV. One of the reasons I haven't moved to an ATV4. I use the ATV3 for Airplay from my computer and feed the digital audio out to my AV receiver. Can't do that with an ATV4.
    I solved that one with an HDMI-to-HDMI/TOSlink splitter. It's cheap and effective. 
    Which one specifically do you use?  Any issues with audio vs. video falling out of flawless synch?
  • Reply 77 of 84
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member

    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    Absolutely would miss the digital out on an ATV. One of the reasons I haven't moved to an ATV4. I use the ATV3 for Airplay from my computer and feed the digital audio out to my AV receiver. Can't do that with an ATV4.
    Yes you can. HDMI supplies digital audio-out, and much better audio at that. Optical audio was great, but it's an archaic tech. If your A/V receiver doesn't support HDMI then I think it's time to buy a new reciever. Although, I'm not buying a new receiver or Apple TV until the latter supports 2160p content and H.265 encoded videos.


    edit: Pipped by boltsfan17.
    I though that getting rid of the "archaic tech" - my optical only receiver with one that supported HDMI - was the solution years ago, and then I discovered the bitter truth: (both are ~$1K Denon receivers): audio/video was utterly out of synch when going via the new HDMI receiver, HDMI video out would periodically fail due to copy protection kicking in where it had no business doing and final straw - regardless of how I fed the new receiver, its amp for my very, very, very good, invaluable 4 ohm speakers was markedly inferior.  
    Reverted to the old receiver, can't afford another very expensive mistake like that.

    Thus I too am stuck with the ATV 3, and live in dread that when I will have to upgrade my 2009 MacPro it with a new desktop Mac, it too will be  without Toslink
    baconstang
  • Reply 78 of 84
    ted13 said:

    [...] audio/video was utterly out of synch when going via the new HDMI receiver

    I'm not dismissing the problem you're having or your solution to it, but it's unlikely in the extreme that using HDMI for both audio and video instead of splitting them along separate paths is the source of the problem. Much more likely is one of the myriad "tweaker" features these things employ for time-aligning speakers or deliberately offsetting audio and video.

    I'm on my second HDMI-only setup at home and haven't had any sync issues. I would know if I did. Part of my day job as a broadcast sound engineer is to watch for exactly that.

    As I mentioned earlier, I'm one of very few people actually using the optical output from the MacBook Pro, but it's been pretty clear for some time now that it wasn't going to last. I was actually surprised when the last generation of MBP still included that feature, and not surprised when the Air didn't. Even our most recent cable box at home dropped it. You need to be planning your exit strategy before your present amp's output stage sings its last.
  • Reply 79 of 84
    Lorin:
    I picked up an iMac 5K earlier this year, and the TosLink is still present in the MiniTRS.
  • Reply 80 of 84
    Lorin:
    I picked up an iMac 5K earlier this year, and the TosLink is still present in the MiniTRS.

    Cool! I wonder why they kept it there but not on the MacBook Pro? Different chipsets? Reusing parts from a previous iteration and dropping it was more effort than keeping it? More room inside the iMac?

    Not that it matters. It's nice that it's there.

    Just curious... do you actually use it?
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