Chances 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 iPod.app and YouTube.app. 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 Photos.app, 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.