I was really excited when Apple added the AirPlay support in iOS making it possible for me to stream music from my iPhone or iPad to one of the several sets of speakers I have hooked up to AirPort Express units. The problem I quickly ran into was that AirPlay on iOS will only let you stream to one AirPort Express whereas iTunes lets you stream to multiple devices at a time. Using a program like AirFoil ($25) on your Mac helps a little since you’ll be able to stream audio from any application (instead of just iTunes) to all of your AirPort Express units, but that didn’t help my iOS situation.
Then something wonderful happened. Apple’s AirPlay private key was reverse engineered, which opened the door for any third-party apps that wanted to have a computer act as an AirPlay device. That’s exactly what happened. BananaTunes is a free Beta app that will make your Mac show up as an AirPlay device that you can stream music to.
Combining BananaTunes along with AirFoil means my iOS device can now wirelessly stream to all my AirPlay devices in the house at the same time. By using your iOS device as the source of the streaming music you’ll be able to control your music playback experience from your iOS device rather than the computer. This is especially useful for streaming music services like Pandora, Slacker, Rdio, Spotify, and many others where you can skip/change songs while walking around your house enjoying the music.
Here’s how it all works:
- Download BananaTunes.zip and the Install Pack.zip from Erica Sadun’s FTP (download mirror for version 0.02).
- Extract the contents of the Install Pack.zip, and follow the instructions in the Readme file. There’s only a few files you need to copy.
- Extract the contents of the BananaTunes.zip, and copy the BananaTunes.app to your Applications folder.
- Open AirFoil, and select BananaTunes.app as the audio source.
- In AirFoil select the speakers you want to stream to, but don’t select the one that was added because of BananaTunes (in my case it is the one labeled iMac).
- Now on your iOS device select the AirPlay speakers added by BananaTunes (in my case it is the one labeled iMac).