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sflawguy1
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

I use my HD for two things mainly, reading and streaming music to Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

 

The new update has completely degraded the audio quality of streamed Bluetooth music such that the nook HD is no longer suitable to this task.  The audio quality used to be fine--though it was not as good as a wired connection, it still worked well. Now the sound is as if it is underwater.

 

This is not strictly a BN thing, lots of andriod users report this on 4.2 phones.  However, since the problem is well documented and a fix is readily available on the net, this probably did not need to happen. 

 

The problem appears to be excessive bit reduction in the audio data.  The result is a loss of signal at the high end and an excess amount of bass.  Simple EQ cannot compensate for this since you cannot get the lost data back. The reduction in data is fine when using bluetooth for phone calls, where you want to cut out the high end and increase the bass.  (Talk radio uses the same filtering to make the people speaking more understandable.) But this filtering is devistating to music.  This compression algoritm should never be used on a nook, which cannot even be used to make phone calls.

 

The fixes out there do seem to work but require rooting.  I hope we get a patch soon that addresses this so I can avoid rooting my device.

 

I'm glad for everyone that we have access to the play store, but for me personally it is not worth it to lose audio streaming.

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roustabout
Posts: 3,572
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
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Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

I streamed a little music today using a DLNA client, BubbleUPNP - and it sounded OK.

 

Are you using the Google music player?  If so, you might try Mixzing (for local files) and/or Bubble (if you're streaming over the network.)

 

I've found both stream bluetooth audio pretty well (though I haven't tried mixzing on the Nook yet, since I don't have music copied locally to it at the moment.) 

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
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sflawguy1
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-07-2012
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Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

Thank you for the suggestion, but I don't think it is in the player.  I've tried Spotify, Pandora, and Play Music and they all sound the same.  The problem is in the preparation of data for Bluetooth transmission, which is not in the player's control.

 

When casually listening, the nook Bluetooth audio stream does not sound too bad.  It does sound like music.  But listening with headphones to music that I've listened to before, so I know how it should sound, it is definitely muffled.

 

I tried a comparison with Bluetooth on my iPhone 4S.  I played the same music on the nook and iPhone and listend with the same headphones, and the iPhone 4S sounded much better.  The iPhoe 4S sounded like the nook hd used to sound.

 

So my solution until we get a fix will be to use the iPhone, but I would much rather use the nook.

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roustabout
Posts: 3,572
Registered: ‎03-31-2011

Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

I tried a little Pandora as well as more DLNA this morning, and this is what I think I noticed. 

 

- After the update, I think the Google Play variant of Pandora got installed, rather than the BN version.  I could definitely hear some issues, some warbling in what should have been fairly pure tones

 

- I uninstalled that and installed the BN version of the app.  My impression is that it was less distorted than it had been.  I didn't have the ability to compare side by side, though, as it was a different track after the uninstall / reinstall

 

- files streamed off my NAS sounded much better than Pandora.  I think the issue may not be with the Bluetooth protocol but someplace upstream of it.  

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Inspired Contributor
sflawguy1
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

Interesting.  I'll try reloading Pandora when I get a break here at work.

 

One reason I suspect the Bluethooth transmission algorithm is that when I use wired headphones, the sound is great, as it always has been.  I think the sound over headphones is one of the real bright spots of the nook hd.

 

Of course Bluetooth streaming will never be as good as a wired connection, but it should not be night and day like it is now.

 

Ah well, talk about your first world problems.

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laurieb52
Posts: 1,120
Registered: ‎12-13-2009

Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

On the other hand, I noticed the update vastly improved the volume on videos on my HD when not using head phones. I've always had to use head phones when wathing movies on both the HD and tblet. I was amazed last night that I no longer needed them

Life's a chair of bowlies...and it's all about Plan B!
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5ivedom
Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
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Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

That's interesting LaurieB. That's a good change.

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Randy_Hayes
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
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Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

When my Sprint Galaxy Nexus phone was upgraded from 4.0 to 4.2, the bluetooth audio quality tanked.  It's not something every ear will notice, but for those of us who notice, it's is indeed something to be sad about.

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roustabout
Posts: 3,572
Registered: ‎03-31-2011

Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

[ Edited ]

This morning I discovered something annoying:  the setting for Google Play installed by the update is to autoupdate all software. 

 

In the case of a package that came from BN and which is also available on the Play store, it will try to remove the BN package and install the Play package.

 

This is how I got the Play pandora variant installed. 

 

It's easy enough to turn off autupdating in Play.  From the main page of the app, get into settings and tap on the Auto-Update Apps item.  Choose "Do Not Auto-Update."  (It defaults to "Auto-Update over Wifi") 

 

You will still be notified when updates are available but can choose when to apply them.

 

FYI, the build.prop identifies this release as still being a 4.0.4 build of Android - I don't think the issue with our devices is the same as the ICS->JB issue.

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
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5ivedom
Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
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Re: 2.1 update has degraded Bluetooth streaming audio quality

Roustabout, thanks for this:

 

It's easy enough to turn off autupdating in Play.  From the main page of the app, get into settings and tap on the Auto-Update Apps item.  Choose "Do Not Auto-Update."  (It defaults to "Auto-Update over Wifi") 

 

*******

 

I'm trying to think of what would cause a music degradation and can't think of anything.