Today, your phone is the center of your life. You use it for communication, listening to music or podcasts, and watching videos. Or maybe you use awesome apps to track expenses, fitness and if you’re smart, you actually use your smartphone to make your life better.
But smartphones have teeny tiny speakers. And teeny tiny screens. Which is why, at the end of the day you might want to listen to music/podcast from speakers connected to your PC or HTPC. If you have an iOS device, this is going to be super easy thanks to AirPlay.
What you’ll need: Unlike our guide on streaming media from PC/Mac to iOS devices, this one doesn’t need nearly as many tools. All you’ll need is one app on the desktop, that’s it. The built-in AirPlay support on iOS will take care of the rest. Oh, and both the computer and the iOS device will need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
How To Enable AirPlay On Mac And PC Using Kodi (XBMC)
Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a full-fledged media center with support for all kinds of streaming protocols like DLNA, UPnP and of course, AirPlay. Both the Mac and Windows apps support it.
If you’re just looking to use XBMC as a streaming end point, you don’t really need set up the app, you just need to change two settings. Go to System -> Settings -> Services.
Here, first go to Zeroconf and check Announce these services to other systems via Zeroconf.
Then from AirPlay below, enable Allow XBMC to receive AirPlay content.
That’s it, AirPlay has now been enabled.
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On your iOS device, start playing any kind of music or podcast and bring up the Control Center. Here you’ll see the AirPlay button. Tap it and XBMC (or Kodi) will show up. Tap that, and the output will instantly change from the device to the speakers attached to your computer.
Kodi supports video streaming via AirPlay, but it didn’t work for me. While it officially does support video playback over AirPlay, it just wouldn’t work when I tried. Maybe it was because of iOS 8 where Apple changed some AirPlay protocols. Hopefully this issue will be ironed out in future updates. Let me know if video streaming works for you.
How To Use Shairport4w To Stream Music From iOS Devices To Windows
If you want one simple utility to do one simple thing on your Windows PC – stream audio from iOS device – just get Shairport4w.
When you’re installing it, just remember to uncheck the audio recording plugin option. Or else the app will record everything that you’re streaming from your iOS device and that’s probably not something you want.
When you launch the app, it will run in the background and show up in the system tray. You can change the Airport Name if you want, by default it will be the name of your PC.
Pull up the Control Center in iOS and from the AirPlay section, select the name of your PC (for me it was “KP-PC”) and the playback will begin. The app also shows album art cover and track metadata.
Unlike Kodi, Shairport4w does not support streaming video, it’s just for audio files.
How Do You Listen To Music?
What’s your favorite way of listening to music? Headphones, phone speaker, or a decked out audio room? Let us know in the comments below.