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Apple Music and Control4 Integration


Don Cohen

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I am pretty sure I know the answer here, based on other posts, but being Android-centric, wanted to make sure.

I recently added an ATV 4k to my theater, and just started using it to play Dolby Atmos music. This works with my Tidal subscription using the Tidal App, but I also got an Apple Music trial subscription to try it out there as well. I do not consider myself to have golden ears, or anything even close to that, but the Atmos experience was dramatically better with Apple Music than Tidal, even with the same tracks. And this was after compensating for the lower volume using Tidal.

So I'm considering switching from Tidal to Apple Music. We occasionally would want to listen to music in our family room, where we don't have an Apple TV. Nor do we have iPhones or any other Apple device. Currently with Tidal integration, my wife can find what she wants to listen through using the Control4 app, and it's very easy for her to play.

I've read about adding a Shairbridge Driver to provide some level of integration, but if I'm understanding this right, it would provide casting access for an Apple device, but it would still not be available within Control4 proper, in the same easy way that Tidal provides.

Is that correct, or is there some way to use Apple Music within Control4, similar to how it works with Tidal? Probably not, but wanted to make sure as I try to figure out how I want to proceed.

Thanks.

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Yep. Bummer, as a lot of people are constantly asking for this.

I think the closest "standard" way to access Apple Music via Control 4 is by putting a Sonos Port gizmo on you matrix and connect your Apple Music account to Sonos.  You can then access playlists/favorites via native C4 interface.  For more detailed browsing / discovery, you'd need to access the native Sonos app on your android phone.    I have a Sonos Port and use this technique occasionally.  Bit of a hassle, but at least you'd have a single source library for you favorites, etc.

There are other more expensive specialty products that (apparently) can get you closer to a fulsome integration.

Goes without saying but your stated reason for preferring Apple Music is better sound quality (Atmos/Lossless/etc.), this would not apply to Shairbridge or playing via Sonos Port.

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Thanks, but that is a whole lot of expense and hassle for something very simple.

I think if I do switch, I'll have her use the Apple Music on her Android Phone, which provides an option to cast it to the Sony TV in there. I have programing in Control4 to turn on the Sony AVR when this happens, so that should work.

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13 hours ago, Don Cohen said:

Thanks, but that is a whole lot of expense and hassle for something very simple.

I think if I do switch, I'll have her use the Apple Music on her Android Phone, which provides an option to cast it to the Sony TV in there. I have programing in Control4 to turn on the Sony AVR when this happens, so that should work.

Does Sony casting support lossless or immersive audio?

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10 minutes ago, Control4Savant said:

Does Sony casting support lossless or immersive audio?

I don't know, haven't checked yet, but I would be surprised if it did. My wife would be the main one doing this, and she couldn't care less about this stuff.

But you did get me curious, so I'll check if I can remember!

 

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3 minutes ago, Don Cohen said:

I don't know, haven't checked yet, but I would be surprised if it did. My wife would be the main one doing this, and she couldn't care less about this stuff.

But you did get me curious, so I'll check if I can remember!

 

You’re right. Client wives have cared about many many things over the years but they never seem to care about the sound lol. 

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Another option is Spotify.  I prefer Spotify despite the lack of full integration with C4 because I prefer the Spotify app UI for selecting and playing music.  I am used to using this UI on my phone, PC or tablet when away from home so then using the same UI at home, and using the play to device feature to send the music to C4 works for me.  The only issue then becomes if you want add other zones to the music then you also have to open up the C4 app.  But this could be easier for your wife once she gets used to it and if she likes the Spotify app.

But not sure about the audio quality as Spotify Hifi was "announced" over 2.5 years ago but is still vapourware.

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  • 9 months later...

This is great news, but I am chagrinned to see that it requires a Core processor. The announcement first clearly says 'all Control4 customers with a 4Sight subscription', but the fine print on the bottom stipulates needing a Core processor. 😐

4 hours ago, Darin, PM C4 CX Platform said:

Apple Music in now natively available for Control4.

 

450460563_731542042352141_6767173218356795595_n.jpg

 

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9 minutes ago, Don Cohen said:

This is great news, but I am chagrinned to see that it requires a Core processor. The announcement first clearly says 'all Control4 customers with a 4Sight subscription', but the fine print on the bottom stipulates needing a Core processor. 😐

 

Yes, none of the other music services use a DRM with the APIs we have been provided. Apple is our first service that delivers their content to us this way which adds additional hardware/software requirements that only the new controllers (Core Lite/1/3/5 or Triad SA-1) are able to meet. You can go with a Core Lite to handle decoding the DRM along side your EA 1/3/5 or CA 1/10 and then fully use all the streams out of your EA/CA Controllers.

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Just now, Darin, PM C4 CX Platform said:

Yes, none of the other music services use a DRM with the APIs we have been provided. Apple is our first service that delivers their content to us this way which adds additional hardware/software requirements that only the new controllers (Core Lite/1/3/5 or Triad SA-1) are able to meet. You can go with a Core Lite to handle decoding the DRM along side your EA 1/3/5 or CA 1/10 and then fully use all the streams out of your EA/CA Controllers.

Understood, but I'm sure you can see why many will be disappointed (not to mention frustrated by the somewhat misleading announcement).

I switched to Apple Music a while back because their Atmos implementation was better to my ears than Tidal. I have to use the Apple Music app on the AppleTV 4k device to get it. It wouldn't be available with a Roku or any other way. Will this implementation of Apple Music through Control4 provide the same Atmos music stream that I currently get with the ATV player?

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7 hours ago, Don Cohen said:

Understood, but I'm sure you can see why many will be disappointed (not to mention frustrated by the somewhat misleading announcement).

I switched to Apple Music a while back because their Atmos implementation was better to my ears than Tidal. I have to use the Apple Music app on the AppleTV 4k device to get it. It wouldn't be available with a Roku or any other way. Will this implementation of Apple Music through Control4 provide the same Atmos music stream that I currently get with the ATV player?

Not at this stage from my understanding.  The main thread on this release gives some comment on the audio quality available.

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If I have Sonos speakers connected to C4, can I use the new Apple Music integration via C4 to play through my Sonos? The issue I have now is my Sonos is setup in C4 but it can only play previously created playlists and favorites already configured from a service (Apple, Sirius) in the Sonos App. I can't browse for individual songs or search for artists etc. My goal is to eliminate as many apps as possible so using Apple Music directly in C4 but outputting to my Sonos would be awesome. But can't seem to understand if this is possible with this new release. Appreciate any input! 

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1 hour ago, Cyknight said:

a) To be clear you need a CORE controller

b) The only way C4 outputs to Sonos is if you are feeding a system feed into a Sonos device somewhere (usually a port in the rack)

If a and b are true, then yes it's possible

 

I have a Core. And my Sonos speakers are hardwired into the same network switch as the Core but there's nothing from the Core running directly into Sonos, it's all done via ethernet. 

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2 hours ago, Cyknight said:

a) To be clear you need a CORE controller

b) The only way C4 outputs to Sonos is if you are feeding a system feed into a Sonos device somewhere (usually a port in the rack)

If a and b are true, then yes it's possible

If there’s multiple Sonos speakers, would a Sonos Port be needed for each speaker?

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On 7/11/2024 at 1:22 PM, stibone said:

I have a Core. And my Sonos speakers are hardwired into the same network switch as the Core but there's nothing from the Core running directly into Sonos, it's all done via ethernet. 

In that scenario, you're not using C4 streaming, just using C4 to control Sonos.

On 7/11/2024 at 2:14 PM, YseanY said:

If there’s multiple Sonos speakers, would a Sonos Port be needed for each speaker?

Not as such, one port can feed all Sonos - but it's going to be limited to one apple music stream. More streams needed means more ports.

 

As per above, note the difference between using C4 to control Sonos (and it's streaming) vs using C4 to have streams that feed Sonos. They are not one and the same.

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17 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Not as such, one port can feed all Sonos - but it's going to be limited to one apple music stream. More streams needed means more ports.

If I fed four sets of RCA cables from our EA-5 into the "audio in" ports of the 4 Sonos amp's in my rack, is it theoretically possible to play up to 4 streams of native audio from any or all 12 of our Sonos devices throughout the house?  That would be a cool capability if it works, but maybe I'm missing something here.

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1 hour ago, DLite said:

If I fed four sets of RCA cables from our EA-5 into the "audio in" ports of the 4 Sonos amp's in my rack, is it theoretically possible to play up to 4 streams of native audio from any or all 12 of our Sonos devices throughout the house?  That would be a cool capability if it works, but maybe I'm missing something here.

Hmm if this double posts sorry but my reply isn't showing.

 

Yes, you can have as many streams as you want/have available outputs and inputs for to send to as many sonos as you like. NOW I'm not sure how WELL such a large scale setup will fly (with sonos groups vs C4 sessions for example).

And yes you can feed into more than just a port: port was just used as the more common 'add-on' used to accomplish is - it can be an amp or even a speaker input.

 

Note you can't just plug it in and expect it to work randomly: it will require drivers, connections et al.

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17 hours ago, Cyknight said:

In that scenario, you're not using C4 streaming, just using C4 to control Sonos.

Not as such, one port can feed all Sonos - but it's going to be limited to one apple music stream. More streams needed means more ports.

 

As per above, note the difference between using C4 to control Sonos (and it's streaming) vs using C4 to have streams that feed Sonos. They are not one and the same.

With just one Sonos Port, can I use C4 to select which speakers to stream the music? Or would I have to use the Sonos app? 

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