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#1 2023-12-25 23:46:07

liamur
Member
Registered: 2023-01-28
Posts: 9

AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

Hello all,

I have a new Denon DRA-900H stereo receiver that supports AirPlay 1 and 2. I'd like to play audio to it from my Arch laptop running Pipewire, but no matter what I do, the receiver never plays sound. I can get the Denon to connect and show up as an audio device, and the Denon itself knows that it's connected because its screen switches to "AirPlay". I can even control its volume by changing the computer volume with the function keys, but no sound ever comes through the speakers.

I don't have an Apple device to test real AirPlay with, so it's possible that there's a configuration issue on the Denon, but I don't think so. I made some progress after I realized I needed to open ports in ufw, and disabling it for the time being allows the Denon to connect and show up in the Plasma audio control widget. There's simply no sound. I've tried playing through VLC (with ALSA, Pulse, and JACK backends) as well as Firefox.

I've tried manually configuring the `module-raop-discover` module on the command line, loading it automatically in pipewire.conf, changing global PipeWire configuration, and nothing has worked. I also have avahi-daemon properly configured (as described here, apparently needed for some AirPlay devices to work). It's particularly frustrating since it seems as though every AirPlay feature except actual audio playback seems to be functional.

How can I make the Denon play audio? Is this a common problem with Pipewire AirPlay support? Googling hasn't brought up much, and I get the sense AirPlay either works by default or not at all.

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#2 2023-12-27 02:43:22

t_wrex
Member
Registered: 2020-03-27
Posts: 30

Re: AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

I know I have to load the pavucontrol app and select the receiver as the default output device. I think i remember it didn't show up in KMix/plasma. I have a very similar receiver as that one, it's the DRA-800H. For a long time streaming to airplay was a complete PITA fail for me with the Pulseaudio RAOP modules. I have had better luck using Pipewires integrated streaming. Another question, when it looks like everything should be working, do you actually see network traffic going to the receiver? (either with tcpdump/wireshark or just by looking at the port LEDs if using ethernet). When everything is completely working there should be a continous stream of data going from the LInux box to the receiver. Also are you trying to have the Linux box and the receiver on different subnets/VLANs? That complicates the setup exponentially, try testing a simple as possible with both devices on the same network.

Good luck!

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#3 2023-12-27 16:56:37

liamur
Member
Registered: 2023-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

Thanks for your recommendations. Changing the device in pavucontrol and the Plasma applet has the same effect---the Denon appears in both and it still doesn't make any noise. With my firewall off (I need to configure the AirPlay ports), I can see in Wireshark that a continuous stream of UDP packets gets sent to the Denon from my computer when I'm playing a song, and when it stops, the packet stream is just mDNS and TCP keep-alives. There's no subnet or VLAN configuration on my network, both devices are on the same network and subnet.

I also tried Pipewire 0.3.65 and Pulseaudio (the original) 16.1+dfsg1-2+b1 on Debian Bookworm, both managed to detect two sinks on the Denon, but neither made any sound or even gave any evidence that the Denon had detected them as a source: it's display didn't say "AirPlay" ever.

I think this might be a scenario where we need to wait for the Pipewire AirPlay subsystem to catch up or get fixed, I may submit a bug report over there.

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#4 2023-12-27 21:18:52

liamur
Member
Registered: 2023-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

I found a Pipewire bug report describing the exact same issue I'm having, and that user said that Pipewire 0.3.81 works but later versions don't. I built Pipewire 0.3.81 on another Linux device, and it works perfectly with the Denon and plays audio with no problems. I'll file a Pipewire bug report and maybe this can get fixed.

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#5 2023-12-27 23:52:34

liamur
Member
Registered: 2023-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

Never mind, no need for a bug report. Pipewire issue 3698 (closed) was fixed by adding a latency fallback value, but that was fixed only two weeks ago and there hasn't been an official release yet including that commit. I tested the master branch and it works fine, so hopefully with next release of Pipewire, this issue will be gone for good.

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#6 2024-02-03 15:58:22

liamur
Member
Registered: 2023-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: AirPlay receiver connects but never plays audio

Pipewire 1.0 did indeed fix the problem. I can run

pactl load-module module-raop-discover

and the Denon appears, then I set the audio output in the Plasma widget to the Denon, and audio plays through the stereo. The only oddity I've found is that VLC (in default configuration at least) causes audio to sound terrible, probably something to do with sample rates. mpg123 works great, though, so I'm considering this solved.

Edit: I forgot to add that I had to add an ALLOW IN rule to ufw on UDP port 6002. I don't know why this port has to be open (it's in the X server range, unrelated to AirPlay), but without opening it, no audio will play.

Last edited by liamur (2024-02-03 16:38:50)

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