Airplay The Cheap Way

Ever since Apple announced that Airplay would be built into stereo systems I’ve wanted a simple sound system that I could just stream my iTunes library to over wifi. Some bookshelf stereo systems have Bluetooth streaming enabled, but Bluetooth doesn’t sound good to my ears. From what I’ve read Airplay over wifi appears to have no loss in sound quality, so that’s the way to go.

But there’s no small stereo systems with Airplay out yet. Plus, it seems like everybody already has something with a dock connector. Mine looks like this:

sonyipod

So how can I access my iTunes library in my this way? I could just sync tunes to my iPhone, plug it in, but then every time I want to change an album I’d have to go over, unplug it, pick something, and plug it back in. I’d rather just queue stuff in iTunes DJ and let it do its thing.

I could buy an Apple TV, which I may do at some point. But I still have this thing with a dock connector.

For that I’ve been doing it the Airfoil way.

Airfoil allows you to stream audio from your Mac or PC to other destinations. Using their free Airfoil Speakers app on your iOS device you could stream audio from iTunes to your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

So if you’ve got one of these speaker systems with a dock connector you can stream to your iPhone or iPod touch to the speakers. If you have an iPod you can take it one step further by using the Remote app to control iTunes on your Mac or PC.

Airfoil isn’t perfect. There’s always a few seconds of lag, which is fine for most listening. Once in a while Airfoil sounds like it’s trying to buffer audio, and the audio will change pitch. Maybe the same problems happen with Airplay systems, but I don’t know since I’ve never used one.