Zwift and Amazon Music

Is it possible to run Zwift and Amazon music at the same time?
I run Zwift by HDMI connection from my new Android phone to a TV and I’m trying to bluetooth
connect Amazon music to ear buds. Zwift companion is connected via a separate tablet.
I also have a Garmin HRM connected by bluetooth and the Zwift play controllers,
presumably also bluetooth. Everything connects fine until I to run Amazon Music in the background.
Then I lose the main Zwift connection (e.g. my race course and avatar appear on the TV but my bicycle
doesn’t respond and there are no metrics)

Can you run Amazon Music on the tablet? That would probably work a lot better. Some Bluetooth ear buds also interfere with your other connections so you could also test Amazon Music without the ear buds and see what happens.

Sounds about right; if you’re using bluetooth to connect to the trainer; but then also telling phone to use bluetooth to play audio; it can’t do both.

(Bluetooth is extremely limited in terms of connecting to multiple devices; in most cases it still cannot; it’s just become “smarter” / more capable over the past few decades of being able to actively switch between multiple connections these days)

A potential solution; this is what I do with my PC, is if your phone pushes audio over HDMI, you can use a bluetooth transmitter on your TV’s audio out, and then connect your earbuds to that.

You can get bluetooth audio transmitter (make sure it’s a transmitter, not receiver; some FYI are capable of being both), for very cheap online.
They will require power; so some are just 3.5mm for audio, and USB for power; so I just have mine go from USB power on TV, into the 3.5mm out on the back of my TV.

I have not had a single connection issue since doing it this way. Of course, it relies on your phone pushing audio over HDMI which I am unsure of; that’s something you’ll have to look into.

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Thanks for the suggestion. My tablet is relatively cheap and only used for Z Companion so I haven’t tried AM. We’ll see if it runs Companion and AM. I’ll let you guys know

I think you may be right about about BT limitations. When I upgraded to Z Play, I had a terrible time connecting until some bug was fixed. Best I can tell I have as many as 7 different BT connections going when I Zwift- Trainer, Companion, Garmin HRM, L Z play, R Z play, Garmin smartwatch and Garmin Edge Explore. Frankly, I’m surprised they all work…

I think you’re confusing the historical limitations of lots of common BT peripheral devices (such as earphones and other peripherals) with a BT host device such as a phone or computer. The latter devices should have no problem with multiple simultaneous BT connections, so a phone can generally connect to multiple BT devices with no problem.

However, of course some devices might have limitations or just straight-out bugs meaning it doesn’t handle this properly or at all. Which is what it sounds like is happening here.

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Or possibly running out of bandwidth?

I wouldn’t call it historical anymore; there are still very many low cost devices that absolutely aren’t as smart as say airpods.

Not to mention some devices (cough windows cough), still really struggle with signal swapping, again, compared to certainly more recent smart phones.

Point remains however which is that it’s a bit of a crapshoot and still mostly dangerous either way.
It’s also still mostly true however that phones aren’t significantly great at multi tasking, and certainly if it involves audio. I don’t even think I own anything that can host audio from two unique apps simultaneously…

Point being; for a lot of bluetooth and software, it still requires stars aligning to get things to work.

Absolutely this ^^^

My 2 year old phone can just about cope with connecting to something else while connected to my Garmin watch, but I have to manually make the second connection most of the time.

It really doesn’t like connecting to my 14 year old Mondeo’s in-car system while connected to the watch (even though it works really well when not connected to the watch), but will happily connect to the gizmo that I use to broadcast audio from the phone to the car radio.

Bluetooth just isn’t really built for that sort of thing.

I do Zwift on my phone, but only when I run on the treadmill at the gym, and only have the footpod connected … my watch sadly doesn’t broadcast HR which would make life easier.

My phone connects to my trainer, HRM and Zwift Play all via Bluetooth at the same time with no problems (and it’s
a couple of years old and was mid-range when new). And then it simultaneously bridges that to my Apple TV and Zwift via wifi.

Some of you guys seem to have issues with your phones or your apps. It’s not a problem with Bluetooth per se.

This is purely a situation with audio specifically.
and the cheap junk headphones that I have liked buying… :sweat_smile:

(no really, the cheaper headphones for example I’ve bought for use on Zwift has near always been my largest issue here; devices that just blot out the entire connection types due to older / far cheaper to produce BT series chips)

Which that’s just the reality of it; one cannot assume they’re using an iPhone 9000 MAX with their Premium Airpod Pro Series 6000’s on their next generation tablet.

It’s just not a safe bet… so… I always assume for the worst; which is… that BL doesn’t love to play with everything all the time; ESPECIALLY when it comes to audio.

Audio is the unique qualifier here; as because even with “smart devices” and being able to connect them to multiple things or have multi functions… they aren’t… as good as people think.

As an example, my new expensive Bose headphones (and this is true for all top of the line earbuds and headphones that function this way, including Apple’s own), while they can connect to multiple devices; has to do a signal trip every minute or so, which cuts out audio to ensure it’s still connected to multiple devices for a about half a second.

Meanwhile; if you then get a phone call while using these audio devices, and you never think about how that’s supposed to function, that the Bluetooth now has to go to a two way stream from a one way stream… but maybe you once have noticed a light (or a very significant) drop in audio quality; it’s because it will cut stereo sound and flip to mono so it can use half the bandwidth to transmit your voice.

In some cases / with some devices this still isn’t even possible.
Want to listen to audio, and also transmit voice on something like a Windows computer with a built in bluetooth dongle? How about a top of the line 5.4 antenna on a Windows computer?

Can’t do it.

(Which is why wireless gaming headphones have their own unique USB dongle.)

Bluetooth has its downsides… are hardware developers getting better at being able to not use all of the bandwidth, or allow multiple streams for low count data streams? Yes.

Audio however… is not a low data stream.

And note here Steve, that this whole thread has had a mention of audio; which you just clarified is not something that you’re attempting to use with your phone.

My main point was that sweeping generalisations about BT not handling multitasking are wrong. Yes, maybe BT audio is too greedy, I don’t know. But BT can generally handle lots of connections fine.

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