BETA: Audio Only on iOS

The latest Channels for iOS beta now supports an audio only mode. When watching a channel or show, use the context menu (More button or Tap and Hold item) to choose Audio Only.

This will play back the content with only audio. This requires transcoding on your server, but it's light since it's discarding the video track and only transcoding the audio to AAC.

This is useful for things like car trips when you want to save on data, etc.

Let us know if you run into anything funny.

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The latest beta on TestFlight now supports being able to exit the app while in Audio Only mode.

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The audio player seems to crashes after a few minutes when coming from locked screen directly

I think we're getting close to Live TV podcast player with audio mode.

Suggestions:

  1. An option for audio mode only by default - especially when driving, just press and listen?
  2. An option to stream at higher bit rate like at 256Kbps in AAC - don't have to jack up the volume too much in the car
  3. An ability to launch audio only mode from Siri Shortcuts

I've been using Feedlix iOS app as my default player lately for remote viewing & listening to Live TV.

I created two m3u playlists one for Live TV & Live Audio mode.

It feels more fluid when going in/out from the Feedlix player and how the video and/or audio goes into the background by default (it uses VLC as a custom player).

I aslo like their player channels selection layout in portrait and landscape mode across the screen, easy to switch channel on the fly.

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This is so great! I’ve tested with a few recordings and some live TV, it’s working fine. This will be a game changer for me with commutes and long drives.

I like to listen to news most of all, and now have a lot more channels to choose from. My “News” channel collection has a bunch of options, including local news which would be my 1st choice. Tapping and holding on this grid lets me listen to any show that’s currently playing, but since “KTLA 5 News” and “ABC News - Los Angeles” specifically don’t actually have guide data (but I still often watch them, no guide data necessary) I can’t listen to their audio this way, or at least can’t figure out the UI for it.

Aside from that I have had no problems with this new feature. It’s fantastic. Thank you!

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You're right. Channels that don't seem to have specific guide data don't present the Audio Only option; since for me the best use-case would be news channels, this looks like an oversight. (Not necessarily a bug, but rather an edge case that was initially overlooked; I bet this will probably be addressed by EOD.)

No problem. I know what this is and can fix it.

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I ran into a clown. Does that count?

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I told you :wink:. (Hat-tip to Jon @maddox )

Fixed in the latest TestFlight beta.

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Confirmed.

(@Fofer, told ya @maddox had it covered. :+1:)

@maddox
Cool new feature for car driving!

One other thought. Any chance of adding this to TVOS as well?

There is a usage case for music videos. Some of these have static images overlayed for the video. Many surround DVDs were released like this.

For those of us with plasma displays or oled that can potentially have burn in issues, it would be cool to have an option for audio only and digital black going to the screen from within channels on apple tv.

In this case one would not want any transcoding, as it is desirable to maintain surround sound on the audio channel.

Just a thought……

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Very cool. Very helpful. Thank you! Of course, now I wonder if I will be able to download the audio only stream to save space on my phone? :grin:

Can this work in CarPlay ?

I’m not sure what you mean. All audio from the iPhone works through CarPlay when attached.

There’s nothing especially different about this.

Yes I expect it will route the audio.

I am not sure what is required to support the app in CarPlay so the app directly shows up on the CarPlay interface so you can browse the content on the car's display to play the audio.

I haven't tried it, but I assume that it won't do that.

Thst requires writing and supporting a whole. We target akin to iOS vs tvOS. CarPlay apps are their own apps. All this feature does is provide a quick way to play back with audio only.

Yep I understand, it isnt worth that. Just wasn't sure if that was the case.

Hypothetically speaking, if we could assign one Channel Collection, that a bare-bones CarPlay app would display, allowing us to browse and tap, to simply play live audio from? I’d say that would be worth it. It would be a major feature I'd use every day when driving.

Discussion deserves a separate thread though, since this is a different feature, inspired by the possibilities opened by “audio only” mode.

Any way to show the skip commercials button when listening to a recorded show?