Apple Music integration (with new Apple Music Web-API?)

Neill yes it does seem to be that the rush to beat Spotify out of the door has left some huge holes in the product as it is clearly not ready for prime time.

You are correct about AirPlay not being lossless, lot’s of post’s in multiple threads.

Although bashing Apple is kind of funny and maybe even a need for some I guess we can rest assured the world’s most profitable company does employ only a very small fraction of morons. It even might be wise to assume they plan quite a number of steps ahead. If audiophiles may not play a significant role for them, don’t be upset or bitter. For my part I will be happy if AirPlay is hi-res and lossless. I would not be grieving if Qobuz, Spotify or Tidal vanished. That’s life in business. If Roon manage to integrate AM great, if not well the world will keep turnin.


I take an almost diametric view. I see Apple as an all encompassing invasive corporate bully to be avoided at almost any cost. Apple is undoubtedly very successful, and many people nowadays buy into its lifestyle culture. However, it’s not for me!

I would be very disturbed if Qobuz and Tidal were to go because that for me would also mean saying goodbye to Roon, and that would be a huge loss in respect of my everyday enjoyment of music. I really can’t understand why anyone on this forum with a Roon subscription would feel differently, even to the point of seeming to relish the prospect in some cases.

In the event that they do go, I would almost certainly switch my streaming allegiance to Spotify. In the unlikely event that Apple succeeds in killing off Spotify there remains Amazon. In the event that only Apple were to remain as a music streaming service, I would be faced with a difficult choice of signing up to their streaming service, or ditching external streaming altogether and making do with the 2k+ albums I have on my local NAS.

I’m not sure what my decision would be, but I sincerely hope that I don’t have to make that choice.

Long live Tidal, Qobuz and Roon I say!


Understood. Got no horses in this race, maybe apart from being happy with how Apple deals with data privacy.
Those with huge local archives may be better off with Roon. For now as this may change in AM too. Future type of user will be different, probably all streaming. I rarely use the Roon catalog info and Apple provide decent data as well today. And with one supplier to deal with I am way more confident than find myself between a rock and a hard place.

The average listener, even with above average gear, probably won’t notice a difference with High Res / lossless. Spatial audio is another thing. I have not heard Apple’s implementation yet but I do have BACCH4Mac in my system, which seems to be the same concept. The difference, if set up properly, and for some recordings more than others, can be about as big as the difference between mono and stereo. Apple is targeting headphone users mainly , which means (a) the buyer needn’t invest in an expensive, complex, low-WAF Dolby Atmos system, and (b) the experience is completely mobile.

Personally, I’ve never cared much for headphones, so I may remain content with as much “spatial audio” as I can get from a 2 channel loudspeaker system. Namely a wider, deeper, taller soundstage and somewhat better imaging. It remains to be seen whether the new-and-improved Apple Music will ever do that better for me than Roon + BACCH. If so, I’d get the mobility Roon does not offer, I could ditch at least one cluttering component (my Roon server), and I’d cut my monthly fees from about $30 (for Roon + Tidal) to $9.99 (for Apple Music). But at this point, I don’t foresee Apple’s spatial audio system working over a 2 channel loudspeaker system, and I’m not about to wire my living room for 7 or more speakers. I could make Apple Music work with BAACH4 Mac, but until/unless MacOS Monterey improves on the current Screen Sharing controls, Roon seems to offer a more elegant multi-device, in-home user experience.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Roon will not play a downloaded lossless album from iTunes

I’m not bashing Apple out of amusement - my Mac Pro, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, etc and soon enough Mini M1 would say otherwise. But it would be sad if the monoliths win out in the streaming services, and if Qobuz or Tidal were to fold. That’s where my loyalty to Apple stops, and my loyalty to Qobuz/Roon begins. Some of us have invested heavily in the Roon ecosystem and love the enjoyment it brings to music replay.

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In all fairness all streaming services seek market domination. Very few if any care for music other than as a vehicle to make money with. So everyone chose their poison. What’s tempting with AM for me is it’s one capable party to run both, the Roon and the Tidal part. Financially super solid so no worries they will fold. Even streaming gear will most probably be usable.

I activated an Apple Music trial earlier today.
Dusted off a pair of Bluetooth headphones (Beoplay H7s) and tried to give spatial audio a whirl. Unfortunately, I found little Dolby Atmos content that appeals to me.
I find the system requirements confusing, but my understanding is that any headphones (including BT cans) should work with an iPhone 7 or later, iOS 14.6, and Dolby Atmos set to “always on”. I listened to a little Beatles, Nora Jones, and Mahler (all marked as Dolby Atmos tracks).

So far, I’m underwhelmed. These tracks sounded fine, but I don’t hear a dramatic leap forward in 3D imaging. The music is still mostly inside the boundaries of my head, not halfway up to the clouds or over on my neighbor’s lawn. I don’t feel Nora Jones’ breath on my cheeks. I don’t seem to be getting an uncanny head-tracking effect, either.

I prefer the spatial effects from BAACH4Mac playing through my 2 channel, hybrid electrostatic floor standers. Maybe I’m missing something in the setup or need Apple Airpods for the full effect.

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I just posted a cheat sheet:

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I felt kinda the same…… then… I bought an Apple TV and set it up with my AVR and decent Atmos setup… crazy good :+1:

I’m just very skeptical that Apple (or Amazon or Google etc etc) are going to do it right (as defined by us, the audiophile community).

  • I don’t think they’ll give us smooth parametric EQ. It’ll be a 4-10 step hard/discrete “ladder.” Perfect for making great big V sound signatures, but not particularly well equipped for nuance…
  • I don’t think they’ll let my own (FLAC/AAC/MP3) files live side-by-side with theirs and give me access to both within the same GUI
  • I don’t think they’ll fully support (“play nice”) with all the kinds of devices I actively/regularly use outside of their own ecosystem…
  • I don’t think they’ll give us the same kind of signal chain transparency that Roon does… “hey sure I’m playing back a 24/96 file, what happens after I start to play it, on your unique setup and string of gear? That’s your problem…”
  • For wireless playback over Google Cast, I take full advantage of Roon’s ability to downsample multiples of 44.1 and 48 to 44.1 and 48 (because anything above it just doesn’t work, for me, via Google Cast)… via other protocols, like RAAT, I don’t need that sort of capability, because 24/96 and 24/192 works just fine wirelessly on my network (via RAAT). Another indication (to me at least) that Roon has their i’s dotted and t’s crossed… Roon’s RAAT simply works better than Google Cast on my network. I swear it sounds “narrower” to, but who knows…

In my country, Tidal and Qobuz are not officially available. I can still connect Tidal through another country, but Qobuz does not work because it does not accept payment from my card.

Tidal has no Hi-Res support other than MQA. Apple offers a full-fledged Hi-Res up to 24/192. I want to listen to Hi-Res and from streaming services only Apple can give it to me.

It remains to understand Roon will help me with this or not.

You can use PayPal as payment option to get Qobuz. You won’t get Apple Music in Roon, it’s not viable unless Apple open up to them which is very unlikely to happen. You will have to use you phone/tablet or Mac to pump it into your DAC as that’s the only way you will get hires out of Apple Music for the foreseeable future.

I am sure Roon would do everything they can to add Apple Music and any other important service to their platform, but the streaming partner needs to be committed to do it as well.

It’s already easy enough to integrate an Apple Music library of purchased tracks and playlists into Roon. When I purchase music from HD Tracks (NativeDSD, etc.), or rip from CDs, I continue to manage the files in iTunes. This provides a payload of stored music for mobile use and also to seed Roon playlists. So Apple Music (/iTunes) and Roon already can coexist fairly well, up to a point.

For additional integration, I’d like to seen Roon and Apple address at least two limitations,:

  1. Playlist portability. One can import iTunes playlists into Roon, but AFAIK there is no way to export a Roon playlist to iTunes/Music.
  2. Independent streaming (which is what this thread seems to be about, mostly). Apple already has made Apple TV+ content available as a streaming service to some TVs without any need to buy the Apple TV hardware. Ditto for Apple Music, right?

Just as Roon users still need to log on to Tidal to access Tidal streams, they’d still need to log on to an Apple Music account to access Apple streams. This integration could be good for Apple, not only for the revenue, but also to help them fend off a court-ordered break-up of Apple services.

So I’m not too sure we’ll never see more integration. Apple already faces a Congressional ban on pre-loading first-party software. It may be in their own interest to open up the garden walls a little more, before Congress or the courts take a sledge hammer to them.

Sure, local files is easy.

Some options using Soundiiz. The issue here is identifying the files in iTunes. Roon is able to identify an incoming file in Local/Tidal/Qobuz.

The main sticking points are (as far as I understand it):
1- Getting Apple Music metada daily for new releases (there’s an AM API which might work as a pull here)
2- Ability to launch and route the stream to Roon - this requires authentication and a secure stream to Roon

Now, the authentication and streaming is already implemented in SONOS (for a very long time), so this is not totally new for AM.

I have to say that given AM’s already existing implementation (SONOS), and the fact that frankly they have no way currently to deliver their product fully, I am cautiously optimistic that they might work with Roon.

PS: Just checked Soundiiz and it only allows exporting iTunes playlists TO other services, not into iTunes.

PS2: I just connected Apple Music to Soundiiz. This seems to work in both directions. So if your iTunes playlists are available in Apple Music you’re done.

With this approach, we are unlikely to see at least some service in Roon.

Roon’s team must find other ways to integrate with streaming services, rather than giving an ultimatum to everyone and waiting for an answer alone.

Nokia was once too self-confident in their abilities, but did not notice how they lost the market and eventually left it.

Like I said, there are two parts:
1- Ability to request a stream and get that stream into Roon
2- Metadata

Part 1 is the most important, and there’s is NO WAY to do this without the streaming service cooperation. If they don’t provide a means for you to request a stream and get the data, how in this world are you going to stream it? This is so obvious that I am thinking I might be misunderstanding your post.

Part 2 is probably doable now as there is an AM API that you can query. But AM might not like a company for profit like Roon quering their db and might block it, so again you need cooperation.

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I think that if there is such a problem now, it is temporary. Access to the audio stream will most likely be provided.

Another thing is that Roon needs not only the data and metadata, but also a complete snapshot of the database to be able to launch services such as radio and recommendations for new songs. This is where I think everything ends, since streaming platforms are not ready to provide this, and Roon cannot fully work without it.