BTR AMP v13.0 – iOS Music App Playback Mode Setting

Playback of DRM/CLOUD songs from the iTunes Library is only possible using the iOS Music app. The iOS Music app does not support playback of songs not in the iTunes Library (LOCAL songs). The question becomes, what to do when encountering play queues containing both DRM/CLOUD songs and LOCAL songs?

BTR AMP v13.0 introduces a new mechanism to gracefully and purposefully deal with this situation. A new setting now exists under Settings/Player named “iOS Music App Playback Mode”. Below are the options for that mode.

Unfortunately, the iOS Music App DOES NOT SUPPORT use of the BTR AMP audio engine features such as the equalizer, playback modes (crossfade, gapless, forced gap), and volume normalization.

When songs are filtered based on the selected mode, a notification or alert will be displayed informing you how many songs were filtered, unless disabled using the setting under Settings/Player.

Option #1 – Never Use iOS Music App

Never play DRM/CLOUD songs. This always filters DRM/CLOUD songs from being added to the play queue. BTR AMP audio engine features are always available.

This is useful if you are primarily using BTR AMP to play LOCAL songs and always want to have access to BTR AMP audio engine features.

Option #2 – When Required Use iOS Music App (Prefer LOCAL songs) [DEFAULT]

Only play DRM/CLOUD songs when no LOCAL songs exist, filtering out DRM/CLOUD songs when both LOCAL and DRM/CLOUD songs exist. This is similar to “”Never””, but allows playback of DRM/CLOUD songs if no LOCAL songs are present. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but not when DRM/CLOUD items exist.

For example, this mode will play a DRM/CLOUD album without issue, but a playlist containing both LOCAL songs and DRM/CLOUD songs will filter DRM/CLOUD songs from being added to the play queue.

Option #3 – When Required Use iOS Music App (Prefer DRM/CLOUD songs)

Always play DRM/CLOUD songs, filtering out LOCAL songs when both LOCAL and DRM/CLOUD songs exist. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but not when DRM/CLOUD songs exist.

For example, this mode will play a DRM/CLOUD album without issue, but a playlist containing both LOCAL songs and DRM/CLOUD songs will filter LOCAL songs from being added to the play queue.

Option #4 – When Possible Use iOS Music App

Always play all iTunes Library songs (DRM/CLOUD or non-DRM/CLOUD) using iOS Music App when no LOCAL songs exist. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but only when DRM/CLOUD songs do not exist and LOCAL songs do exist.

For example, if all songs being added to the play queue are from the iTunes Library regardless of whether or not they are DRM/CLOUD songs, always use the iOS Music app to play them. On the other hand, if any LOCAL songs exist while no DRM/CLOUD songs exist, the BTR AMP audio engine will be used.

Option #5 – Always Use iOS Music App

Never play LOCAL songs. This automatically filters LOCAL songs from being added to the play queue. BTR AMP audio engine features are never available.

This is useful if your music library is exclusively the iTunes Library and you are happy not having access to the BTR AMP audio engine features.

BTR AMP v13.0 – Volume Normalization – ReplayGain and Sound Check

Overview

Version 13.0 introduces support for reading ReplayGain and Sound Check volume normalization data from your audio files. BTR AMP can then use that data to play audio files at the same perceived playback loudness level across songs. This keeps you from having to adjust the volume on your stereo when one song is recorded at a lower volume than another song.

ReplayGain Support

ReplayGain (RG) is a well documented technique for determining the peak level of volume in an audio file and creation of a gain adjustment that can be used to increase or decrease the volume of that audio file during playback with the goal of a playlist of songs all having the same peak volume. RG contains both track and album values. BTR AMP intelligently applies album value when you are listening to a single album at a time, and otherwise uses the track gain value. Click here to read more about ReplayGain.

While BTR AMP v13.0 knows how to read RG data from audio files, it does not have the ability to create RG data. If you have audio files that do not contain RG data, you can use one of the following tools on your Windows PC, Mac, or Linux to scan and apply the data to your audio files:

Sound Check

Sound Check (SC) is Apple’s technology for doing the same thing that RG does. Most all songs purchased through the iTunes Store will contain SC data. SC only contains track specific data.

Manual Gain Values

In addition to being able to read RG and SC data from your audio files, BTR AMP provides you with the ability to specify a Manual Track Gain and Manual Album Gain setting. These can be used both when RG and SC data is not present, or to manually override RG and SC data. And mirroring the RG track and album gain usage, BTR AMP will intelligently use the Manual Track Gain and Manual Album Gain values.

Viewing and Adjusting Gain

BTR AMP v13.0 renamed the Equalizer screen to the Audio Mixer screen to indicate the expanded functionality that was added. During playback of an audio file, use the Audio Mixer to view the current RG, SC, and Manual gain values, along with being able to adjust the Manual gain values, and the Volume Normalization Preamp gain. Audio files located in the Document tab of BTR AMP can be edited using the Edit menu item. The edit screen also displays the RG, SC, and Manual gain values, and the Manual gain values can also be specified here.