iTunes music does not support surround sound, iTunes movies do. To get true surround sound you need 5 speakers. The bose companion 5 just replicates surround sound, which could be your problem in iTunes. Try going to
Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup. On the left side of the window select your speakers. On the right side it then should say "Source: (your speakers)"
- Click the "Configure Speakers..." button in the bottom right of the window. Click the "Multichannel" tab. Then select "5.1 Surround" from the pull down menu. Click on each speaker to provide a test tone to make sure each is connect properly. Then click on "Apply"
**If you are unable to click on the "Multichannel" tab then you can't actually output 5.1 Surround Sound, which is probably why iTunes won't output surround sound..
Hope this helps!
What model of Mac are you using?
What model of Bose system are you using?
How does the Bose system connect to your Mac? (USB? Mini-TOSLINK? Something else?)
What is the video you're trying to play in iTunes, and where did you get it from?
When you play this video in iTunes and you click on the little speech bubble icon in the player, what options appear in the menu? Are any grayed out?
MacBook Pro 15'' Mid 2010 with Lion 10.7.3
Bose Companion 5 connected via USB.
Video: for example a video from iTunes-Store "My big fat greek summer" (iTunes christmas gift from 2010).
Clicking on the Speech bubble shows: DolbyDigital grayed out, Stereo is working.
If I connect the Mac via HDMI (DisplayPort) to a DENON-Amplifier DolbyDigital in the same movie works...
Do you have any tipps? I'm looking forward to hear them ;-)
Found this thread after googleing this very problem.
I also have the same issue. iTunes refuses to acknowledge that the Bose Companion 5's can handle 5.1.
VLC on the other hand lets me swap between stereo and 5.1 without issue (and yes you can hear a difference as the sound swaps between stereo and 5.1).
I've found the Audio Midi Setup program and set that up to have multi channel - each of the test tones from each speaker works as expected.
The only worrying thing I've seen so far is the link that Klaus found to an apple kb article that, in summary, states that 5.1 is ONLY available through an optical cable (i.e. NOT on USB Digital). Seems a bit limp.
Anyways - hope they fix it!
My Mac is an iMac with 10.8.2 Mountain Lion installed.
As a little update to my original post. I've purchased a little jack to TOS optical plug for the back of the iMac off of ebay (99p if anyone is looking). This thing plugs into your headphone socket on the mac and normally lets you send a digital out to an optical in on a reciever. Anyways, I thought I would purchace one to see what would happen.
No joy, typically though iTunes will now let me select surround as an output destination but, I guess as expected, puts the audio to the now optical port (you can see the red 'light' winking with sound.
Hopefully someone at Apple may read this and allow iTunes to send out to a USB surround system.
oh - and this is also with iTunes 11 now!
Thanks for your Update!
It'is indeed very sad that iTunes doesn't allow 5.1 to be transmitted via USB!
If I connect my MBP via HDMI to a Denon-Receiver iTunes plays 5.1.
Same Movie, MBP connected via USB to the BOSE speakers: stereo
Like you, i'm hoping Apple will change this behaviour soon!
Maybe it helps if we write a bugreport:
Edit: I'm temporarly not able to log into the bugreport homepage
An error has occurred. Please report the error to Apple Inc. by emailing the error detail to firstname.lastname@example.org.