Digital optical cable w/ipod

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nosh*tshirlock

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Hi.
I'm trying to play mp3's through my Ipod on my receiver.
Playing music with a standard cable with rca jacks works. I can't get any sound using a digital optical cable. Can I use a digital optical cable to play music from my Ipod through my receiver or doesn't the iPod allow it? Thanks.
 

MOCKBA

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I'd also like to know answer. It could provide better sound than iPod can do. I hope that iPod's comb has such out and it should be just discovered, maybe Apple will provide a docking station with optical out. Meantime, I play my iPod files using optical output of my sound card as sort of work around.
 

Spoonman

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MOCKBA said:
I'd also like to know answer. It could provide better sound than iPod can do. I hope that iPod's comb has such out and it should be just discovered, maybe Apple will provide a docking station with optical out. Meantime, I play my iPod files using optical output of my sound card as sort of work around.
There is little to be gained by using a digital output with mp3's...not that a dock with a digital out would be a terrible thing, but purely from a sound quality issue I'd be very surprised if you could hear any difference between that and the lineout, even if your amp did have amazing DAC's the benefit would be minimal. Digital vs Analog only matters when you're talkin about very high end equipment, and in that case you should be using a better source then mp3's...like DVD-audio or other extremely high quality source.

On another note, I hope u don't mean u play the iPod into the soundcard's line in then out of the card's optical out, as that would pose no benefit at all...unless the amp you have the iPod connected to only has digital inputs. Once the music is sent from the iPod in analog form no matter what you do to it you won't increase the quality of the signal...if anything you'll decrese it.
 

piotr

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Well, I'm not so sure... I've been using a unit from TurtleBeach called AudioTron, which plugs into an Ethernet network and plays MP3s from any SMB-shared source via my Onkyo receiver. It has to ouputs: stereo RCA and optical. The difference is dramatic: optical sounds so much better!!! I'm not sure if this is a factor of the particular unit (AudioTron) or optical in general... but I would not be suprised if the same was true for the iPod...

Peter
 

Spoonman

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It's likely the Audiotron simply has poor DAC's, or perhaps a poor amp...the digital output would bypass this. The lineout on the iPod supplies a pretty strong signal, that's why I don't think digital would really be of much use....not that I would be mad if apple put one on there...just my 2 cents.
 

SandMan

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It is more likely that the interconnects in use between the audiotron and your hi-fi are to blame for the dramatic difference in sound quality as they are most likely the weakest link. However, as spoonman states, the optical connection bypasses the audiotron's DAC and would use the DAC in your receiver instead. Usually receivers will have higher quality DACs but this varies with receiver brand/model.

Don't forget that the iPod also supports playback of WAV files so you could actually use it to hold a bunch of CDs worth of music in this uncompressed format and in this case the optical output might be very useful.

Either way, the iPod does NOT support an optical interface (at least nothing indicates this at present). If it did, an entirely different circuit path would be required within the device as well as a special connector interface for external connection to other devices so the point is moot for now.

Perhaps this is an enhancment request for the next generation...
 
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MOCKBA

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I agree that iPod has quite good DAC and not so noisy analog circuits. For example, I can't connect my DVD player to a receiver using analog out due very bad S/N of the player. In case of iPod the picture is better. Anyway as long as I deal with computers, I would like to have digital connections, because it's simplifies connection to a receiver for me. Apple, please add it in the next gen.
 
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