AirPlay and AirFoil

So the other day I was cleaning up around the Band Room trying to get everything packed up for the summer. The trouble was it was too quiet. I needed music! So I grabbed my iPad and hooked it up to the speakers, hit play and turned it up – I mean come on, there were no kids around and I needed inspiration! About five minutes later another teacher walked into the room. Of course I had to walk over to the iPad and turn it down so we could carry on a conversation without yelling at each other. That teacher left, I hit play and continued on to work. A half an album later and I thought about listening to The Brass Band of Battle Creek! So I trekked over to the iPad, did a few flicks of the finger and turned on some great Brass music!

After work I was sitting downstairs at my laptop and my Son, from across the room asked if I had heard the new 12 Stones album that he had just purchased. Of course he was way more up to date than I was and I had not heard it. So he hurriedly came over to share the new album with me since it was not loaded up on my computer.

After all that I got to thinking about how much easier it would have been while at school if I could have been controlling the music I was working to with my iPhone, it was right there in my pocket the entire day! I could have started, stopped, turned it down, picked new music and I’m sure it would have made a great impression on others who just happened to walk into my room! Or what if my Son could have just simply stayed where he was and hit play on his iPad and I could have heard the new music on my iPad/iPhone/Computer?

At first you might be thinking – Get an AirPort Express! Well, to an extent you would be offering a great solution. The problem is that at school an AirPort Express doesn’t work – I tried! Your next thought may be – Use the Reflection or AirServer Apps to play music through to your classroom computer which is hooked up to the sound system. I would have – but I had the computer and sound system tore apart to pack it all up for the summer.

Of course I wouldn’t be writing about all this if I had not found a solution. I have known about Airfoil and Airfoil Speakersfrom Rogue Amoeba for a while now. I like what it does… It allows you to play music from your computer to a number of different devices all around wherever you may be. But I have never really used the app because I just have not wanted to send audio FROM a computer to my iPad or iPhone. I do constantly want to send audio and other items the other direction though as mentioned in the scenario above. A while back the Airfoil Speakers App was updated in the iTunes Store and this time the update information caught my eyes. The update included the ability to transmit audio from any iOS device to another iOS device! The app did not stay in the store long though. Apple yanked the app because of that ability to play from iOS to iOS. Rogue Amoeba had a difficult time getting Apple to work with them though. Just the other day AirFoil Speakers app was admitted back to the Apple Store again, without the ability to play from iOS to iOS though. Read more about it here on CultofMac. Rogue Amoeba had to take that capability out of their app. Bummer!

Rogue Amoeba has an article on their website about one work around. Kind of what I wanted but not as easy as I hoped.

Then today I found a nice article from 9To5 Mac about how to get this functionality back, without having to jailbreak your device. It appears that, as of now, all you have to do is download iExplorer from MacroPlant. This free little utility lets you access your iOS device like a flash drive from your computer. After downloading that app you will then need to download a plist file into a specific spot on your iOS device (check the article from 9to5 – there is a tweet in there with a picture about where to put the plist file.) This was EASY, Fast and worked like a charm. It was a bit tricky getting the plist file into the right spot and I think I had to restart my iPad to make it take effect. But now I can start up the AirFoil App on my iPad, go to my iPhone Music App and hit play, select the iPad exactly as I would if I was selecting any other AirPlay device and I’m in business!

If this interests you at all, I would suggest that you go get the plist file, download the tweeted picture and get the AirFoil App form the App Store NOW! Who knows how much longer this will all stay available. Of course who knows if it will even still work after Apple makes all their announcements this next Monday at WWDC.

One thought on “AirPlay and AirFoil

  1. Wow. Interesting! Pleased you found your solution, hope this reaches you…

    I have a new laptop (windows7) and an iphone(4s) I’ve got the airplay speaker app working (laptop audio > iphone) but struggling to send music/audio the other way (my ideal was to send all audio via iphone airplay speaker, including mic or using a mic app while “broadcasting” over airplay[airfoil])

    Is this possible? Still struggling with step one (iphone audio > laptop)

    Very curious J

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