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What is the maximum bit rate for audio stream via wifi?

1246 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2013 12:45 PM by John Lockwood RSS
James Palmer2 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 12, 2013 5:30 PM

If I have my songs on iTunes stored in ALAC format and I want to HomeShare, what is the bit rate that they will be played at on the receiving machine?

iMac (20-inch Early 2008), Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)

    If you are sharing your iTunes library on your home network and you play an ALAC file on the other computers iTunes library it will play at full ALAC quality. iTunes does not transcode files when played this way.


    If you are accessing an iTunes library via a device like a Sonos it will also play exactly the original file quality. However if you have a Logitech Squeezebox then it can be configured to automatically downscale files depending on the settings you chose.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)

    James Palmer2 wrote:


    So I understand - If I stream the music from iTunes on my MBP to my Apple TV with a toslink cable connected to my digital input on my A/V receiver will this be effectively the same as if I had the toslink connected directly from the MBP playing iTunes to my A/V receiver?


    Jim P.

    This is I believe a slightly different question but I believe the answer will be the same. The following is true.


    1st Mac/PC iTunes Apple Lossless ---> (shared over network) ----> 2nd Mac/PC iTunes (received Apple Lossless unaltered), second Mac then decodes Apple Lossless and playsback music


    Your revised question is


    1st Mac/PC iTunes Apple Lossless ---> (shared over network) ---> AppleTV (received Apple Lossless unaltered) ---> TOS-link ---> AV Receiver


    The AppleTV in this case will decode the Apple Lossless to PCM (uncompressed audio equivalent to original audio CD) and send it out via the TOS-Link. As far as I am concerned this will be exactly the same as the following


    1st Mac/PC iTunes Apple Lossless ---> (shared over network) ---> 2nd Mac/PC (received Apple Lossless unaltered) ---> TOS-link ---> AV Receiver


    in which the 2nd Mac/PC also has to decode the Apple Lossless to PCM.


    To cut a long story short, yes, Mac/PC to AppleTV to AV Receiver should not lose any of the original audio as long as you use Apple Lossless and a TOS-Link cable. The fact that Apple Lossless itself is not sent to the AV receiver will not be an issue.


    You can think of this as like compressing a file as a ZIP file and sending it  from one computer to another. The ZIP file is a compressed file but the whole point of a ZIP file is to compress files without losing any of the original content. At the second computer the ZIP file would then be decompressed. The uncompressed content is then sent to a third computer (in this case the AV Receiver). Even after being decompressed by the second computer it is still the same original file that arrives at the third computer (the AV Receiver).


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