I am loving Amazon Cloud Player. I have wanted to separate myself from iTunes and it’s limiting factors for a long time but have had no choice to keep using it. I love using my Apple TV which is connected to my home audio system. One of the major downsides of the Apple TV is that it does not support services such as Amazon Cloud Player or Pandora Radio. The latest Apple TV requires being connected to a network that has a computer running iTunes in order to play music unless you want to listen to Apple’s supported radio stations, which is like listening to AOL Radio (LAME).
Using a neat little application called Airfoil by RogueAmoeba I am able to pipe any audio my computer puts out to an external device. Airfoil recognizes audio capable devices that are connected to your same Wifi connection. I have two devices that are capable of outputting audio. The first is an Apple TV and the other device is an Apple Airport Express.
As you can see in the Airfoil image, I can choose which device I would like to send my audio. I have System Audio chosen which means all audio my system puts out will be pushed to the selected device. Setting it up this way basically turns whatever my Apple TV is connected to into an external audio source for my computer. If that gets annoying you can select from the menu any application, widget or audio device connected to your computer. This is cool. Airfoil makes it possible to pass the audio through to your Apple TV, which for me is exactly what I want.
With Google Chrome selected, only the audio that comes out of Google Chrome will be pushed to my Apple TV. This is nice because the sound effect my email makes as well as the sounds that other applications make will no longer be heard through the speakers of my audio system.
Some applications have started to build-in this technology. My favorite radio app, Radium, has this built in. Radium gives me the option to play the audio through my computers speakers, my Apple TV or my Airport Express. Of course those options only show up because I have the devices connected to the same Wifi network as my computer.
The main reason that I want to be able to send my audio wireless to another device is so that I can use my Laptop with out having to plugin multiple cables. Many of you are thinking that I could have avoided all of this if I just ran an audio cable from my audio system to my computer. However that defeats the purpose of the laptop being a laptop. A laptop becomes a desktop once you have to plug in multiple cables.
So how do you build a wireless home audio system that allows you to play music from your Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Device and your iPad with out having to plug in a cable?
I will save that tutorial for an upcoming blog post.
How do you like to listen to your music? Share with me in the comments section below.