How to AirPlay to Your Mac

Originally published at: How to AirPlay to Your Mac - TidBITS

macOS 12 Monterey added the option to use your Mac as an AirPlay receiver for audio, video, and other content. Here’s how to take advantage of it.

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Thank you for this article.

My full-apartment sound system consists of a pair of HomePods in my living room, a HomePod Mini in my bedroom, and a desktop Mac (now a MacStudio with a Studio Display) in my office. For years, for most of the day, I have run the Music (formerly iTunes) app usually tuned to an Internet Radio Stream and used Airplay to send the sound to the HomePods. This has worked out well, but the limitation was that I was limited to using the Music app, as the general Mac audio system does not support streaming to multiple destinations. So, if I streamed to any of my remote destinations, I couldn’t even also get output on the Mac. So, I couldn’t listen to podcasts or streams from other apps or web browser-based streams using this setup.

Your article gave me the courage to try a setup based on my iPhone. Fortunately, the radio station also has an IOS app; so I set that up. After adjusting volumes appropriately, it seems to work out well.

So, for me, the one remaining hole in Apple’s remote speaker audio support is to have the Mac be able to stream like its own Music app. Like the mobile systems, it needs to allow streaming to multiple Airplay devices, but, unlike the other systems, it also needs to allow output to the audio to continue to play locally.

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Until Apple achieves this level of streaming capability, I’m sticking with Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil. It can stream any audio from the host Mac to any Airplay or Bluetooth audio destination (including the host), or to any device on the network running its Airfoil Satellite extension (included). TidBITS sponsor as well.

I’ve never been able to get Airfoil to do multiple-device streaming, nor stream to the Mac while streaming to remote speakers. That capability appears to be limited to the Music app.

meanwhile, i’ve been having issues with airplay from my mac.

just got myself a nice new pair of b&w formation duo wireless loudspeakers. work a treat playing from my iphone. sound spectacular (as one would hope; they ain’t cheap).

from the mac, not so much. constantly get dropouts. typically a glitch drops a beat or three. too often a break of seconds in the audio occurs.

searched the internets for possible solutions. no joy there. all i’ve found is similar complaints from other unhappy listeners, owners of other wireless speakers. some complaints date back to years ago.

why would airplay from the mac be so glitchy yet from the iphone mostly rock solid? any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this to make a case to apple support?

Huh. Don’t know what to say, other than “works for me.” As I type this, Airfoil on my iMac (the host) is streaming music to 1) Itself, via the headphone jack, 2) My Apple TV via Airfoil Satellite, 3) my MBP M1 Pro via Airfoil Satellite, and 4) my patio speakers via Bluetooth.

My use case is actually the use case of all my colleagues: we all have to teach via zoom/teams.
We want to use pdf viewers on the iPad, since they provide drawing tools together with an automatic “presentation” mode, which excludes the viewers from seeing the drawing tools’ palette. Such automatic presentation mode does not work while using zoom/teams directly on the iPad.
So, we use zoom/teams on the mac, we duplicate the iPad screen on a mac window via Airplay. Note that the iPad works with Airplay in presentation mode. From zoom/teams on the mac we share the airplay window with the iPad screen, and we are happy.

Now, there is a major issue with Airplay as implemented in Monterey: the iPad screen can be viewed on the mac only in full screen, and not within a window.
That’s why, we are still stuck using the Airserver app, which works perfectly since many years.

cheers
—e.

Yeah, that’s frustrating and I’m not sure why they did it that way. Technical or legal limitations?

Overcast iPad app runs on Apple Silicon Macs, just for anyone curious after reading this.