Option to choose different audio output device for music and video
#1
I wonder if I'm alone in this situation. I don't have a fancy av-amplifier. I have a nice 2.0 analog amplifier that I use for music. I have a TV that is by now just a monitor for XBMC. I generally watch video on the TV with sound from the TV. Very rarely do I want to play the audio from the video over my speakers. However, I don't like playing music through the TV, as the speakers in it just aren't very good for that.

I would love to be able to have a separate audio output device for music (i.e. audio without accompanying video) and video. That way I can use XBMC easily to play my music as well as watch video sources without changing the audio output device all the time. (which is to tedious, so I never actually do it)

I'm just not sure how much work would be involved with making the option available. Anyone else interested in this?
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#2
+1

I have the exact same setup
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#3
how does the sound get to the TV? HDMI, optical, analog?
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#4
I can't speak for others, but in my case, I've got a Mac mini, where I combine optical audio out with dvi to get hdmi to my tv. The audio is going through an external usb audio card to my amplifier. (Analog output)
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#5
(2012-08-01, 19:38)da-anda Wrote: how does the sound get to the TV? HDMI, optical, analog?

HDMI to TV, analog to stereo.

/D
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#6
(2012-08-01, 19:48)mediumdry Wrote: I can't speak for others, but in my case, I've got a Mac mini, where I combine optical audio out with dvi to get hdmi to my tv. The audio is going through an external usb audio card to my amplifier. (Analog output)

doens't a Mac mini also have a headphone out? If so, it shouldn't be a issue to configure the OS audio driver to output the same audio on both outputs.

I'm no dev, but I think that separate outputs depending on media type won't be implemented due to the same reasons as this Dual-Audio patch didn't find it's way to the core yet. Dual audio would btw. also fix your issue (output all XBMC sounds to multiple outputs in parallel) and might have better chances to get added then your request. So probably poke in this direction, or give one of those custom builds a try.
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#7
If you have two different soundcards, you can do it. This has been done on a win7 machine.

Image
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#8
(2012-08-02, 15:43)da-anda Wrote: doens't a Mac mini also have a headphone out? If so, it shouldn't be a issue to configure the OS audio driver to output the same audio on both outputs.

I'm no dev, but I think that separate outputs depending on media type won't be implemented due to the same reasons as this Dual-Audio patch didn't find it's way to the core yet. Dual audio would btw. also fix your issue (output all XBMC sounds to multiple outputs in parallel) and might have better chances to get added then your request. So probably poke in this direction, or give one of those custom builds a try.
My Mini (early 2009) has one audio output that either does analog (headphone) or digital (with an adapter for regular spdif). So I can't do the audio over both channels. If I wanted that I could install a tool like Line In and connect a copy of the digital out to the digital in on the external USB audio card. (that actually works)

My request is different from the dual-audio in that it is a specific "don't want" to have the audio over both channels simultaneously. Music should come out of my speakers, audio for video should come from the tv. Automagically, without any user intervention.

(yes, I could mute the one I don't want, but then it's just as easy to switch the audio output in the xbmc system settings)


(2012-08-03, 16:26)jordandk Wrote: If you have two different soundcards, you can do it. This has been done on a win7 machine.

Image

I'm sorry, but I can't see the image. I do have two different soundcards, but have no idea how to pull it off automagically. Can you point me to more information?
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#9
You can set to soundcard up under audio output.

Optical/Coax and hdmi or analog.

Ahh sorry, I think you don't have hdmi in your av reciever right?

So I think you can do it this way in this thread.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86038
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#10
I managed to create a workaround, by using profiles. I set up one profile "Audio on Speakers" and another profile "Audio on TV" (which is the new name for the master profile). All I did was change the system settings for the Audio on Speakers profile. That still leaves something to be desired. Luckily, Quartz, the skin I use let's you rename the menus, so I named the XBMC menu into the profile name ("P: Speakers" and "P: TV" to make them not scroll).

That still left the switching. There is no easy way to switch a profile in XBMC, but you can add the switch to your favourites:
Code:
<favourite name="P: Speakers" thumb="/path/to/your/image.png">LoadProfile(Audio on Speakers)</favourite>
<favourite name="P: TV" thumb="/path/to/your/image.png">LoadProfile(Audio on TV)</favourite>

After that you simply add that favourite into your menus if your skin allows it, or you look it up in your favourites. Not as nice as automatic, but a workable solution until that time, I suppose.
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#11
(2012-08-02, 15:43)da-anda Wrote: I'm no dev, but I think that separate outputs depending on media type won't be implemented due to the same reasons as this Dual-Audio patch didn't find it's way to the core yet. Dual audio would btw. also fix your issue (output all XBMC sounds to multiple outputs in parallel) and might have better chances to get added then your request.

That's a shame, cause that's the only think I liked better about using my PS3 over XBMC. Now i'm forced to always turn om my receiver to have sound, even if the show I watch has a 2.0 audio stream. Like mediumdry said, changing the output in XBMC is no fun. But I imagine it could be a windows thing which is preventing to implement this.

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#12
As I said - I'm non of our devs. I only know they didn't like the dual-audio stuff much. One reason was ofc that AE was on it's way and it didn't make sense to alter the old audio engine at this stage. But IIRC there also where other concerns (syncing the two audio sinks or whatever). Unfortunately it's also nothing that could be achived using addons - just asked a dev.

I guess the feature of AE to have a different audio output for passthru and regular audio also doesn't help in your case, because 2.0 AC3 would still use passthru. But IIRC DDDamian wanted to have a look to not use passthru for this kind of audio (at least via advanced settings or so).
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#13
One solution might be just making it something you can switch on a remote control, so that it's at least easier to select on-the-fly.
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#14
yes, you can bind the change of profile to a remote key, if you have a remote that has extra keys. Of course, then you have different keymaps for the different profiles. It all becomes a bit of a setup nightmare fast. Smile
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#15
I understand why we wouldn't want to have dual audio, however having a different device for different media makes sense.
The specific use case is that I need to pipe video audio to the TV via HDMI to avoid any audio lag (seems to happen with most HDTVs), but wouldn't want to do this via the TV for music alone. So instead of dual audio we would need two very distinct audio outputs for everything that is video and everything that isn't. There would be no syncing issues here, as only one audio would be active at a time.

I read in the AudioEngine thread that this will not be covered (page 15), but couldn't find out why.
Can somebody ask the responsible dev if such a feature would be considered?
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