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 3.6.1 brings these changes:
- Support for Windows 8.1 has been improved, particularly with regards to an issue where the System Audio capture driver did not properly install.
- Previously, track title information sometimes failed to properly update, and stale information was shown. No one likes stale anything, really, right? So we put a stop to this nonsense, and track title information should now be much more up to date.
- A crasher related to wonky DirectX audio values has been fixed.
- The Debugging window (hold Shift at launch to see it) has been overhauled. This is of little interest, except when debugging is needed. Then, it will be better!
- Airfoil Speakers now provides the correct CSeq header to RTSP transmissions. That sounds all kinds of technical, doesn't it? In short, Airfoil Speakers is better future-proofed against various changes. That's a good thing.