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 5.5 is a major update (see changelog for more):
- Major Enhancement: Airfoil now offers support for streaming audio to Google Chromecast devices, as well as third party Cast-enabled TVs and speakers!
- Major Enhancement: Airfoil also now offers full support for Apple's HomePod speaker!
- Major Enhancement: Modern incarnations of Firefox are now fully supported, including when playing audio via Flash. The Opera browser is now fully supported as well.
- Enhancement: Syncing has been improved, with a re-sync now occurring every 90 minutes to avoid issues with drift, a new sync engine for all device types, and updates to the audio pipeline..
- Various bug fixes