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Mary, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 667
Experience:  25+ years supporting the Mac graphic arts industry
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My Ipad times out due to inactivity when I listen to Sirius

Resolved Question:

My Ipad times out due to inactivity when I listen to Sirius radio. It does this after several hours but I listen to the radio all night. How do I stop this shutdown, it wakes me up when it quits.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mary and I'll do my best to help you solve your iPad issue.

If you go into Settings > General > Auto-lock and set that to Never, your iPad won't time out or sleep. However, you should probably have the iPad connected to a power source as this will cause a battery drain.

If you prefer the screen to be on the darker side go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper and drag the brightness down until just before the screen turns completely off (I've read of some wi-fi problems with the screen turned completely off).

Try this and see if it accomplishes what you need.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The timeout occurs after several hours, and states "inactivity timeout Do You Wish to Continue". The auto-lock feature was ,I thought, for the screen. I have changed the Auto setting to never and I shut the screen down with the lock button. The Sirius station still plays but will it time out in 3 hours? Can I shut the screen down with the lock button, or must I dim the brightness?
Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
It's a bit confusing the way Apple has specified the "sleep" feature on the iPad.

If you set Auto Lock to "Never" the device will, essentially, stay completely powered up and not sleep.

If you shut the screen down with the lock feature, then that is equivalent to putting the iPad to sleep. Since you want the device to stay on and continue to receive the Sirius signal, then you need to make sure that the machine doesn't lock (setting Auto Lock to "Never") and then, if you wish, dimming the screen.

The dimming of the screen isn't really necessary, unless it bothers you in your dark room while you're trying to sleep. If you have the iPad plugged in, then battery drain won't be an issue.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have set-up the Ipad as suggested. The auto-lock is off. The bright screen is a problem but I can turn it upside down.

Just to understand though, the auto-lock setting adjusts the time out of the screen, and also at a different time, longer, the inactivity timeout that I am having a problem with. By setting the auto-lock to never it will not time-out during the night. Do I have this right?

Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
Yes, from what I have experienced with my iPad, when the Auto Lock is set to "Never" the device essentially stays completely powered up and connected to the Wi-Fi (I assume you are streaming Sirius radio via Wi-Fi). As I said before, I would recommend that you keep the iPad connected to a power outlet as a long-term Wi-Fi and streaming connection will drain the battery.

I also understand what you mean about the bright screen and this can be addressed by going into the Settings > Brightness and sliding the screen brightness down to just one step above completely off. Of course, turning the iPad upside down to hide the brightness will also work as well.

Try these settings tonight and see if they work for you. I expect they will but if not let me know and I am happy to continue troubleshooting.

All the best,
Mary and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I tried it last night and three times it stated "Timed out due to inactivity" then a do you wish to continue button. The auto-lock was disabled and the screen stayed on all night. Any other ideas??
Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
I've been doing a bit more research and it seems this isn't so much an iPad issue as a Sirius one.

Apparently Sirius has a check system that asks every 90 minutes if you are still listening. If you don't respond to the alert, the streaming stops. Sirius claims this is to optimize bandwidth for it's "active" listeners and prevent streaming to computers or devices where nobody appears to be present.

Great, doesn't do you much good if you want to sleep with a continuous transmission.

I'm still researching and will let you know if I find any solutions or work-arounds.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. Merry Xmas
Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
Just got back from contacting Sirius - just to see what they'd say.

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do on your end to prevent this timeout issue. They call it a "feature" for their active listeners by preserving bandwidth. When I explained the sleeping with the radio on issue, they couldn't really tell me much except to say that sleeping wasn't really being an "active" listener. I don't buy the "feature" explanation and see it more as a cost-savings measure on their part.


Perhaps you'll need to switch to some other sort of streaming service during overnight sessions so you aren't woken up by the service asking you to interact with it.

I was really hoping this was an iPad issue, which would be solvable. But if the timeout is coming from the other end, you really don't have any control over it.

There are some software workarounds but only for Windows from what I've found. Nothing on the iPad/iPhone platform unfortunately.

Merry Xmas to you too,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for all your effort. I will use pandora(?).
Expert:  Mary replied 5 years ago.
Pandora is an excellent choice and one of the options suggested on the discussion boards I consulted about the Sirius issue.

All the best,