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Old 06-18-2021, 07:11 AM   #91
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If I were to use this feature on my iPhone XR, it would be a scenario such as sitting in a noisy waiting room so I could read a book without distraction. I hate being in a waiting room having to listen to multiple conversations around me as that is very distracting. Plus there always seems to be someone in a waiting room who puts their phone on speaker and talks loudly.

They don’t make me sleepy either, but they do a good job of drowning out irregular noises from my house and from the neighborhood. I’m one of those people that has a difficult time falling asleep if there are too my noises, especially irregular ones. Ambient sound can drown those out by creating a consistent sound with a predictable frequency and volume.
That's pretty much how I use it. I also use it when I'm trying to get to sleep but find myself thinking about various things. It's almost meditative.
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:11 AM   #92
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Amazon has their Echo Buds (2nd Gen) on sell now for $80, which is $40 off normal price. This is a pre-Prime Day sale. Clearly they are not in the same class as the Apple AirPods Pro, but at 1/3 the price of the Apple AirPods Pro, they might be a decent alternative for the budget minded. I watched several reviews last night on Youtube and they seem to have impressed even the cynics. They do work with Siri and Android assistant too. They are probably a better choice for those invested heavily in the Amazon ecosystem than for those invested in the Apple ecosystem. But they should work in either ecosystem, and they have most of the functionality found on the AirPods Pro.
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:19 PM   #93
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Good demos of Dolby Atmos

You probably know already that trying to demo Dolby Atmos on Youtube is not going to happen because Youtube doesn’t stream it. So don’t waste time with viewing Youtube videos of Atmos.

Instead, go to the source: Dolby Atmos website

They have at least two great demos. The first is a video titled “Immerse yourself in the sound you love with Dolby Atmos” which provides a good introduction to it. The other good demo is titled “Demo Dolby Atmos” in which you can listen to four different music samples while an interactive, animated graphic illustrates where the sound is emanating from.

Pretty cool demos!

According to AppleInsider:

Quote:
Spatial Audio is a layer on top of Dolby Atmos that enables an even more immersive listening experience. Not only do you get a multitude of audio channels via Dolby Atmos, but you also get to move around inside this audio space….

Dolby Atmos is an audio format that film and music creators can use to place audio in a 3D space during the mixing process.…

…creators are no longer limited by the number of speakers or how they are arranged. Artists can designate where a sound is coming from and its distance, and the Dolby Atmos system will determine which speaker to play it from. This creates a much more immersive space for audio and gives enthusiasts the chance to design more complex speaker systems.

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Old 06-21-2021, 11:24 AM   #94
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ETA: Oops, not enough coffee this morning! I meant to post this in a new thread, which I will go do right now. Mods can remove this post if they want to.

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Old 06-22-2021, 06:01 PM   #95
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I just tried out Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio in Apple Music. Fortunately I was able to sign up for a free 3-month trial.

HOLY CRAP it is really impressive!

My hearing is pretty much crap due to having about 30% normal hearing in my right ear. I've been stuck in mono mode for over 55 years. Music, and sounds in general, have always sounded more mono than stereo. Quite often I have no real idea in which direction a loud noise comes from, and often look in a different direction from everyone else who heard it. It is as though I’ve been stuck listening to the AM radio stations from the 1960s when I was growing up, accept with less static. I've tried various headphones and earphones over the years, and various home sound system configurations, and even tweaked them to deliver louder right channel than left channel trying to compensate. That helps a little bit, but is still rather limited and causes distortion. I even tried expensive hearing aids back in 2008, and the improvements I got certainly were NOT worth the $4000+ I paid out of pocket for them.

Today I tested out Apple Music with Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio. In the Music app, search for "Introducing Spatial Audio" and listen to the short demonstration and explanation. Then search for Spatial Audio playlists and check out some of the songs. I’m happily surprised to find that Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio is as good as it is, even for a hearing challenged person like myself. The modern headsets and earpods are way more advanced in general than they were even just a few years ago, and that helped bring out a bit more into the right channel when I adjusted the balance slide toward the R side. But I still didn't feel like it was truly stereo sounding. But when I listen to the Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio songs I can really hear in 3D. I would settle for just stereo, but it is actually 3D. It makes me look in directions all around thinking the sound emanates from there. That is really cool. It is still not as good as I would like, nor as good you will likely experience, but even with my terrible hearing it is a huge improvement. I can actually experience music much closer to the way most people do.

Unfortunately songs mastered for Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio are few and far between. I'm still not sure exactly what Spatial Audio is and Apple keeps stressing it as Dolby Atmos. Perhaps Spatial Audio is merely Apple's implementation of Dolby Atmos.

I tested Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio out on my Apple wired EarPods that ship with iPhones, on a set of over the ear BT headphones, and on my new Amazon Echo Buds 2nd gen which arrived this morning. It sounded great on all, best on the Echo Buds though. In order to get the Dolby Atmos option in Music settings you do have to have an Apple Music subscription. As soon as I got the trial subscription, the Dolby Atmos option appeared in Settings, but not before. I'm running iOS 14.6.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:14 AM   #96
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I tried Spatial Audio with CarPlay for the first time with the Classical SA playlist. Pretty darn nice! Seemed I could hear what was going on much more easily than with plain stereo. I generally have to go with music that is less dynamic, given road noise (why can’t someone invent active road noise cancellation?).

I have not figured out if it is possible to stream SA over cellular: if you choose Lossless, will SA piggy-back on that? I’ll have to run an experiment.

I think the selection is much larger than it might appear from the featured albums and playlists. I’ve stumbled over several playlists that were not featured.

It makes sense that you won’t see Dolby Atmos option unless you subscribe. Purchased content or iTunes Match content will be forever without it (256kbps AAC max).
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:10 AM   #97
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This afternoon I connected my Echo Buds 2 to my iPhone XR, and later to my iPad Air 2020 as well. Unlike the Apple AirPods Pro which can be connected to multiple devices simultaneously, the Echo Buds can only connect to one device at a time. So if I change device I will need to manually disconnect/reconnect. That is fairly easy and quick though. They really shine the best on the iPhone and iPad. That is because iOS and iPadOS have the most robust settings which can be used with them. You use the Alexa app on one device to setup the Echo Buds, and since I connected them first to my iPhone XR it became the device from which I can set up and manage their settings. Can’t use the Alexa app on the iPad Air 2020 since they are already using the one on the iPhone XR. A bit kluge, but okay. Most of the settings only need to be set once anyway. Alexa voice control only works on the iPhone XR too for same reason, it is the device with the default Alexa app. Apparently the Echo Buds are considered an accessory to be used in conjunction with an Alexa app on a single device. Again, that is rather kluge, but not a big deal.

I set my iOS and iPadOS Audio settings to use Spatial Audio automatically, which means it only uses it when the song is SA capable. I also set them to use Lossless, not that I would likely be able to tell the difference.

This evening I managed to get my Echo Buds 2 to connect via BT with my Apple TV 4K. ATV 4K allows me to use the Accessibility settings to set the balance in much the same way as I used the Accessibility setting on my iPhone and iPad to set balance for them. No Spatial Audio of course, but the sound is really good and more balanced than using the soundbase. My soundbase is basically a big soundbar but 18” deep rather than just 4”, but since the speakers are still not separated very far, adjusting the balance doesn’t help much. So the Echo Buds work better in that regard as they give me a better stereo feel.

Ironically, even though I was able to connect the Echo Buds 2 to my Fire TV Cube 2, it didn’t work well at all. As soon as the Buds are selected, the video starts to sputter and freeze. The sound was no where near the quality it is on the ATV 4K, and the Fire TV Cube doesn’t allow me to adjust the balance. Strange how another Amazon device doesn’t work with the Echo Buds in any meaningful measure, but they work very well with the ATV 4K!

Unfortunately, my Sony Bravia wouldn’t pair with any BT headset. It can only connect to BT devices like remotes and game controllers. I researched that and discovered that only the models with the A2DP BT profile can do that, and mine doesn’t have that profile. I would have been really pissed if I had purchased the Sony earbuds at $280 then discovered they can’t connect to my Sony TV! No big deal though since 90% of what I watch as far as TV goes is watched via my ATV 4K.

I could probably connect them to my Sony soundbase since it does have the A2DP profile, but I decided against it. My TV automatically sends whatever sound it receives from the ATV 4K, Fire TV Cube, Blu-Ray player, and its own TV receiver to the soundbase. I figure I don’t need two middlemen in the mix! I’ll just get the audio directly from the ATV 4K rather than having it pass through the TV then the soundbase then to the Echo Buds. The ATV 4K likely has way better headset settings than the soundbase anyway.

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Old 06-23-2021, 02:44 AM   #98
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I think the selection is much larger than it might appear from the featured albums and playlists. I’ve stumbled over several playlists that were not featured.
I did a search on “spatial audio” and found several playlists. I was surprised to see a lot of songs from the 1960s and 1970s with it, including hits from The Beatles, Heart, etc. I found pretty much every genre you can think of with at least some SA songs, and songs from the 1950s up to the present. I even found the William Tell Overture and the Star Wars anthem! Plenty to choose from to see how it sounds. Some of the best sounding songs with SA I heard were pop hits from the 1970s with acoustic guitar solos. Made you feel like you were sitting in on a jam session.

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Old 06-23-2021, 01:19 PM   #99
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I think I read that eventually everything will be available in Lossless format (except for iTunes purchases and iTunes Match).

I did a brief experiment and it did seem that changing Cellular quality to Lossless also enabled Spatial Audio streaming. However where higher bandwidth coverage is spotty, it seems not worth potential for dropouts or maxing out data allowance. It’s simple enough to download a few hours of music so that it’s available for CarPlay scenario.
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:54 PM   #100
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Anyone tried the iOS/iPadOS 15 beta and notice anything new with Books? Having two instances of Books open with split view on iPad would be nice.
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:41 PM   #101
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Anyone tried the iOS/iPadOS 15 beta and notice anything new with Books? Having two instances of Books open with split view on iPad would be nice.
I have been waiting for any reading app to implement this (using the supported multi document mechanism, not by having 2 identical but for the appID apps like Marvin had). It would also support having multiple ‘desktops’ with the book and an open notebook for capturing notes for the book, etc.

You can do this with the Kindle app, sort of, by having the Kindle app on one side and on the other side, Safari pointing to read.amazon.com.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:17 PM   #102
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Apparently, Spatial Audio and Lossless will be coming to Apple Music app for Android ‘soon’ (I assume you’ll need the device to support Dolby Atmos natively, or connect to speakers or headset that does, just as with Apple devices). (One annoying thing about the app is that it doesn’t seem to know about AirPlay or ChromeCast.)

And currently HomePods are restricted to AAC, unless they are connected to AppleTV, in which case you can apparently get Spatial Audio (but not when connected to iPhone or iPad that support Dolby Atmos?). And Apple says they’ll get Lossless streaming in future update, but is mum about SA (I suspect not since they don’t have Dolby Atmos chip in them AFAICT). We’ll see.

Just got a pair of HomePod minis. The sound pretty good, maybe not enough good to replace our ancient surround sound system.

(Just verified that you get Spatial Audio with AppleTV + HomePods, though it does not show the Dolby Atmos badge in the Music app)

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Old 06-26-2021, 01:51 AM   #103
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This is big news: in iOS 15, apps will be able to request more than 5 GB of RAM.

https://www.idownloadblog.com/2021/0...ram-app-boost/
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:00 AM   #104
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The Apple Music app for Android now has Lossless, Spatial Audio, etc. Also (even before this update) a feature not on iOS: Crossfade (Automatic, Manual, or Off). I hope it shows up on iOS. On Automatic, it seems to (almost) eliminate gaps between songs. Have not tried Manual yet.

The stupid reviewers keep getting their facts wrong (and they were not aware Crossfade was Android only): Spatial Audio does not depend on the Android device solely: for example, you can toggle it on, connect AirPods (or some other headset/speakers that support Dolby Atmos, and you will get Spatial Audio, whether or not the device can decode Dolby Atmos. It’s just not automatic as it is with AirPods, Beats, etc. on iOS.

What else? I have iOS 15 beta. Yes, there’s a control panel toggle for ‘Spatialize Stereo’ (maybe just for AirPods Pro/Max etc?). You can now have your podcasts and audiobooks in a sort of Spatial Audio. A bit weird, but maybe not entirely worthless.

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Old Yesterday, 02:47 PM   #105
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I’ve noticed some huge gaps on some albums over the years, so gapless technology would be welcomed. Some songs, especially if they were recorded live or they decided to include 30 sec or so of studio chatter before they start the song can be really annoying. I can’t remember which song, but a few days ago I listened to one that had nearly 30 sec of dead air at the beginning. So maybe the gapless tech can address that too.

35 years ago when I was in graduate school I bought a cassette audio recorder from Radio Shack that had the ability to speed up recorded conversations by reducing the gaps between words to almost nothing. It was great for recording lectures and seminars and then listening to them later as a refresher. You could also speed up the play back without getting the Alvin the Chipmunk sound. It was really cool. If they could do that way back then, good gapless tech between tracks should be doable today.
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