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I'm a big fan of Apple's AirPlay (formally known as AirTunes) technology. It all started with the AirPort Express Base Station and the ability to attach speakers/stereo receiver, etc. to your AirPort Express and stream music wirelessly to those connected speakers. Since those days AirTunes has evolved into what Apple calls AirPlay today and this change in name is because it's no longer limited to sound. With AirPlay you can also stream video wirelessly to a compatible device such as an Apple TV 2 from your Mac/PC or iOS Device. I LOVE AirPlay!

AirFoil Gives Me AirPlay for My other Apps

While iTunes has supported AirPlay (AirTunes) for several years, the technology hasn't made its way into the Mac OS in general. You would think by now that with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion you'd be able to set your Sound Prefs to your AirPlay speakers for ALL of your Apps. Alas, this isn't the case and quite frankly I listen to more than just the stuff I have in iTunes. Take Pandora Radio for example. They've got a cool desktop App now and it would be a pity to be limited to just my computer speakers (or directly connected speakers on my computer). Luckily the good folks over at Rouge Amoeba have a great solution. It's called AirFoil. AirFoil is an Application that allows you to stream ANY of your Mac (or Windows) audio sources via AirPlay. I've used this App before, but hadn't upgraded to the latest version until recently. Wow! They've made some really nice improvements not the least being the ability to turn your Mac into an AirPlay speaker as well for your iOS devices or other Macs. This is great for presentations from your iDevices where the Mac is hooked up to a projector and speakers.

With AirFoil setup I could see all of my various AirPlay devices as well as assign the audio source to a specific App (such as Pandora) or have it take over all of my system audio. I was also able to stream to multiple AirPlay devices (rooms) without skipping a beat. It's also nice having individual volume controls for each AirPlay device.

Perhaps someday Apple will see fit to make AirPlay a system wide resource, but for now it's great having AirFoil pick up the slack. Now we just need the next AirFoil update to stream all things video to Apple TV 2 and it would be Heaven!

You can get AirFoil here.

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  • Naresh

    Hi Terry

    Was looking at Airfoil on the web and came across your article. So, how have you found Airfoil since you started using it? Any problems? And do you know where I can get a nice guide to installing and using it? I am no tech geek.

    Thanks.

    Naresh.

    • I use it all the time, it works great. Not much to do to setup it up.