How to use Airplay on your Mac

Sections: Audio / Video, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Mac Software

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AirPlayChances are good that you’ve been itching to use AirPlay, but not quite enough to buy a new Apple TV. Thanks to Erica Sudan from TUAW, there is another way (for now at least). She’s been “spending far, far too much time reverse engineering Airplay.” And thankfully, she’s been kind enough to share her application, AirPlayer, with the world.

Now, as you might guess when the words “reverse engineering” are involved with anything, it isn’t expected to be 100% functional. It just goes with the territory. She calls it “extremely alpha,” so expect it to be hit or miss. That said, I did get it to work with at least one app, and it’s worth trying if you don’t have an Apple TV.

So getting this to work is actually a piece of cake (minus all the cakey goodness). Just download the file from Erica’s website. It’s the one called AirPlayer. After the file has downloaded, double click it to unpack it and then run the application. You’ll find one large button waiting eagerly to be clicked. Click it to start the AirPlay service.


Alright, now that you have the service running, you need to feed some content over your wireless network to your Mac. Remember, both your iDevice and your Mac need to be on the same network, otherwise it will never work. Possible choices of content include video in and I tried out YouTube right away, and based on the screencap below, you can see it worked, quite nicely I might add. I also tried out streaming a slideshow via, but that was the straw that broke camel’s back. Oh well. I’m impressed it worked at all.


Basically, this is a proof of concept. The real question here is why Apple isn’t releasing their own patch to iTunes or Quicktime to do the same? I can’t be the only one with a Mac Mini hooked up to my TV. It just makes sense to incorporate this feature into Mac OS. So, until Apple gives us this feature like they gave us FaceTime, say thanks to Erica for showing that it’s possible.

Via [TUAW]

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  • Greg

    It's a nice article, but does it only works for Macs? I was wondering that because I only have windows PC around my house. It's really surprising that my only apple devices are my IPods and my IPad. I would appreciate if appletell sorta gives me a positive answers on my questions about using airplay on computers.


  • Jake Gaecke

    Sorry, you're out of luck this time. It just barely works on Mac. It's definitely a hack. Someone may explore this on Windows too, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

  • Greg

    Thanks for your input there Jake, I was thinking the same thing on that issue. Even though it's a hack(and has it's own issues)is very nice to see that someone is bringing airplay to work with computers. Cool to see that many people can use airplay without pulling out our credit cards to purchase an apple TV for the sole purpose of using the airplay feature.

    Looks like my wish, my come true after all. I don't have to hold my breath for long….Rumors go that hack for windows PC is in the works. Let's cross our fingers that the kinks that is present with Macs works out better in Windows.