How to use Apple Airplay for wireless streaming
What is Airplay?
Airplay is a feature of iTunes and iOS devices that allows you to stream music and videos wirelessly between enabled devices.
For example, you could stream music from the PC in your office to the Airplay speakers in your kitchen and enjoy your favourite tunes while cooking dinner. Or you could record a home movie on your iPhone and stream it to your Apple TV receiver, for the whole family to enjoy watching on your TV set.
Airplay is supported by most new Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Airport Express etc) and the latest version of iTunes. It is also being built into lots of 3rd party devices such as wireless speakers and home cinema amplifiers.
Airplay is compatible with Apple TV, iPad, iPhone (3GS or later), iPod touch (2nd generation or later) and Airport Express (Firmware 7.4.2 or above). To ensure full compatibility, iTunes and all Airplay devices should be updated to the latest software version.
For 3rd party devices, you will need to check the manufacturer’s information to see if the device is Airplay compatible and make sure you have the latest version of the software if applicable.
You will also need access to a Wi-Fi router.
How to use Airplay
The first step is to make sure that all your devices are connected to the same network. They can be connected wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable but they must be connected to the same router.
- To connect to Wi-Fi on an iOS device, click Settings > Wi-Fi and then choose your wireless network from the list. You may need to enter a password to connect to the Wi-Fi network
- To connect other devices to the network, refer to the user guide or give Geek Squad a call for further help
- When all devices are connected to the network, you are ready to start streaming.
Streaming From an iOS Device
When everything is connected to the network, all you need to do is look for the output icon on your iOS device.
This icon will appear in the 'Music and Videos' section on the iOS device and on some 3rd party apps and websites. When you click on the icon, you will be presented with a list of all the Airplay devices that have been picked up on the network.
The screen and speaker icons next to each device indicate the type of media you can stream. For example, you can stream audio from speakers connected to Airport Express, or video to a TV connected to an Apple TV box.
Once you’ve clicked on the device you want to use, the audio and video should start playing straight away.
Streaming From iTunes
Streaming from iTunes on your PC is a very similar process. The icon to choose the output is in the bottom right hand corner of iTunes and looks slightly different.
Once you have found this, you will be given the list of the compatible devices on the network. Just choose the device that you want to stream to.
If you are streaming music from your computer in your office to your speakers in the living room, you probably won’t want to keep running from room to room every time you want to change the track. Well as long as you have an iOS device, Apple has a solution in the shape of their Remote application. This is a small app that you can download onto your iPhone, iPod or iPad that allows you to browse your iTunes music library and control the PC over the wireless network.
To use the Airplay Remote application:
- Activate home sharing in iTunes on your computer - open iTunes and click on Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing
- Sign in with your Apple ID and Password and click on 'Create Home Share'
- Once home sharing is turned on, download the Remote application to your iOS device
- The first time you open Remote, you will be given the option to turn on home sharing. Just sign in with your Apple ID and password again to connect the iOS device to your PC
- You will now be able to browse all the music on your PC from your phone, iPod Touch or iPad. Just tap on the song, video, podcast etc that you want to play and you can control the PC from anywhere in the house