Streaming to a Mac with iTunes.
August 15, 2005 7:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a iTunes environment. We're wireless too. Our all purpose fileserver/mailserver/multipurpose box is a mac mini. I want to be able to stream music to it like an airport express. How can I make this happen?

We've got multiple people on multiple laptops. Everybody has itunes, and we'd like to have airport express functionality: being able to control the music that comes out of the mac mini. This way we won't have to pass around the speaker cord, nor buy an airport express...
posted by Freen to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Response by poster: yes, true, but do you really want to teach your boss how to do all that?

Ideally, a piece of software that mimics the airport express' functionality.
posted by Freen at 8:46 PM on August 15, 2005

It is currently impossible to simulate an Airport Express due to Apple's encyrption. iTunes will refuse to send music to any computer that does not identify itself as an Aiport Express.
posted by null terminated at 8:46 PM on August 15, 2005

To clarify, it is possible to use other clients to send data to the airport express, but not possible to use iTunes to send music to something other than an airport express.

You could use VLC to stream the audio out devices of each client computer to the mac mini, which would be running VLC waiting for inbound connections.

Let's say you have computer A and a Mac Mini (call it M). Download VLC to both A & M. On M, open VLC and go to file->open network stream->udp/trp and leave the port as 1234.

On A, open up VLC, go to file->open capture device, under audio device name click "refresh list" and see if you can choose all sound, or something similar under "configuration" (I'm not exactly sure how this works on a mac). Near the bottom, check "Stream output" and hit settings. Check udp, enter the IP of M and click OK. You will be back at the "Open..." screen. Click okay again, and if you're lucky, music from A will be redirected to M.

(If that doesn't work, try checking "audio codec" on the "stream output" dialog, using "mpga")
posted by null terminated at 8:52 PM on August 15, 2005

To further clarify, if you are able to setup your computers like above, the following will happen:

1) All music on A will play through the soundcard.
2) VLC will take all sound from the sound card and send it to M.
3) M will play sound from A
4) Playing music in iTunes on A will result in it being played on M
posted by null terminated at 8:54 PM on August 15, 2005

If you really want an Airport Express-style experience, why not buy an Airport Express, plug the audio into the Mac Mini, and use something like LineIn to play the Airport Express audio through the output on the Mac Mini?

I mean, sure, it's $130, but compared to the amount of time you might blow fiddling with jury-rigged software, it might be worth it. Especially if you get a backup wireless router out of it.
posted by Remy at 9:21 PM on August 15, 2005

Best answer: To clarify the question (because in reading the answers some people don't seem to get it):

Freen - you want multiple computers to act as remote control devices to you Mac Mini file server and the music is going to play out of the Mac Mini file server (I assume because you're pumping it into a big set of speakers that the entire office can hear).

Is that correct? If so, you might try iHam on iRye.
posted by willnot at 10:41 PM on August 15, 2005

What Remy said. The Airport Express is $130, for pete's sake. Save yourself the headache of all this VLC nonsense.
posted by elisabeth r at 3:40 AM on August 16, 2005

Ah, I missed the part about the music being on the mac mini.
posted by null terminated at 6:13 AM on August 16, 2005

yes, true, but do you really want to teach your boss how to do all that?

The VNC solution is easy. How stupid is your boss? If they can use iTunes, they can use VNC.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:41 AM on August 16, 2005

willnot, I think the music is on the clients too, shared via iTunes. But iHam may still work, if it can provide access to those libraries too. Assuming your clients are Macs.
posted by smackfu at 7:02 AM on August 16, 2005

Well, I think that as long as the client machines have iTunes running with their libraries shared via Rendezvous, then the iTunes server on the mini should have access to those libraries. Not sure if iHam can access those shared libraries, but it seems like it should work in theory. Still, if you can get all of your music on the mini, that might be better in some ways.
posted by willnot at 7:09 AM on August 16, 2005

Best answer: I think any kind of remote control is a Really Really Bad Idea. This machine is your file server and mail server- you don't want ANYONE touching it unless absolutely necessary. Spend a couple hundred and get yourself something like a Squeezebox.
posted by mkultra at 1:06 PM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: Well, thanks everyone. It looks like the airport express really is the only way to go....

Suck. Oh well.
posted by Freen at 1:59 PM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: Also, iHam on iRye looks good too...
posted by Freen at 2:02 PM on August 16, 2005

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