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Apple has recently added support for Dolby Atmos (which they call Spatial Audio) to its streaming service and it can simulate the surround sound experience on headphones.

I have a collection of music remixed to Dolby 5.1 and I was wondering how I could convert it to alac files that I can import into the Music app on macOS and listen to with this simulated surround sound effect.

I have tried converting it to alac files with 6 channels, but I can't even import these files into the Music app. I'm happy to buy software that is capable of doing this conversion (from Dolby or otherwise) if that is necessary. I just have no idea how this can be done and I'm not finding much information online.

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  • I don't think you can do that. I guess you will have to find your own HRTF and apply it while downmixing from Dolby 5.1 to stereo (I would also love to know how to do that). Then you can use it with any pair of headphones you want and theoretically get the same benefits.
    – Joy Jin
    Jul 29, 2022 at 13:03
  • After some research it seems like you should be able to do this using Dolby Atmos plugin in Logic Pro. If you figure out how to do this, please let me know.
    – Joy Jin
    Jul 29, 2022 at 13:18

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Currently you cannot import Dolby Atmos files into Apple Music. If you want to stick with Apple Music, the only option is to submit a Dolby Atmos release of each track to Apple and listen to it through Apple Music Subscription. You will need to submit the Dolby master file (ADM BWF) to Apple, not the 5.1 encoded file.

If you are open to other options, you can play E-AC-3 (and AC-3, not sure about TrueHD) using QuickLook or QuickTime on macOS, and Files on iOS. Common open-source players can also play most Dolby formats. AC-4 have very limited support at the moment.

To play AC-4 on your machine, you might want to try Dolby Reference Player, which is included in the purchase (or trial) of Dolby Media Encoder.

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