Playr Audibly Instruction Manual
How to Perfect Syncing
Audibly was tested with ten devices and all of them stayed perfectly in sync for multiple, continuous hours. Audibly is theorized to potentially work with 100 devices as speakers, but Playr Inc does not have the budget to test for this. If music is not in sync, press the sync button a few times. If it is still not in sync, you might want to test some of the extra settings.
To maximize performance in audio synchronizing quality, there is one additional thing to think of. If you have not done a full restart of your devices in a long period of time (days to weeks to months, depending on device usage), testing showed heavy improvements in syncing quality by shutting the device completely off and back on again. This clears up some parts of the system, and can make a huge difference if the device has not been restarted in a while.
If using Audibly on newer Macs or possibly also the fastest of the iPad Pros, try setting your broadcaster latency offset to 0.00. If using some desktop Mac of extreme power, maybe make the offset the slightest bit negative.
In Audibly 3, there are many new features. The first is spatial audio. When multiple devices are connected to the broadcaster, the estimated positions of each device in an area can all be specified. Spatial audio comes with a thermometer for the speed of sound. This barely effects the syncing in most situations, but in extreme weather contrasts or if broadcasting to speakers at large distances apart, Playr Audibly adds some interesting features for these situations, by calculating a potentially-more-accurate speed of sound. Playr Audibly uses your location, only when requesting outdoor conditions. Your location is only shared with Apple weather servers to provide the most accurate and location-specific weather results. Next, from your local weather, the temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, device compass direction, and the direction angle of the audio wave, coming out of the device, are all factored together to calculate the most perfect speed of sound. As the device rotates, the speed of sound might also change too. This speed of sound is relative to the broadcaster, but each speaker, based on its position in the spatial audio layout, will have a unique speed of sound due to each device having a unique direction of audio.
Next in Audibly 3, is balance channels. Practically all music tracks come with stereo audio, but some tracks make heavy use of putting different instruments, sounds, or other details to be unique on both the left and right audio channel. In Audibly 3, the balance of the channels can be set for each individual device or for all the devices. Additionally, in spatial audio, pressing the "LR" button will assign all the devices to the left of the listening zone to only play the left channel and all to the right to only play the right. Devices closest to the center play both. Lastly, there is an extra option in the main settings so that balance channels, when assigned from spatial audio, will not simply be assigned to left or right, but depending on specific position will be given a specific balance level between left and right.
Right next to balance channels is a very exciting new feature, an equalizer. This equalizer appears at the tap of a button, and it starts off with ten frequency sliders. There is also a gain slider. This gain slider allows setting the music volume to higher and lower levels that previously possible. The equalizer comes with many built in presets. Additionally, you can save and restore your custom equalizer settings. There are a few more exciting components to the Playr Audibly equalizer. The first is that you can create your own custom equalizer with a variety of unique equalizer filters and set any specific frequency that you want. This provides practically unlimited customization to the music playback with the possibility of very complex equalizer configurations. In addition to equalizers, there are a few audio effects such as reverb, pitch, and timing.
Lastly, there are some extra settings in Audibly 3 and some important bugfixes around the whole app. The force sync setting now has an additional setting to set the specific amount of settings that it should wait to sync. The Automatic Offsets feature of the syncing system now comes with the ability to choose a different calibration profile than the default profile. The long sync feature now includes different styles of long sync to make syncing feel even more custom. Also, Audibly rotates through different theme colors when changing songs, but now a default color can be set from settings to theme the whole app to stay in that color.
In Audibly 2.6.3, there are two new features for syncing. The first is Hotspot Mode. If there is not a WiFi network available that all of the devices can share, this new feature is available so the broadcaster can become a personal hotspot for all of the speaker devices. Go into the Settings app on your device and turn on the personal hotspot. Connect all of the devices to the hotspot that you want to use as speakers. Last, switch on Hotspot Mode in Playr Audibly settings. Now the broadcaster can work without a local WiFi network. Hotspot mode is also interesting because all of the speakers skip the router and jump straight to the main device as the main network. This means it could have potentially better results than the usual way of all being on the same WiFi network.
The next feature is Long Sync. This new sync feature is a completely different syncing experience. The default syncing syncs all of the devices instantaneously. With long sync enabled, the syncing takes about 3 seconds. Instanteaneous syncing is already very accurate, but long sync can sometimes provide more accurate results. Both are unique syncing experiences and could be preferred for different reasons.
In Audibly 2.6.2, there is a new feature called Automatic Offsets, which is switched on by default. This feature is a new layer to the syncing system and provides a very good audio quality. The Network Audio Latency Tuning setting is always useful, even if Automatic Offsets is on. If your configuration is not syncing properly, the best way to test Audibly is to leave the latency slider at the default value or 0.00, and to play some music. If syncing is not completely perfect, try adjusting the Network Audio Latency a bit to the right. Adjust by 0.01 increments to find the best sound to you. You can even adjust by 0.005 for the slightest extra quality. Test how it sounds on 0.00. Test a few different values. You can open settings while the music is playing to adjust the latency slider before pressing the sync button. Also, you can switch Automatic Offsets on and off just to make syncing more customized. The latency setting has different default values if Automatic Offsets is on or off.
There are many reasons you may want to adjust the Latency. Maybe the Sync sounds close to perfect or perfect, but you want to fine tune the sync to be even more perfect and specific to your Audibly configuration. The sync could also be slightly off due to a number of complex reasons. The default Latency settings in Audibly should be just fine for most Audibly configurations.
Audibly is tested with both older devices and newer devices. When Automatic Latency is on, the recommended offset ranges changes on the network latency setting. This setting is for the broadcaster, specifically. This setting does not have to be in Audibly, and it can still sync without it, but it gives the user more control over the wireless surround sound system. This Latency Offset goes beyond the hardware and software of each device. Latency values cannot be perfectly calculated (in nature) for every layer of the syncing system that involves the concept of latency. This current, proprietary, syncing algorithm has many layers of logic to help perfect the syncing to be as accurate as possible. For example, in different instances of testing, devices would happen to have completely unpredictable latency, but Automatic Offsets is a long-desired, significant improvement to the syncing logic that Audibly has never had until now. With this additional layer to the Audibly syncing system, wireless surround sound has never sounded better.
This is the sixth version (2.6.2) and seventh version (2.6.3) of the Playr Audibly syncing algorithm. There might even more Audibly algorithms coming soon, even though this one sounds incredible, like a Home Theater system and room full of speakers. In fact, if you have any number of devices in an Audibly session, you can plug each device into external speakers or a home theather system and synchronize all of the systems. This would only make sense if you do not want to run wires between the systems.
Additional Information about Syncing
Also, The speed of sound in air is about 343 meters per second (1125.25 feet per second). This means that with 10ft between the devices, the sound of the devices will be offset by 0.0089s of time. With 20ft between the devices, the sound will be offset by 0.018s; 30ft is 0.027s. This means if all of your devices are placed in a circle with a radius of 20ft, you could adjust the Latency setting backwards to a negative value around 0.020 to adjust the location of the sound. There wasn't a need to add location-based audio into Audibly yet, but if it was in there, the listener would have to have a 1cm accuracy GPS on their body and each device would need 1cm GPS accuracy. Then, as the listener walks around, each device would shift its timing very slightly, based on the location of the listener in reference to each individual device. A feature like that is unrealistic but fun to think about. There are six additional layers to the Audibly syncing system that could be added to the existing seven, but the current version sounded so perfect, when correctly configured, that these layers are not considered necessary yet and would only be added in the future for super complex configurations.
If the sound is 0.01-0.02s off of sync, it could sound slightly off from super, crystal clear, perfect. 10ft between the devices provides almost 0.01s of loss of accuracy. Audibly was tested by holding many different iOS devices up to each ear while they were playing in sync. Almost all of the time, the devices would be in extremely perfect sync, even while very close to each other. In rare occasions, if using two devices, if the slider is set to the right offset, and after pressing the sync button, the audio might achieve a rare accuracy level of 0.00[0-2]-0.000x seconds. In this magic range, the sound waves all sound like they are coming from one place. Combined with the offset of audio wave timing from air distortion in physics, based on the distance between devices, and the exciting new accuracy of the Audibly syncing logic, the wireless surround sound has some special, spatial, audio effects that can only be heard in low-latency, WiFi-network-based, wireless, surround sound.
Currently, Audibly sounds very perfect when playing music over a wireless surround sound environment with many simultaneously connected devices. Playr Inc has many additional theories to add extra and more complex layers to the syncing logic, but due to a few factors, most of these theories will probably just stay in the notebooks. The first factor is that the average human ear cannot hear that the audio is out of sync past a certain level of seconds of sync accuracy. Different people will have a different threshold of noticing this offset when listening very closely. Additionally, there are many unpredictable factors of the millisecond regions of the computing system and network hardware.
History of Audibly
Audibly was first prototyped in the summer of 2013. It went through a year of revisions before it was able to sync up perfectly and was released in 2014. A quarter of the time, it would be slightly out of sync but was pretty close. Audibly worked pretty well with up to three iOS devices. Sometimes, it could handle a few more. After iOS 7 launched the same week as Audibly 1.0, most of the logic of Audibly became incompatible with iOS, so for the app to continue working, the entire app would have to be built with completely different logic. None of the team members, at the time, were able to contribute the necessary work to make the app function on iOS devices after 2016. Audibly stopped working for everyone in 2017. The app was not updated again until near the end of 2018 when it was acquired by Playr Inc. All of the code in Audibly needed to be rewritten. An update was released in 2019 that had syncing that worked about half of the time. A few complex syncing logic additions were added in updates between 2019 and 2021 which made it more accurate. Now in 2023, the most accurate version of Audibly syncing was developed.
Audibly and Music Services
There are many music streaming services on the Internet. Apple Music is the closest service to Audibly. In 2019, an Audibly beta was developed that synced multiple iOS devices to play Apple Music content. This feature was not developed more because there were a few major flaws. Audibly users typically have multiple iOS devices that share the same Apple account. Apple Music only allows a music stream to play on a single device. If three devices share an Apple account, only one is authorized to play at the same time. Only in a situation where each device in the Audibly session were to have its own Apple Music subscription could this work. Playr Inc does not have the budget to build out this feature. For all other music streaming services outside of Apple Music, Playr Inc would probably have to make some complex, difficult-to-obtain, business partnership with them to combine the technologies and features together. There could be one or more of many unique forms of stream integration in the future, but for twenty years, digital music files were the primary way to listen to music on computing platforms. Audibly performs best with files.
Audibly Scientific Development
The best method to do something scientific is really dependent on the budget of the company. Playr Audibly was created on a very small budget of around ten thousand dollars in terms of total costs of all utilitized, scientific equipment. The cost of hiring people to build Audibly software, algorithms, designs, scientific research, and the countless hours of all other labors involved could end up being over a million dollars, depending on where it was built, exactly how it was built, how the rest of the company is run, what the company's investment strategy is, among other complex variables in a valuation with countless variables. Playr Inc only has one employee and cannot pay a salary without an income, so Playr Inc can still be considered what is known as a startup tech company. Playr Inc cannot make a huge income without a huge advertising budget. Playr Inc does not plan to advertise heavily until all products are much farther along the development track, which when that might happen is a very variable position in spacetime. Playr Inc has both very low spending and income.
The scientific budget is much lower than the development budget, but if Audibly were to be at the scientific maximum level of theoretical syncing accuracy calibration, the scientific budget required for iOS is around sixty thousand, mac is around seventy thousand, other desktop platforms are an additional sixty thousand, Android could be philosophically fifty thousand to one hundred fifty thousand to even millions. Additional audio equipment and scientific equipment to complete the experiment would be from ten thousand to thirty thousand dollars. Additional equipment for additional variables in the syncing theory and algorithms can add another ten to twenty thousand. In total, to calibrate Audibly wireless surround sound at the highest scientific level, it could cost around three hundred thousand dollars. Philosophically, at a maximum, a company could spend ten million dollars on scientific equipment for maximum, multi-variable calibration. Philosophically, at a minimum a company could spend around ten thousand dollars, which is the amount Playr Inc spent. If less than ten thousand dollars of equipment, syncing could not be calibrated properly. The amount Playr Inc would like to spend is about twenty five total thousand extra, but it cannot be allocated in the Playr Inc budget. If one of the world's largest computer and software companies were to build this, the total labor could be two million dollars or more. The equipment costs could be three hundred thousand to millions of dollars.
Maybe Audibly is good enough as it is to most of the users. Maybe Audibly could be perfect to one hundred percent of the users on a budget increase of thirty thousand dollars. Every thousand dollars of extra equipment adds extra layers to the scientific procedure and increases the total data points for multi-variable calibration. There are thousands of hours of additional scientifc tests that can be done in addition to the countless dollars of equipment. All scientific labor in Audibly has a variable cost in addition to that. Playr Inc has been run from an extremely small budget since its conception in 2013. It can be said that millions of dollars of software was written at Playr Inc, but the spending and profits are both almost non-existant, especially in comparison to other software companies. Playr Inc is a private company. It is too small to be public. It is very complex to invest in as a private company, so only serious investors with existing experience investing in software companies would understand how to do this properly. If in the case of a person or company doing business with Playr Inc, not in terms of using the software, but in terms of licensing, investing, or acquiring the company or one of the divisions of the company, visit the Playr Inc website support section.