The Apple Airport Express system enables you to quickly and easily link a wireless device to your audio system or directly to your speakers if they are self-powered, then stream audio from iTunes to the speakers. Indeed, if you have more than one Airport Express device, you can stream the same track around your house, meaning you can hear audio in your kitchen, move up to your bedroom and hear the same track. Ideal if you’re busy on a weekend cleaning the house and you want to hear some music whilst you move around from room to room.
Problem is, outside of iTunes it’s very difficult to find tools that will support the Airport Express. For example, this is one of our biggest issues with Spotify as we miss being able to hear our tracks through our hi-fi at the other side of our living room.
Fear not, you can still get the best of both worlds without requiring iTunes. Airfoil is a fantastic little software device that enables you to hear your audio tracks through your Airport Express, from any Windows application that’s capable of playing audio. All it does is intercept the audio and output this via your Airport Express rather than your computer speakers.
Airfoil goes much further than this. You can now use the tool to stream your desktop-based music to your iPhone or iPod Touch, meaning you do not need to keep your tracks on your iPhone, but store them on your computer hard drive instead. You can also send audio to the AppleTV and even other desktop computers around your home.
Note that, in the UK at least, you can’t distribute audio around an office or public space without a commercial license.
Build 5.1.5 is a minor update (see changelog for more):
- Major Enhancement: Custom Equalizer presets are now available in Airfoil! Save custom presets, then re-load them later.
- Critical Bug Fix: Audio capture from Windows Store apps is now much more robust, and should look and function as expected.
- Enhancement: Airfoil Satellite has received several under-the-hood improvements, including improved visual separation between artist and song, better identification of the sender when receiving from non-AirPlay sources, and more.
- Enhancement: Speaker Groups now have shortcut keys in the “Transmit To” menu!
- Enhancement: Clicking the Source selector a second time now closes it. Hooray!
- Bug Fix: Several rare crashes have been fixed, included some related to poorly-conforming Bluetooth speakers, one which could occur when a speaker disappeared, and one which could occur when a connection ended.
- Bug Fix: Previously, the Silence Monitor didn't properly reset after being triggered. It does now!
- Bug Fix: An issue where Airfoil could lose the audio signal from its source has been corrected.
- Other: Airfoil now warns if you try to capture a Windows Store app that isn't running.