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 5.0.2 is a minor update (see changelog for more):
- Minor Enhancement: Airfoil better handles sync adjustments in the “Advanced Speaker Options” window. Users may need to perform a one-time readjustment of these settings.
- Minor Enhancement: Airfoil Satellite now avoids audio and networking issues caused by App Nap.
- Bug Fix: An issue where sync adjustments for the “Computer” output were forgotten has been fixed.
- Bug Fix: Airfoil will now de-select the defunct Airfoil Video Player app if it's selected from a previous version.
- Other: Airfoil no longer needlessly shows a warning when an active Bluetooth speaker disconnects from your Mac.