Streaming movie audio from a PC to AirPlay speakers
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I recently bought an Apple AirPort Express and set up a set of speakers to give me AirPlay capability. It works perfectly from my iPhone, my iPad and from iTunes on my Windows 7 PC. Well, almost perfectly. Last night I rented an iTunes movie to watch on my PC and when I started the movie I realized I couldn’t select my AirPlay speakers. A quick Google search told me it is apparently not possible. Do you know if this is true? It seems crazy that I can play iTunes music, podcasts and radio through AirPlay, but not a movie.
A: Unfortunately, this is indeed the case. AirPlay audio seems to be primarily intended for streaming things like music to a remote set of speakers located elsewhere in your house. Since watching a video on your PC generally requires you to be located in front of the PC, Apple is obviously (and incorrectly) making the assumption that you would only play your audio through directly connected speakers in this case. It’s also worth noting that even the Apple TV, which adds support for external AirPlay speakers in the recent 5.1 update also has the same limitation on streaming audio during video playback.
AirPlay can, of course, be used from iTunes to stream the entire video to an Apple TV, but even in this case there is no standard way to stream only the audio component while playing back video on a Windows PC itself.
This limitation with regard to AirPlay audio streaming has actually been an issue for years, going back to when the technology was known as AirTunes and supported audio only. Traditionally AirPlay/AirTunes audio streaming has been available solely from iTunes, and it is only recently that Apple has expanded it allowing Mac users to use an AirPlay destination as their system sound device in OS X Mountain Lion.
Fortunately an enterprising third-party developer, Rogue Amoeba, stepped in to fill the gap with an app known as Airfoil. Available in both Windows and Mac versions, Airfoil is a $25 software app that allows users to stream any audio from their Mac or PC to a remote AirPlay device. Airfoil also has the advantage of streaming audio only from specific applications, rather than redirecting your entire system audio stream to the AirPlay device, which makes it useful in some cases even for OS X Mountain Lion users who may be concerned about every system-generated beep and click coming out of their remote speakers.
Airfoil provides a number of other useful features that also help to justify the $25 asking price, including the ability to stream audio from your PC to multiple destinations, including AirPlay speakers, other computers or iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices as well as to receive audio on your PC from other AirPlay sources.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Mobiata announces sunset of FlightTrack 5 and FlightBoard apps
- Harman announces first Wireless CarPlay implementation
- Report: Apple still considering several possible wireless charging solutions for ‘iPhone 8’
- Mini Metro adds Endless Mode
- Apple issues statement opposing Trump administration’s rescission of transgender rights
- ResearchKit study conducted using Apple Watch reveals new insights into seizures
- Instagram adds ability to include up to 10 photos or videos in a single post
- Facebook’s talks with MLB raise possibility that game streams could come to Apple TV
- Analyst claims wireless charging will be included in ‘iPhone 8,’ but rules out Energous as provider
- Apple claims EU made ‘fundamental errors’ in calculating $14B Irish tax ruling
- PureGear PureSwitch HomeKit-enabled Wireless Smart Plug
- 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10