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Is it normal that Audio Airplay doesn't sync with Video?

48156 Views 48 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2014 11:54 AM by trampsurveyor RSS
  • GravityLightspeed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I bought and installed my Airplay Express yesterday and immediately stumbled on the sound delay / sync problem when playing videos on my Macbook. It was the second dissapointment in a row after finding out that the Airport Express is not able to extend networks from non-Apple routers without stating that very clearly in the product description beforehand (see also https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4650868?start=0&tstart=0 eslewhere on this forum).

     

    Although I managed to solve most of the sync problems now by applying the tips given in this thread, I must say I am dissapointed by Apple. It's not a cheap product and you would expect things to work smoothly, that is also the image Apple tries to uphold and it is one of the reasons why I invest in expensive Apple products. These kinds of problems should not happen too often or Apple gets an increase in dissapointed costumers and the competition is sharp these days.

     

    Anyway after some hours of puzzling this is how I solved my sync problems:

     

    - I downloaded and installed Airfoil for Mac but only use the Airfoil Video Player. This video player shows up if you open any movie file with Airplay. I made a shortcut (alias) to this video player in my Application folder as the video player is not easy to find using Finder. I mostly use the video player when I want to stream videos with Safari. Open the link with the Airfoil Video Player and any streaming video I tried so far played perfectly without delay.

    - For YouTube video's I subscribed as a tester for HTML5 through this link: http://www.youtube.com/html5. Allows you to play most YouTube videos in Safari just like you normally would without delay. Doesn't work for all video's though but use the Airfoil Video Player for those video's that don't work.

    - For video files I want to play from my harddrive I try to open as many of them in Quicktime. Videos opened in Quicktime play through AirPlay without delay. Download and install free codec pack here which allow you to play most videos on Quicktime: http://perian.en.softonic.com/mac. Of course also install Flip4Mac: http://flip4mac-3.en.softonic.com/mac

    - For those video files that still won't run in QuickTime I thankfully use AirVLC as posted by user bjornvanraaij in this thread. Download here: http://airvlc.com. Perfect little app that brushes away any AirPlay delay in videos played over VLC.

    - Music played over Spotify or any other application on my Mac (so sound only, no visuals) I just play with delay, it doesn't matter as long as there's no visuals.

     

    So it's quite a multi-faceted approach to the problem using a lot of 3rd party apps to compensate for Apple's frustrating fails with AirPlay and the Airport Express, but at least my syncing problems mostly belong to the past now. Thanks all for your useful comments and solutions!

  • DanHattam Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    A great collection of the fixes.  If you don't want to pay for AirVLC you can always delay the audiobooks in VLC using the F and G keys to reach a delay of -2000ms which I find works.

  • AxeBox360 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    GravityLightspeed wrote:

     

    I bought and installed my Airplay Express yesterday and immediately stumbled on the sound delay / sync problem when playing videos on my Macbook. It was the second dissapointment in a row after finding out that the Airport Express is not able to extend networks from non-Apple routers without stating that very clearly in the product description beforehand (see also https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4650868?start=0&tstart=0 eslewhere on this forum).

     

    Although I managed to solve most of the sync problems now by applying the tips given in this thread, I must say I am dissapointed by Apple. It's not a cheap product and you would expect things to work smoothly, that is also the image Apple tries to uphold and it is one of the reasons why I invest in expensive Apple products. These kinds of problems should not happen too often or Apple gets an increase in dissapointed costumers and the competition is sharp these days.

     

    Anyway after some hours of puzzling this is how I solved my sync problems:

     

    - I downloaded and installed Airfoil for Mac but only use the Airfoil Video Player. This video player shows up if you open any movie file with Airplay. I made a shortcut (alias) to this video player in my Application folder as the video player is not easy to find using Finder. I mostly use the video player when I want to stream videos with Safari. Open the link with the Airfoil Video Player and any streaming video I tried so far played perfectly without delay.

    - For YouTube video's I subscribed as a tester for HTML5 through this link: http://www.youtube.com/html5. Allows you to play most YouTube videos in Safari just like you normally would without delay. Doesn't work for all video's though but use the Airfoil Video Player for those video's that don't work.

    - For video files I want to play from my harddrive I try to open as many of them in Quicktime. Videos opened in Quicktime play through AirPlay without delay. Download and install free codec pack here which allow you to play most videos on Quicktime: http://perian.en.softonic.com/mac. Of course also install Flip4Mac: http://flip4mac-3.en.softonic.com/mac

    - For those video files that still won't run in QuickTime I thankfully use AirVLC as posted by user bjornvanraaij in this thread. Download here: http://airvlc.com. Perfect little app that brushes away any AirPlay delay in videos played over VLC.

    - Music played over Spotify or any other application on my Mac (so sound only, no visuals) I just play with delay, it doesn't matter as long as there's no visuals.

     

    So it's quite a multi-faceted approach to the problem using a lot of 3rd party apps to compensate for Apple's frustrating fails with AirPlay and the Airport Express, but at least my syncing problems mostly belong to the past now. Thanks all for your useful comments and solutions!

    Where do you find the Airfoil video player? It's not on Rogue Amoeba's product page or in their store. 3rd party?  Strangely enough, when I play Youtube video's in Firefox(Windows OS) , the audio is 2s ahead of the video. I am not kidding!

  • GravityLightspeed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    haha that's weird!

     

    This is the official channel to get it (there's of course also lots of unofficial ways):

     

    http://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

  • AxeBox360 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    It's not there. It only Airplay for Windows, which I already have. When you install that, it creates shortcuts for 2 programs - Airfoil and Airfoil Speakers. There is no mention of an Airpfoil Video anywhere.

  • timo.schaffner Calculating status...

    Seriously guys?

     

    Let me get some things right in this thread.

     

    It would not "take Apple 1 hour to fix this". The way that Airplay works is that is uses buffering to transfer music across the network.

    The Main difference between bluetooth and airplay is that bluetooth is a direct connection, where you have to be somwhere in range of the speaker or headphone, and it directly sends the audio signal to that headphone.

    With airplay, the data has to run across the whole network, with eventually interfering data from other computers, cell phones, whatsoever. And that is the reason why there is a 2 second delay, so that you plebs can listen to your streams withouth it stuttering and breaking up every few miliseconds. You know when you watch that video on that 3rd party website, and you can watch 3 seconds, wait 1 second, watch 3 seconds and so on? What do you do? You pause the video, let it load, and then let it play. Now that's exactly what Airplay does.

     

    Now tell me, how should Apple, OSX or Safari know, wheter a youtube video played in -->FLASH<-- is in sync with the audio? I mean, what is "sync" for you anyways? If you choose your Airplay speakers over the alt+click menu on the Top, all that OSX does, is send the audio stream from your computer, that what else would go over your internal speakers, to the airplay speaker, which receives the signal, waits these 2 seconds until he has enough data to play it over your remote Hi-Fi.

    The video on the other hand plays in your Browser, and because it is Flash, Safari has no freaking clue, where the video is. It does simply not know, and will never know what the position of the video is, because it is actually no video, it is FLASH! Safari just knows that there is flash content, but does not know if that is an animated banner, if that is a video, a flash website with fancy schmancy things, or whatever silly things you can do in Flash. All Safari can do, is take the Audio output, send it to your speakers where it buffers exactly 2 seconds and then Plays. Safari does not know the position output of the video you are watching, ergo can it not in any way sync the audio.
    And that is exactly the reason why iTunes and most importantly Quicktime CAN sync the Audio. If you are watching a movie in quicktime, it can calculate the Audio delay, and manipulate the quicktime player in waiting 2 Seconds until the movie plays. Because quicktime is a movieplayer, it returnes stuff like video position data to the OS, which this can then interprete and, let's call it "pause" the video for 2 seconds until it's in sync with the audio.

     

    And there you have your explanation why HTML5 videos on youtube work in sync. The way HTML5 works, is that it takes the Codec of the OS to play Video, and not Flash. It is in some way just embedded quicktime, and again, that's then why the video playing gets recognized as "VIDEO" and can then be paused to sync with the Airplay.
    Imagine if the OS would try to pause Flash. Would not help, because if you Pause flash, you would pause the Video AND Audio part, Safari can't split Flash into Video and Audio seperatly as it can with MP4 or MOV files.
    Which, again, is what Quicktime does. It splits Audio and Video, pauses the Video output for 2 seconds, which then results in both being Sync.

     

    That's the reason why this works without any problem on mobile devices. Do we have flash on mobile devices? Nope. Why? Because flash is buggy as ****, and if we forced youtube to have their videos in MP4 on the mobile version of YouTube for example, we can have nice things such as synced airplay. Think about it. Control isn't a bad thing all the time.

     

     

    So please, stop calling these things "Fails" or "Air Pray", because it simply cannot work the way you wan't it to! I't can't because of limitations of file formats and the way files are coded/built.

     

     

    too long; didn't read: Airplay has ALWAYS a 2 Second delay, it has to split the Video data from the Audio data, so that the Audio just gets sent to the Airplay Speaker and the Video data gets paused for 2 Seconds. And because Flash cannot be split, the OS is in no way able (and will not be in 200 Years) to sync flash content with Airplayh

     

    Thank you for your time, and i hope i could clear some things up, the hate was getting real mad in here.

  • DanHattam Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    timo.schaffner you seem fairly knowledgeable but not that clever dimwit.  Whilst everything you say regarding the technical issues is correct there is nothing wrong with people being dissapointed that an expensive product does not act the way as expected.  People here are sharing fixes and advice.  You are just being antagonistic.

  • Summer Storm Pictures Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with you DanHattam. Some people want to start an argument when they're bored. Not sure why the above person chose today of all days to spend so much time and effort responding to angry rhetoric...with angry rhetoric.

     

    Anyway, what I'm sincerely hoping is that Mavericks will resolve some of this. For example, while QuickTime and Quick View in Finder work fine with playing video files (MP4, M4V, MOV etc.) with no sound sync delay, VLC, which is hands-down the best-ever all-around video player also manifests this sound sync delay. There's no Flash involved here. This is a 3rd party solution whereby if it didn't have this issue, would put Apple to shame.

     

    That said, I noticed that today AirFoil released an update for those that want to pay to fix this problem. My guess is that they are cagey about Mavericks support because they may know that Apple has addressed this issue in some overall fashion and they want to rake in some cash before the big reveal. Call me a conspiracy-monger or whatever.

     

    Either way, I don't and won't pay for AirFoil because it's way overpriced, doesn't work consistently, and because I have faith that Apple has gotten enough angry rhetoric over this from the inside as from the outside.

     

    We can only hope...

  • timo.schaffner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I did not want to sound angry, all i tried to do is to bring some light to the insides of that technology and how its not just a few lines of code to change to change the behavior and the problem with embedded (flash) video.

     

    I did not share a fix because all the fixes i know have already been shared, i domt want to be repetitive.

     

    VLC is not an official Apple app, that's why it doesn't talk to the OS integrated Airplay to automatically sync audio or, as described, delay video, that would be the job of VLC, which, as we all know, can be done very easily in VLC.

    You can now call Apple all selfish, but it's always been like that, Apple tries to push their own products and apps, and tries to put as less effort as possible in 3rd party.

     

    What you called "expensive product" is in my personal opinion not really applicable to things such as the Apple TV or the Airport Express. These two Airplay products are in their functionality everything else but "expensive", in a way meant "overpriced". You get 3rd party routers for the same price and you wont actually get any Full HD streaming TV Box that integrates that beautifully with all the devices for just 99$.

     

    If you are not sure what the product does, it's as it has always been, try to read the manual before buying, call Apple Care, call the Apple Online Shop Helpine, or just buy it at your local Apple Store where you can simply return it within 2 weeks and test it and get a full refund if not happy.

     

    Personally, i think that the missing audio sync when watching stuff in Safari or VLC is just such a small "problem" compared to all the great, positive, unmatched and incomparable features of Airplay and the devices supporting it.

     

    And i like to put effort in my comments because imtry to be helpful and try to make you think different ;)

     

    Cheers

  • urzhumtsev Calculating status...

    Good explanation, Timo. Ok, it is clear, that AirPort Express needs some time to buffer the incoming data. But why  the same thing doesn't happen with AppleTV where you do not notice the vidoe lag even if it is there (according to the hypothesis that any airplay needs some buffer). When I scroll iPad\iPhone screen there and back I do not feel any lag, even playing game from the same devices. Does AirPlay protocol know where I will scroll the icons on my iPhone\iPad? Why then audio lag is longer and noticable compared to almost non-noticable video lag?

  • yojimbo2000 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry Timo, can't agree with you here. Audio sync over airplay works perfectly on iOS, whether you're streaming from sites like Hulu or using third party apps like VLC. Apple apparently can't be bothered to bring this same functionality to OS X.

  • anonomot Calculating status...

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  • anonomot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @AXEBOX -- you launch the airfoil video player from within the airfoil app. click on the pulldown and, instead of selecting playback apps like VLC, choose "airfoil video player". the player will open up in another window. my experience is that its features are limited compared to players like VLC (which is my preferred player).

     

    thanks to all who figured out that delaying the audio -2000 ms with the F (& G) key fixes the audio sync problem in VLC! i was really disappointed with airfoil before. but now my puchase was worth it!! i am a happy camper.

  • timo.schaffner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I covered this already in one of the upper posts.

     

    iOS doesnt play flash. Websites, apps such as youtube or hulu or netflix or whatever, use MP4 or MOV streams for their mobile versions. It's the same thing as Quicktime on OSX. Thats why you cannot natively play so many videoformats over your iOS device.

    As i said, control is not a bad thing all the time.

  • Markdavin Calculating status...

    Yup, REALLY irritated to be experiencing this delay problem watching video through a browser. It comes up as an audio output option in System Preferences like it's actually going to be useful. What's even LAMER is that I can't get any support because apparently it was designed to only work for iTunes - not what I was led to believe when I bought this from an overeager reassuring Apple salesman.

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