Is there a way to stream audio or video to an Apple Airplay device?

I have an Aiprort Express that can play audio, but the same question applies to the Apple TV or any other Airplay device.

It is really easy to do this in iTunes and I was wondering if there is a way to do it on ubuntu?

  • Audio streaming protocol (RAOP) should be the same for Airport Express and Airplay device, did you try? Unfortunately I have no Airplay device at hand to test. Video streaming may eventually be done through a Totem plugin – Takkat Mar 17 '11 at 17:50
  • you can use xbmc (www.xbmc.org) – user12563 Mar 17 '11 at 20:28

This does not seem to work in 14.04 anymore: sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-raop pulseaudio-module-zeroconf. I simply don't see the device at the output tab.

To fix it install paprefs: sudo apt-get install paprefs, start it and select the two options at network access and reboot. The device should now show up.

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  • +1 for paprefs, that added the virtual devices for me - ~~but~~ when I choose them as my output device, the volume level indicator freezes, and no sound can be observed at the endpoint. Any ideas? – appas Jul 21 '15 at 17:32
  • What do you do if the device is password protected? I selected it in pavucontrol but it will not stream (the device is password protected) and I have not been prompted anywhere for a password. – Jake Jan 20 '17 at 11:53

I've used it to some extent to stream to my airport. But with very uneven results. at home it worked fine for ages but at a friends place with his airport it hardly ever works.

The installation is easy at least.

from the terminal type the command:

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-raop pulseaudio-module-zeroconf

you might need to reboot. Ubuntu will automatically detect your airport device on the network. You can switch to using it as a sound source from your sounds setting in the upper left corner of your screen.

Go the the tab named "output" if / when detected you will see your airport device. select it , and try streaming something to it.

Here is a picture of the menu. My airport is broken, so I cant show you how it looks,but its just another sound device below the Internal one

enter image description here

There is a 5-6 second delay when streaming / switching songs while streaming to the airport.

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  • Screenshots here would make this answer great! – Jorge Castro Mar 21 '12 at 23:54
  • Here's the picture you asked for :) – tomodachi Apr 18 '12 at 23:41
  • well, it doesn't detect my aiport express... any tips on diagnosing what's not working? – drevicko Feb 20 '14 at 1:20
  • you need the avahi running, to verify its functionality try avahi-browse -at from the terminal, it will list a bunch of services available on your local network, including your airport – tomodachi Mar 4 '14 at 2:12
  • It worked also on 14.04 after updating the preferences using paprefs but trying to stream audio results in a "segmented" audio, nearly inaudible. – Giovanni Aug 26 '14 at 8:05

It sort of works on Ubuntu 12.04 following the instructions above. What I have noticed is that not all applications behave well with it. E.g. sound is choppy using Ubuntu's default application for music Rhythmbox, but it is instead good using the Linux preview of Spotify.

My guess is that quality depends on the bitrate by which audio is pushed to the Airport Express, as if the device was capable of supporting effectively audio that is streamed to it only according to a specific set of parameters.

This hypothesis is consistent also with this alternative solution to the problem: using VLC to encode on the fly and stream all audio to the Airport Express: http://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=97111 . I could not make this work, though.

In an ideal world, Pulse support for Airplay would take care of the re-encoding. At the moment it appears as it is not happening.

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Ubuntu One has a paid feature for that, too. http://hothardware.com/News/Ubuntu-streams-MP3-music-through-iPhone-and-AirPlay/

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