Native Apple Music support on Node 2

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38 comments

  • Official comment
    Avatar
    Tony W. - Product Support Manager

    Hi Mark

    so it isn't an Apple issue or a technical issue.

    It actually is... that being said we are working with Apple as a premier partner for AirPlay 2. We don't unfortunately have a release time line yet but we are working towards it.

    Thanks for your patience.

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  • Avatar
    Frank Willems

    I am curious too. Although I have bought Bluesound, my reseller, a large international Hifi reseller, told me they are selling more Sonos than Bluesound because this problem.

    So make hurry on this issue please!

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  • Hi Frank

    We are hurrying as fast as we can... It does help to let Apple also know your frustration too.

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    Anthony Belden

    Just to get an understanding - at some point you expect WiFi streaming on Bluesound devices with Apple Music?

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  • Hi Anthony

    Yes. We expect to have full support of Apple Music. That being said, wired or wireless, the Player's (or App's) connection method should not matter. 

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  • Avatar
    Mark

    It does make it a big difference to the end user. Having to connect by wire is a pain in the neck.

    So Sonos has had this capability for several years. Why so difficult for BS?

    And searching across sources. Another existing (longstanding) Sonos feature which is pretty much essential to any decent UI.

     

     

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  • Hi Mark

    Thanks for the feedback - sorry for confusion. I was under lining the fact that wired versus wireless is not relevant to a Music Service integration.

    As for adding a Music Service, whether it be Apple, TIDAL, Spotify, Deezer or any other, it is a partnership agreement between the Hardware Manufacturer (Us) and the Music Service (Apple) that must be mutually agreed upon. In June of 2017, Apple announced they are redesigning and updating their ground breaking AirPlay technology. We were proud to be part of that announcement.

    Our mutual Engineering Teams are working to make this happen but these things take time as their new platform is being launched.

    Thanks for your patience.

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  • Avatar
    Anthony Belden

    So, Tony - getting to brass tacks here - it sounds like Bluesound devices will become Airplay-capable at some point.  I'm assuming that means my Bluesound devices will become something one can select from the Airplay icon within Apple Music.  Is that right?

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  • Hi Anthony

    Exactly right sir!

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    Anthony Belden

    Alright - don't take this the wrong way but...I'm not holding my breath.

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    Anthony Belden

    But this means that I will hold off on investing in ANY Sonos crap! :)

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  • Thank you for considering us

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  • Avatar
    Scott Beall

    So... to further clarify... this is a firmware not hardware upgrade, correct? In other words, the current Node 2 and Powernode 2 will be able to be upgraded to this feature?

    I currently have the Node 2 on 30 day trial (and already own a Powernode 2) and the lack of Airplay is the only thing that keeps this from meeting all my needs. MQA and Airplay 2? With coax and optical outputs? There would be nothing like it on the market near its price/performance ratio...

    If these will in fact be upgradeable, I can cobble together an Airport Express to Airplay for the time being...

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    Mark

    So I hear what you are saying about Airplay but that is just clunky. I want a single interface for all my apps/library and the ability to do a single search across all of them. This is what I have had with Sonos for 10 years. Without this BS’s only advantage is handling hires files and quite frankly that is not enough to make up for the lack of a good UI.

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  • Hi Mark

    Like Spotify Connect is on all 3rd party devices, this is the model implemented by Apple. It is not fully our decision as it is their service and will be the way it is implemented not just by us but by all third party companies across the industry. 

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Scott Beall

    So can you confirm that this will be a firmware upgrade (not hardware)?

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  • I don't have an answer at this time as we are still working with Apple.

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  • Avatar
    marduke_ii

    Has there been any progress on this in the last 10 months? 

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  • Hi Marduke II

    Yes. Bluesound has just launched an updated product line up on October 1st of 2018. The new Bluesound 2i includes the hardware authentication requirements for Apple AirPlay 2. With it we will be launching AirPlay 2 in the very near future allowing you to stream Apple Music to your Bluesound 2i products and group it with existing Bluesound Players.

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    Frank Willems

    Bluesound should offer Node2 users who are waiting more than a year and bought their Bluesound equipment to integrate with Apple Music and Airplay2 an upgrade to 2i. At least you can do something like that!

    What is your answer?

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    marduke_ii

    So there is no way for existing Node2 owners to integrate with Apple Music, now or in the future? I'm not going to buy another $500 brick. 

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  • Hi Marduke II

    With a Bluesound Gen 2i, which includes Apple's requirements for hardware authentication, you can use Apple AirPlay 2. Once you are streaming AirPlay 2 to this Player, you can add existing older Bluesound Players to the Group exactly how Spotify or Bluetooth grouping works today.

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    marduke_ii

    I have a 1,000 square foot apartment. I have one stereo system. What value would there be in buying another $500 brick to add to my $500 brink? 

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    Anthony Belden

    Okay so when I bought my Node2, there was no Apple partnership, nor was there a promise of one.  I went into this eyes wide open.

    My only frustration has been an understanding of when things will be available.

    Tony - now that gen 2i has been released, this means that ANY 2i (even the most basic) will be grouped with a Node 2 and thereby made available as a speaker to stream to FROM the Apple Music app over airplay 2?  Can you confirm?

    OR, will Apple Music become a music provider available from the BluOS app?

    Thanks,

    Tony B.

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  •  

    now that gen 2i has been released, this means that ANY 2i (even the most basic) will be grouped with a Node 2 and thereby made available as a speaker to stream to FROM the Apple Music app over airplay 2?  Can you confirm?

    Correct... Start with the 2i, AirPlay to that and add older Players to it as a Group. Here is our Help Centre article on Spotify Connect. The model will be very similar to this to give you an idea of how it will work; https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/articles/204063926

    will Apple Music become a music provider available from the BluOS app?

    No - It will not be direct integration as Apple will be using the end-point model similar to Spotify, Bluetooth or Roon.

    Thanks,

    Tony B.

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    Manfred

    Frankly, the strength of the Bluesound Devices is the built-in MQA decoder. To unfold that strength, you will need a Tidal subscription, or even Qobuz, which is uncompressed FLAC.

    Apple's .m4p and .m4a formats are no match for the quality that MQA delivers, there is not a lot to regret here.

    Technically, I would still be interested in why this feature needs a hardware upgrade and cannot be solved through software.

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  • Avatar
    Tony W. - Product Support Manager

    Hi Manfred

    Apple's requirements to communicate between iOS devices and AirPlay2 end points to securely and safely transfer data without compromising other data security requires the iPhone or iPad to encrypt data and authenticate it. All iOS device rely on a specific chip set to accomplish this. Apple is very concerned about iOS devices being hacked so at this time will only deliver that authentication encryption through hardware. They have asked all their AirPlay 2 partners for this model and will not be delivering AirPlay 2 through software.

    Older Bluesound Players did not include this specific chip set but the new Bluesound 2i does.

    I hope that helps explain it.


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  • Avatar
    Anthony Belden

    Manfred - I get you.  I haven't been able to hear a difference, personally.  I'm not that finely-tuned of an audiophile.  I do have a Tidal subscription but I do not like paying for two services.

    I'm in the process of trying to pick a platform for my house.  Airplay is becoming the de facto standard for whole-home, group/zone-based music streaming.  My Marantz appears as a airplay-enabled device on my phone.

    The only choice I really have, to do an apples-to-apples comparison, is to go to a dealer and test everything.  Now that I am far more educated, I can ask the right questions.

    Meanwhile, this Tidal subscription is making my blood boil.

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  • Avatar
    Manfred

    @Tony - thank You for the explanation.

    @Anthony - You will hear the difference even on an average-priced stereo appliance. The MP4 quality that Apple offers at this time may be better than plain MP3, but it's far from MQA or even FLAC.

    Unfortunately, Tidal's own desktop client seems to be unable to properly deliver MQA-Quality. That's, why You have to use third-party-software such as Audirvana or, even better, a hardware decoder, such as the ones from Bluesound.

    There is no doubt that the Bluesound devices do sound great even on mp3 / mp4 but they might be a little 'oversized' just for playing Lo-Fi sound formats ;-)

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    Scott Beall

    It's unfortunate that it required a hardware rather than firmware upgrade. If you would like to add Airplay2 connectivity to your existing gen 2 stuff, you can do it with an Airport Express Gen 2 (2012). This is no longer for sale but can be found used and refurbished. There is a recent firmware upgrade which will allow it to be a Airplay2 locus. Then just mini optical output from the Airport Express to the optical input on the Bluesound.

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