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Why I'm skipping AirPlay


It's pretty simple: I want to stream music from my Mac to my iPad or iPhone. Why? Because I sometimes connect one of those iOS devices to a home stereo. Those devices do not contain my entire iTunes library. Unfortunately, AirPlay won't let me stream my iTunes library to my iOS devices. Thus, I'm not able to use AirPlay in my home.

I don't own an Apple TV. The Airport Express I have is an older model that causes my Airport Extreme Base Station to freak out, requiring frequent reboots of either device, often randomly, never at a good moment. Yet, with all the awesomeness of AirPlay, I cannot do one simple thing: play music (or anything else) from my $2,000+ MacBook Pro to my iPad. Instead, Apple wants me to pony up another $99 for an Apple TV -- a device I simply don't need right now.

I'm not sure why this is so. There is a 3rd party application on the store right now that will do this called AirVideo Stream to Me.* In fact, true to its name, it'll stream more than music. I used to use Airfoil to do this from Mac to Mac and from Mac to iPhone. Why this seemingly simple use case is hobbled by Apple's design is beyond me. It's such a puzzler that I wrote Steve Jobs an email about it. Naturally, I have yet to hear from him.

So I'm throwing it open to the audience: would you also like to stream music or photos or movies from your Mac to your iDevice?


*Update: To clarify, AirVideo streams video. Stream to Me, as noted by irate tipster Lee Wheeler, streams music, movies and photos from Mac to iOS device (not Apple TV, however).

photo by flickr user niceness

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