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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 01:37 PM   #1
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Home sharing playback problems

I use my iPad mini (1st gen) as a home sharing playback device plugged into the living room stereo to play the music in my iTunes library on my Mac Pro. No problems for years and years. Ever since I upgraded to iOS 9 shortly before 10 came out and it became unsupported, playback has been intermittent at best. It either gets choppy in the middle of songs or the currently playing song finishes and that's it. It either stops playing completely or the time count on the next song advances and eventually it resumes outputting audio wherever it is into the next song.

The Mac Pro's on a wired ethernet connection while the iPad mini obviously is connecting over wifi. I went over the the network settings for the wifi and the Mac's ethernet with a fine tooth comb and made a couple of changes (disabled iTunes sharing over the LAN so Home Sharing was the only sharing mechanism turned on, enabled jumbo ethernet packets, static IP on the Mac Pro, forced the wifi to G only and one channel only) and that's cleared up most of the mid song choppyness in the playback; that only happens occasionally now. The problem with the current song ending and the next one never starting, or audio starting partway through is still present.

I hooked up my iPhone SE today instead of the iPad mini to see if the iPad's simply too long in the tooth and the next song failing to start problem happens less, but it's still frequent so I don't think the age of the iPad is necessarily to blame.

Is there anything I'm overlooking that I should check? I deliberately skipped iOS 8 because the home sharing function's important to me and I'm not happy about how moving from iOS 7 to 9's made it painful to listen to.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:29 PM   #2
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You've sure covered a lot of possibilities and with a quick web search it seems that Apple is still trying to get sharing playback working and has been since mid 2015!!! So doubtful if there's anything wrong with your iDevice other than the later iOS 9 version.

I'd suggest you try some web searches for a possible solution as these don't really help too much but maybe there's something you can use:
What Can I Do when iTunes Home Sharing Is Not Working
How Do I Fix It When iTunes Home Sharing Is Not Working

Apple confirms it's trying to fix Home Sharing for iOS 9 | Macworld

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...44224172,d.cGc

Have you considered using even an older generation AppleTV or Apple Express and using it and connecting to your possible stereo receiver you might have.

We found they worked well with our Macs and any iDevice but I don't think we've ever tried any "sharing playback" if that makes a difference.

I won't add my thoughts about what I think about most of Apple's iTunes problems are here, besides, I'd probably get banned for the language I'd use.

Sorry I don't have a real solution for your current problem as it is.

Maybe try this for a search start???:
https://www.google.ca/search?client=...L_Le8AegwJO4AQ

And check this out, especially the:
Part 8. 5 Most-asked Problems with iTunes Home Sharing
https://tunesgo.wondershare.com/itun...e-sharing.html






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Last edited by pm-r; Jan 16th, 2017 at 03:46 PM.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #3
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Jeez. Well, I'm glad it isn't just me but wow, that's disappointing how Apple dropped the home sharing functionality from iOS 8 and returned it with a buggy implementation in 9 and it's been buggared ever since. I suspect Apple hasn't really been working on fixing home sharing since 2015 though. If they'd put their backs into it, it'd have been fixed by now. More likely, Apple got the feature back into iOS minimally working just to say it's back, and then left it as is while turning their attention to things they'd prefer to have people using like Apple Music instead.

So, I've been experimenting with other ideas. I set up a DNLA server on the Mac Pro and got my PS3 which is hooked up to the living room stereo to connect to it successfully and browse iTunes and also browse the music directory directly which I set up as a share as well. Then, when I tried to play music, I was rewarded with a blast of noise from the speakers. Apparently my iTunes library of linear PCM .wav files is being transcoded into garbage along the way somewhere. I'm not sure how much time I'm going to spend digging into this one, but I'm seriously not impressed. This is the best the 21st century has to offer? I bought a 5 disc CD changer and a used 1970s Dual 1229 turntable that was already 25 years old in the 90s when I was in high school. To this day, I can load the CD changer up or pop the changer spindle pin into the Dual and put a stack of records on and start either of them up and several hours of music plays without any further intervention. They just work. And in 2017, the best Apple has to offer is unreliable spuriously stopping, skipping performance far worse than a $100 used 1970s record changer or 1990s CD player. That says all that needs to be said about the state of that company, I think.

I'm going to experiment with dumping the music directory of .wav files onto an external hard drive and try mounting that to the PS3 and to the router to see if they're playable that way, which would also let me leave the Mac Pro off instead of guzzling electricity whenever I want to listen to music.

I'm strongly leaning towards a non-Apple, non-proprietary solution for this mess to hedge my bets in case of an eventual platform change comes along given my dissatisfaction with Apple over the last few years. Given this, I'm glad I decided on linear PCM .wav files when I reimported all my CDs into iTunes after the database blew up a number of years ago instead of Apple Lossless like I had in my original database because I still have the benefit of the original data without lossy compression and total platform independence.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 01:55 PM   #4
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I am wondering if the .WAV files are the issue. Have you done a test where you converted some of these to .AIFF or (gasp) MP4, to see if the issue persists when using directories stocked only with Applecentric files?
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
I am wondering if the .WAV files are the issue. Have you done a test where you converted some of these to .AIFF or (gasp) MP4, to see if the issue persists when using directories stocked only with Applecentric files?
That thought had crossed my mind, in case there's a performance problem elsewhere unrelated to upgrading iTunes and the iDevices that had crept in, but it was easy to test since I have a number of MP3 audio rips of concerts from Youtube and playing those choked as well.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #6
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Maybe I'm missing something in this thread, but maybe the OP may want to start over and use a different method.

I had a quick look at my iTunes library and it's full of a mishmash if file types and they all work just fine when played from my iMac and speakers or via our Airplay to our Airport Express connected to our stereo and then again when the AirEx was replaced with a 3rd gen Apple TV.

I've just let iTunes import any music and do what it wants, and no, I don't have a single bit of music purchased from Apple in my iTunes library!!




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Old Jan 18th, 2017, 11:04 PM   #7
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Try logging out from Home Sharing, wait like 15 minutes & log in again.

iphone - Music Home Sharing not working in iOS 10 - Ask Different

Sure hope iTunes Match is not interfering!
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
Maybe I'm missing something in this thread, but maybe the OP may want to start over and use a different method.

I had a quick look at my iTunes library and it's full of a mishmash if file types and they all work just fine when played from my iMac and speakers or via our Airplay to our Airport Express connected to our stereo and then again when the AirEx was replaced with a 3rd gen Apple TV.

I've just let iTunes import any music and do what it wants, and no, I don't have a single bit of music purchased from Apple in my iTunes library!!
+1

Years ago, I did away with the iPod speaker docks I had. I was home sharing to an ipod touch etc.. just found it too inconsistent.

I have an Airport Express plugged into my stereo downstairs, Apple TV on the Living room upstairs and a Pioneer XW-SMA-3 wireless speaker (Airplay, wifi, Bluetooth etc) for upstairs and in the back yard.

I use the Apple Remote App from my iPhone or iPad to control the Mac Mini housing my iTunes library (which media physically resides on a NAS), and choose via airplay what speaker (or speakers) I want the music to come out of.

The other nice thing is with this same setup I can use Airplay from other Apps (ie. MLB At Bat to stream a ballgame) to any of those same speakers.

The ONLY ONLY drawback (and quite frankly I am just to cheap to invest in a SONOS solution) is you can only play one thing in iTunes and airplay to the speaker(s). You can't say I want this playlist to Apple TV, this playlist to Airport Express, and this movie on the Mac Mini... etc.

I've tried all of the solutions over the years: various docks to stereos, fm transmitters to speakers attacked to docks or mac's, long 3.5mm to RCA's strewn all over the place...... Eventually I just caved, paid the money, drank the Kool Aid and realized Airplay is awesome when you do it right.

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