While streaming via Airplay, the app shows 256kbps bitrate only?

DariuszP

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I am a new user / member, so let me use this opportunity to say hallo to everybody! I have just purchased WiiM Mini - it is really an impressive tiny device!

I have the following problem however: when streaming to the WiiM via Airplay (from iPhone, MacBook, AppleTV - tried all), the app shows that this stream is at 16/44 @ 256kbps (as per screenshot attached). And this is for Apple Music as well as any other content I stream via Airplay. I checked all the settings (both on WiiM app and on the source devices) and I believe all is setup properly and should send music in max. quality available for Airplay protocol (for best Apple Music files: ALAC 24/48 I guess?), but apparently it does not? My main concern is this 256kbps (16/44 I could live with).
Have you encountered such problem? Is there a quick fix for this?

Many thanks for your help!

My best regards

Darek

My setup is: WiiM Mini connected via Optical to DAC-40 card in Accuphase amp.
 

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I don't want to be pessimistic but forget hi-res (and ALAC) with Apple music, other than Sonos or Mac with dac...
Dear Merifon, I think that there are two different things here: hi-res (in fact this really works when e.g. my iPad is directly connected to DAC) and Airplay in normal CD-quality (which is ALAC 16/44). To the best of my knowledge Airplay 2 is mostly ALAC and not AAC (probably you are refering to Apple bluetooth codec?) and I never had any problem with streaming this "CD-quality" to my "base" streamer (Auralic Aries G1). So I hope that there is a solution to this, especially as other users do not complain:)?
 
Dear All
Many thanks for your (so far) help! I have written to WiiM team - let's see what they would suggest? Of course: I will let you know!
In the meantime - Tidal plays very well:).
Best regards
Dariusz
 
Dear Merifon, I think that there are two different things here: hi-res (in fact this really works when e.g. my iPad is directly connected to DAC) and Airplay in normal CD-quality (which is ALAC 16/44). To the best of my knowledge Airplay 2 is mostly ALAC and not AAC (probably you are refering to Apple bluetooth codec?) and I never had any problem with streaming this "CD-quality" to my "base" streamer (Auralic Aries G1). So I hope that there is a solution to this, especially as other users do not complain:)?
I'm not referring to any bluetooth. Is Auralic reporting real bitrate during play or just sampling rate as many dac do?
Anyway I read anything and its contrary about AirplayX.
Exemple:
I hope you finally find solution, it would help many Apple music users...
 
It’s been reported here and elsewhere that Apple Music and AirPlay 2, particularly on iOS, is a bit of a soup sandwich - you won’t get lossless ALAC, just lossy AAC.

See here in particular https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/bits-and-bytes/apple-music-lossless-mess-part-2-airplay-r1026/

and here

The only situation where you might see ALAC is in point 2 of “MacOS notable” in the first link I provided viz.

Apple's Music App, lossless local content, AirPlay 2 to Bluesound Node 2i - bit perfect at 44.1 only if the system-wide AirPlay device is set. If AirPlay device only selected in the Music app, the output is NOT bit perfect.
 
The only situation where you might see ALAC is in point 2 of “MacOS notable” in the first link I provided viz.

Apple's Music App, lossless local content, AirPlay 2 to Bluesound Node 2i - bit perfect at 44.1 only if the system-wide AirPlay device is set. If AirPlay device only selected in the Music app, the output is NOT bit perfect.
Dear Brantome, many thanks for these detailed explanations. It is unbelievable what a mess this Airplay causes, especially as going back 10 years or so (when using Airport Express for streaming) this worked near-perfect... Now I have the following matrix (see point d) - which is super-interesting?):
a) when Airplay streaming from iPhone - 256kpbs (i.e. AAC) - I cannot find a system-wide audio switch in iOS so this is what it was,
b) when streaming from AppleTV it is the same, regardless if WiiM is selected as system-wide output or not,
c) when streaming from the Mac it is 900kbs 16/44 (i.e. ALAC) when WiiM is selected system-wide (otherwise - 256kbs)
d) when I stream the local files from my iPhone using the WiiM app's built-in player (My Library-->My Music-->iPhone) I can get as much as 24/96 FLACs (!!!) or whatever the real coding is (but 24/192 is downsampled to 24/96). Some files are not playable ("Unsupported music format with local music") - I am not yet sure what is the logics here, but probably this refers to files downloaded from Apple (and not to other files such as my own rips or hi-res files purchased). I have no idea what WiiM App does here - i.e. what protocol is used to transport those heavy local files to the WiiM Mini, but it does it on the fly...

So unless there is a good solution for this I believe Airplay should be treated as a sort-of convenience only feature (similar to blutooth?) that may be handy from time to time, but normal streaming should be done from Tidal...
 
Good summary, which rather confirms the soup sandwich :(

In terms of local files, the WiiM app will just be delivering them over wifi I guess, much as it would from a streaming service like Qobuz, Amazon Music etc. so I'm not sure why there'd be any downsampling if you have set the WiiM device's digital output to 24/192 - if the WiiM Home app is showing 24/96 then that's what it's been able to get its hands on. Re the unsupported music format, I'd guess there are DRM protected files only playable by the Apple Music app itself.

It's a bit crazy that Apple's own Airplay protocol makes such a mess with its own Music service, but it unfortunately does :(

PS You might want to submit a ticket to WiiM thru the feedback section in the WiiM app for d) - they might be able to see exactly what the app is dealing with
 
Mine is streaming from my iMac lossless at 16bit/44.1k and doubled to 88.2k by MHR. Sounds incredible, far better than the Roku Stick I was erroneously using.
 
Mine is streaming from my iMac lossless at 16bit/44.1k and doubled to 88.2k by MHR. Sounds incredible, far better than the Roku Stick I was erroneously using.
Maybe I don’t recall right but there's should some extra software or setting, in order to force streaming from Mac at original files sampling rate, lossless from 44.1 16bit to 192khz 24bit
 
Is that “the system-wide AirPlay device” setting mentioned above?
It's more like an add on software that force the sampling rate, according to file, otherwise used reproduction sampling rate on usb connected dac, is set on preference and fixed.
I no more use Mac, that was told me in a forum, about play music bit-perfectly and some apple idiosyncrasies...
 
It gets worse. Streaming directly from any Apple Music App (iOS or macOS) results into a 256kbps stream while streaming directly from my MacBook results into a 900kbps stream…

Music App stream
IMG_0236.jpg

MacBook Stream
IMG_0235.jpg
 
Since on qobuz, Tidal and Amazon, this Doors song is presented in 96khz or above, I'm quite sure that even in Apple music should be hi-res. Don't know if is some how possible to get it, otherwise it's an half cutted service...
 
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In Apple music this album is labelled "lossless" and "Dolby Atmos", so I guess it fits really Apple's singularly definition of lossless 😉
 
So basically, with regard to AirPlay 2, Apple Music Apps (iOS / macOS) stream AAC and Mac Systems stream ALAC to AirPlay 2 devices.
 
So basically, with regard to AirPlay 2, Apple Music Apps (iOS / macOS) stream AAC and Mac Systems stream ALAC to AirPlay 2 devices.
Yeah, and in the latter case “only if the system-wide AirPlay device is set. If AirPlay device only selected in the Music app, the output is NOT bit perfect.”
 
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