Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Apple TV: Poor Audio Quality

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Apple’s specs do not indicate sampling frequency conversion. In fact, they don’t even mention sampling frequency (kHz) with regard to audio formats. The specs for video formats indicate that only 48kHz is supported. Indeed, it appears that 48kHz is the supported sampling frequency for audio. That’s very odd, as music downloaded from iTunes is 44.1kHz.

This seems par for the course as Apple becomes more consumer oriented. Perhaps most average consumers will not notice this. If you listen to modern popular music, mastered with oodles of program compression, you might not be able to hear this. If you listen to classic/progressive rock, classical and jazz, or other music with a wide dynamic range, you will hear these artifacts.

Thank goodness I didn’t sell my Amphony system. I once again use it to play music on my stereo. I use Apple’s Remote Control app for iOS to control my iTunes library with my iPhone or iPad. I don’t see the album art on my TV. Instead, I turn off the picture on my TV and turn off the display on my Mac. It saves electricity. Of course, if I wanted the album art, or the iTunes visualizer, I could use AirParrot to display it on the big screen.

The Apple Remote app displays the album art on your iOS device. If you want to beam the visualizer onto your TV with AirParrot, you can press a “button” on the Apple Remote app to turn the visualizer on. There’s no need to go into the other room or use a remote desktop app to control the Mac, which would just add more complexity. I prefer to keep it simple. I just play my music onto my stereo via the Amphony transmitter, and turn my TV and Mac monitor off. In the end, the audio quality is what matters. It is disappointing that Apple TV 2 and 3 offer an inferior music listening experience. This is nothing new for Apple. I stayed away from iTunes until they offered music in the 256kbps AAC format. Instead, I bought CDs and ripped them into iTunes using the Apple Lossless converter. Apple is a consumer electronics company. Their motto should be “give me convenience or give me death”. Apple has no problem sacrificing quality for convenience. (continue…)

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