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Multi-Room Audio with AirPlay


I have two Apple TV 4K's, one in my living room, the other in the master bedroom. On either Apple TV, when I attempt to stream Pandora audio to both the originating Apple TV where Pandora is running and the other Apple TV in the other room, the audio only works in the other room and not on the originating Apple TV. Both are on tvOS 14.3 (18K561) and version 1911.1 of Pandora.

I have tried the following steps on both Apple TV's with no success:

  • Restarting the Apple TV (both via Settings > System > Restart and removing and reinserting the power cable).
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the Pandora app.
  • Resetting the Apple TV via Settings > System > Reset (which also requires a new login to Pandora).

This was not an issue last year but I have not attempted to use this feature since then so I don't know exactly when it would have started.

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42 Replies

Opening Act

Hi there.  I thought it was clear that the 'solution' for the Pandora-App-on-Apple-TV-4K-issue described in this thread is simply to update the Pandora app on your ATV4K (sorta happens automatically by default).

What you're describing on your MacBook is something else... I believe it's simply Apple's MacOS limitation on Sound Settings and OS-level AirPlay controls.  Open up the Apple Music app on MacOS, and take a look at its custom AirPlay setup... - you can select multiples from any AirPlay speakers found on your home network.  Unfortunately, only Apple Music selections will play on the selected speakers.

All other sound from generic apps and your browser [including Pandora] continues to go to your [SINGLE] selected MacOS sound output device.

Unless Pandora unexpectedly releases a MacOS native app with an AirPlay output widget like Apple Music's, you'll want to source your 'whole home audio' Pandora sessions from an iOS/iPadOS device (or an Apple TV 4K or HomePod).  Note: when the Pandora app is running on an Apple TV or HomePod, I can select and deselect AirPlay speakers in use from a separate iPhone or even Apple Watch :-).

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Local Performer

I think the original problem was actually Apple setting similar restrictions to the 4K Apple TV with the update a few years back (TvOS14). Using Apple music you could play to all devices from your apple TV, but not so using Pandora or other streaming services. That has been resolved.

I now seems Apple has put a similar restriction in MacOs after solving it on AppleTV. You used to be able to airplay to multiple devices. Now you can only play to one. iOS still let's you airplay to multiple speakers though

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Opening Act

I guess we're picking at nits now, but it's less about Apple 'putting restrictions' on such things and more about Apple being slow and inconsistent on implementing and exposing AirPlay 2 functions in their products (and also getting the right support into their SDKs).  I was surprised that the Apple TV 4K, with it's System Settings ability to configure whole home listening, also had an app-level requirement to make AirPlay2 work (though perhaps it was necessary only to recompile using AirPlay2-savvy libraries... don't know.).  At the time I noticed the issue, the Amazon Music app and others on Apple TV played music everywhere just fine (Spotify and Pandora were notably slow).

As far as I know, MacOS has never had the ability to set your Sound Output to multiple speakers simultaneously - that's more of a 'whole home' media entertainment thing - hence the app-level AirPlay hack in [MacOS] Apple Music.

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