HomePod stutters or stops

I recently purchased a Homepod and an iPod Touch to set it up and direct audio to it using Airplay. This worked really well for the first two or three weeks. But now it intermittently stops or sometimes hesitates. Has anyone else experienced this and found a permanent solution? I have searched a little on the Net and there does seem to be similar reports and I have reset my Touch, my WiFi and my Homepod but this does not fix the problem.

Are you using iOS 11.4 on the iPod touch? That would theoretically enable AirPlay 2, which is supposed to be better at avoiding stuttering than AirPlay 1, which is all you’d get if you were using a version of iOS before 11.3.

Also, I’d imagine that even AirPlay 2 might have problems if your network doesn’t have very good coverage.

Finally, why are you playing audio from the iPod touch through the HomePod via AirPlay? Although that should work, the HomePod is really designed to play from Apple Music directly.

Yes, I am using 11.4 on the iPod touch. Will check and see if I can tell if it is using AirPlay 2.

I am actually using Spotify but I have seen similar reports with Apple Music and I guess the thing that I don’t understand is it worked well for the first couple of weeks.

That’s partly why I mentioned the issue with your Wi-Fi network. It might be worth rebooting your router and all the devices (power cycle them) and see if that helps. But yes, if you’re using Spotify, it can’t work directly on the HomePod so you’ll need to do AirPlay. But my understanding is that AirPlay 2 should just happen, assuming all the devices are running the latest OS versions.

This used to happen on airplay (to an airport express) at my parents’ house no matter what I did. We even replaced the Express at one point.

I also use Spotify, and that’s one really good reason why I won’t be buying a HomePod. We use an Amazon Echo, which supports playing the music directly for both Spotify and Amazon music. There is no battery drain on my phone like there was with Airplay. Nor is there any delay after pressing play (or pause) on the device, waiting for airplay to catch up. Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that the Spotify iOS app still allows you to control the music seamlessly, including volume control, even though the playback is happening on the Echo.

You do not HAVE to AirPlay to the HomePod. It plays music just fine on its own. And I don’t even need to open an app to control the music, it’s right there in Control Center.

But I have never subscribed to Spotify, and I am no longer using my Echos at all.

You do if you’re using Spotify. Or YouTube. Or Pandora. Or really anything except Apple Music.

[I personally wouldn’t buy an expensive smart speaker that is so dumb it can only play from one music service.]

I almost always use AirPlay, even though you don’t “have” to. It gives me far more control, over volume, play order, album selection, etc., then having to ask Siri to do things while the audio is playing. And it’s the only way I know to get the sound track from a video, even from Apple, to play on a HomePod while the video is displayed elsewhere.

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To conclude my original post - I tested the WiFi and it was very erratic. I added a WiFi extender to my network and although there were still a couple of hiccups at the beginning it has been operating smoothly for a number of weeks.

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Can’t you still control it from your iPhone without resorting to Airplay?

It may be worth stating here why I bought the Homepod. I wanted a simple music system in our kitchen and I did experiment with another system which I discovered only worked with the paid version of Spotify and was really difficult to pair up with my mini iPad (original). I wanted something that just works, and mostly Apple stuff does (and it does sound great). I also had to buy an iPod touch to control it as I don’t own a device with a late enough OS to control it and as I had a gift card from my company that came to the same amount the price wasn’t a big consideration.

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You can, but it’s about as hard as connecting AirPlay, so there’s no real advantage. There are some slight disadvantages (I don’t think lyrics show up when you’re controlling the HomePod directly rather than AirPlaying). For me the biggest disadvantage is that our network has been periodically flakey since July (thanks Comcast! The problem is outside of our house, and they fix it, but then it shows up again). When the Internet goes down, the HomePod just stops, where if you’re AirPlaying music that you’ve already downloaded to another device, nothing bad happens.

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