ALAC Sync?

ios

#1

Hi,

I've read some threads on here mentioning that it's currently not possible to sync ALAC files to the iOS player, so I can't cache local copies of my ALAC files on my iPhone. This is a problem for me since my entire music collection is in ALAC format.

Are there any concrete plans to add ALAC syncing support, e.g. in the next release of the app? I would happily upgrade to a lifetime subscription of Plex if ALAC syncing were possible. I know that ALAC streaming will be coming in the next release of the app, but the syncing is also really necessary in order to have a good experience with ALAC files on mobile. Thanks very much for your consideration!


#2

Hey @DABH !

We've been discussing about that and we have to check our options. That would require an update in server, and wouldn't be compatible with older iOS apps (it would sync ALAC for older apps that can't play it directly). Another issue would be that you couldn't share those ALAC files with other devices (for example, an Android app accesses to your iOS app's synced content and tries to play one of those ALAC files).

We'll study all the pros and cons of this and take a decision, but definitely won't happen for the next iOS release, sorry.

( @Nicode70 you may be interested in this information too :P )


#3

Thank You @sergiou87

just my 2 cents but i can't see an actual and practical situation where an android app would access my iOS app to play alac synced files.

and regarding the older iOS apps we are talking about iPhones 3S, right? iPhone 4 are compatibles with the latest plex iOS app. Why don't you just limit the quality to the highest possible on each device? so for an iPhone 3S it would be mp3 320 kbps.


#4

Thanks so much @sergiou87 and @Nicode70 !

I agree with @Nicode70 's point -- if you want to sync a file to an ancient iDevice that doesn't support native ALAC playback, couldn't you just transcode the file to mp3 etc. before caching it on the device? (On a more basic level, I wonder if you really still need to support those old phones?)

Also, to echo @Nicode70, when would an Android app try to access the synced content on an iOS device? It seems like that would be a very uncommon use case, but to get around it, perhaps you could just transcode to mp3 or just don't list ALAC files as being available to the Android app.

It seems like there are a ton of benefits to fully supporting ALAC, so I'm grateful for your guys' consideration of this feature for the near future! :) Moreover, there are very few solutions out there right now that really support ALAC with cloud based storage. Vox seems good but isn't cross platform; Style Jukebox can do it but it's buggy; doubleTwist appears to do it but only for Android; etc. I think it would be a real boon for audiophiles (and for Plex) to have Plex fully support ALAC for iOS and desktop. Thanks again very much for considering this feature, and I hope you and the team have more news to share about it soon! :)


#5

Sorry, with "older iOS apps" I meant anyone that doesn't update the app and has 4.0.15 or previous installed. Since those versions don't support ALAC playback, upgrading the server would kill sync support for those (the app would sync ALAC format without transcoding, and they won't be able to play it).

The two reasons I gave were the first I could think of, there are probably more. My point is: we have to think about it and do it in the right moment (when there is enough people with the latest version of the app that supports ALAC).

Sorry for the misunderstanding!


#6

Any updates concerning ALAC sync for iOS devices ?
Is it still pending ?
That's really annoying to be forced to convert my ALAC media collection to MP3... Just because of that, I'm still using regular iTunes to transfer my ALAC music to the iPone.

What about an option in the Plex server to let the user choose if he wants to sync ALAC or convert them to MP3 when syncing to iOS devices ?


#7

Why not make it client-side? I was hopeful that the "Original" option added to the iOS client would sync the ALAC files but it syncs 192Kbps MP3s. Something's not adding up as the Plex iOS client can already Direct Stream ALAC, so why can't we sync ALAC? Perhaps add another client-side option that says "Lossless" to satisfy us who get bent out of shape over compressed audio. At that point, its on the user and their client. If they insist on using an older iOS or iOS device, then they get left behind. Apple doesn't have an issue with leaving behind what they consider "ancient" tech, I don't think Plex should be that concerned.

At minimum set the server-side transcoder to AAC, not MP3.


#8

I’m in the same boat. What are our options for Lossless syncing?

I’ve tried converting my files to FLAC but Plex still converts them.


#9

Please add ALAC sync for iOS!


#10

Just dsicovered no ALAC sync to iPhone 7 Plus. Dam... I now need to look for a Plan B music server/app now. Slowly my love of Plex declines these days :(


#11

Let me know where your search takes you!

Emby is a no go at the minute as they don’t have iPhone sync.


#12

Well, apart from the simplicity and speed/ease of just using iTunes (for my mobile), I'm actually exploring https://roonlabs.com Bit expensive, but music is important to me so the free trial will confirm if the price is worthy or not.


#13

Hello guys!

I'm looking into this and seems to need only a server change. If you want to test it right now, you can look for the iOS profile (look for the file iOS.xml wherever you have installed Plex Media Server) and then add <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" /> inside the DirectPlayProfiles element. It should look something like this:

  <DirectPlayProfiles>
    ...
    <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" />
    ...
  </DirectPlayProfiles>

After that, restart your Plex Media Server and try syncing ALAC music.

Does this work for you?


#14

Hi @sergiou87

Yes it seems to work with me. thank you for the tip!


#15

@sergiou87 said:
Hello guys!

I'm looking into this and seems to need only a server change. If you want to test it right now, you can look for the iOS profile (look for the file iOS.xml wherever you have installed Plex Media Server) and then add <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" /> inside the DirectPlayProfiles element. It should look something like this:

  <DirectPlayProfiles>
    ...
    <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" />
    ...
  </DirectPlayProfiles>

After that, restart your Plex Media Server and try syncing ALAC music.

Does this work for you?

Thanks for the pointer. Can you drill down more on where I find the iOS.xml file to make the changes? I have full access to all PMS files (including hidden) but even "search" does not show me it. Which folder could it be in maybe?

Thank you
Chris


#16

@sergiou87 said:
Hello guys!

I'm looking into this and seems to need only a server change. If you want to test it right now, you can look for the iOS profile (look for the file iOS.xml wherever you have installed Plex Media Server) and then add <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" /> inside the DirectPlayProfiles element. It should look something like this:

  <DirectPlayProfiles>
    ...
    <MusicProfile container="mp4" codec="alac" />
    ...
  </DirectPlayProfiles>

After that, restart your Plex Media Server and try syncing ALAC music.

Does this work for you?

Thank you! After not working for several days, I've just tried it again and it's working like a champ!

I've never seen Plex sync music so fast (as it's not converting every bloody track!!).

Thanks again ;o)


#17

You're welcome :smile: The next version of Plex Media Server will have this change.