Under The Microscope

Airfoil for Mac 5.1 Brings Many Improvements

Airfoil IconIt’s been just over three months since we unveiled Airfoil for Mac version 5, which includes the new ability to send audio to Bluetooth speakers, many advancements in the companion Airfoil Satellite applications, and much more. Of course, we’re not stopping there when it comes to updating our whole-house audio streamer. Airfoil 5.1 has just been released, and it includes its own wealth of improvements. It’s a free update for all current owners of Airfoil 5, and owners of Airfoil 4 and lower are still eligible for a discounted upgrade.

What’s New in Airfoil 5.1

The most noticeable change in the new version is the updated Effects window, seen here:

Airfoil's new Effects window

We’ve improved the layout and labels for Effects, and made the window properly remember its state between launches. Couple this with the ability to save custom Equalizer presets that we added in version 5.0, and you’ve got a greatly enhanced Effects window for fine-tuning your audio!

We’ve also improved Airfoil Satellite, the remote control and audio receiving companion to Airfoil. With the latest version, Airfoil Satellite will receive and display Retina-quality album art whenever possible. As well, we’ve improved the way Airfoil Satellite works when controlling iTunes remotely.

Airfoil Satellite receiving Retina art

This update also includes some small improvements to our audio capture engine, and squashes a handful of rare but annoying bugs, including an issue where communicating with password-protected speakers could incorrectly fail. Finally, several spots where visuals weren’t quite right have now been polished to a fine sheen. We’re always working to sand down rough edges in our software, and this update is no exception.

Chromecast Support

In March, Quentin wrote about our plans to include support for sending audio to the Chromecast. That’s not part of Airfoil 5.1, but we’re still hard at work on that, so fear not. We’re making good progress, and encourage you to watch for more news on that in the coming months.

Update Now

For now, just make sure you grab the latest Airfoil for Mac by selecting “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu, or downloading it from our site. If you’ve never used Airfoil, you can check it out with a free trial, then purchase online.

Now Hiring: Senior Windows (.NET) Software Engineer

Most readers of this blog are Mac users, and most of our products are made for the Mac. However, you might also know that since 2006, we’ve had a successful Windows side. In fact, Airfoil for Windows recently hit version 5.

Now, we’re looking to hire a new Windows developer to continue improving Airfoil, and more. If this sounds like something for you, or for someone you know, please check out our Jobs page for more details!

Hear All About Us: Rogue Amoeba Apps in the News

We started off 2016 with a bang, releasing our brand-new audio routing tool Loopback, and we haven’t slowed down. Below we’ve linked to several mentions and stellar reviews our software has recently received!

Airfoil

Airfoil IconFebruary brought with it major upgrades to our home audio streaming solution Airfoil, with new versions of both Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows. These updates have been very well-received, as users have been delighted to be able to use Bluetooth speakers along with AirPlay devices. In addition to praise we’ve received via email and Twitter, we’re honored to have earned a coveted 5 mouse review from Macworld magazine!

Macworld 5 Mice

Just look at all those mouses in their houses! Or maybe it’s mice in their hice? Whatever! It’s a stellar review for Airfoil and we’re thrilled to have received it.

For more Airfoil coverage, including an in-depth look at just how you might use our tool for sending audio all around your house, see John Voorhees’s Airfoil review for MacStories. He pushed Airfoil to the limit, and it worked like a champ!

Loopback

Loopback IconAirfoil isn’t the only app to get a workout, however. Over on the Mac Power Users podcast, Katie Floyd and David Sparks took Loopback for a spin to help them create their newest episodes. It worked so well for them, that Katie made it her software pick of the week. It’s always gratifying to hear about our products being used on the podcasts we enjoy. We’re always thrilled when something we created assists behind the scenes!

Macworld 5 Mice

Audio Hijack

Airfoil IconFinally, speaking of podcasters, audio expert Dave Hamilton just posted a great tutorial on getting the lowest latency possible when recording with Audio Hijack 3. Most users don’t need to worry about, or even consider, audio latency. However, for some podcast setups, reducing latency as low as possible is ideal. Audio Hijack 3.2.3 introduced a hidden preference to help with this, and we let Dave in on the secret. He’s been so thrilled with the update that he’s now written about it so other podcasters can take advantage. We’re currently working on moving this setting into the main UI for Audio Hijack 3.3, but you can read more about how to access it now.

Lots More to Come

We’ve got plenty more in the way of updates due out soon, so as always, keep an eye on our site!

Airfoil and Chromecast Devices

Airfoil and ChromecastSince Google introduced their first Chromecast device, we’ve been receiving requests for Airfoil to support sending audio to this hardware. While initially the devices were heavily focused on video, recent updates, including the new Chromecast for Audio, made this a better fit.

At the end of last year, we began research on enabling Airfoil to send audio to Chromecast devices. We’re now wrist-deep in code to implement support for streaming via the Chromecast (v2) protocol. We’ve got the basic groundwork laid, but there’s still a lot more to do. We need to sort out all the intricacies of a new protocol, integrate it with Airfoil’s existing user interface, and make it robust enough to ship out. The final product is still some time off, but given the high demand we’ve seen for Chromecast support, we wanted to let you know that we’re actively working on it. When this work is finally ready, we plan to include it in a free update to Airfoil 5.

For now, you can use the newest updates to Airfoil for Mac and Windows to send audio to AirPlay and Bluetooth outputs. To hear more news on both Airfoil’s Chromecast support and other big updates from Rogue Amoeba, subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or even like us on Facebook. As always, stay tuned!

Now Playing: Airfoil for Mac 5!

Airfoil IconIt’s a very big day here at Rogue Amoeba, as we’re now shipping major upgrades to both Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows! If you’re unfamiliar with Airfoil, it’s our tool for playing audio from your computer to remote speakers anywhere on your network. Now you can hear the music from your computer anywhere you like. Airfoil gives you your audio, everywhere.

This post is dedicated to the brand-new version 5.0 of Airfoil for Mac. If you’re a Windows user, please be sure to read the corresponding Airfoil for Windows post.

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Bluetooth Joins the Party

Download Airfoil for Mac Now

Perhaps the biggest change in Airfoil is that it now supports sending audio to Bluetooth devices. Airfoil has always been able to send audio to AirPlay outputs, like the Apple TV and AirPort Express. Now, it also works with the thousands of different Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and headsets available. With Airfoil 5, you can stream a single application’s audio to a Bluetooth device (or multiple Bluetooth devices!), and keep the rest of your audio on your Mac.

Team It Up With Airfoil Satellite

Download Airfoil for Mac Now

Airfoil for Mac 5.0 includes full compatibility with the new Airfoil Satellite applications, available for iOS, Mac and Windows.1 If you want to hear your Mac’s audio on another Mac, Windows machine, or iOS device, just run the free Airfoil Satellite there. Airfoil will see it and enable you to send audio to it! Airfoil Satellite also offers remote control of both supported source applications, as well as Airfoil itself. Now you can control playback, toggle outputs off and on, and much more, all remotely.

A Shiny New Interface

Download Airfoil for Mac Now

Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil Satellite for Mac have both been improved, all without changing too much. The interface will still be familiar to users of older versions of Airfoil, but it also features many improvements. There are improvements like longer volume sliders in Airfoil’s main window, as well as beautiful new graphics that are fully updated for Retina displays. Meanwhile Airfoil Satellite has been updated to include the new controls for controlling Airfoil, while retaining all that the previous “Airfoil Speakers” application offered.

Many More Great Additions

Of course, there’s much more to see in Airfoil 5, including:

  • Speaker Groups – A group is a collection of multiple speakers which appears as one in Airfoil’s main window. Use a Group to send audio to multiple outputs with a single click. Create one group for all the speakers in your house, or divide your speakers into zones. Now you can send audio exactly where you want even faster.

  • Silence Monitor – Great for workplace or shared home setups, the new silence monitor allows Airfoil to automatically disconnect itself when it’s streaming silence. The output device is then freed up for others to use.

  • Custom Equalizer Presets – Adjust the equalizer to your liking, then save it in the Preset menu. Now you’ll be able to access those exact settings any time you like.

  • Hide Speakers – If you regularly connect to a shared network which contains devices you don’t control, you may wish to hide them entirely from Airfoil. Now you can do so, from the “Advanced Speaker Options” window.

  • Adjust Sync – Airfoil automatically keeps all outputs completely in sync. However, there may be rare situations where you wish to adjust this, such as when an output is connected to a receiver which adds its own latency. The new Sync sliders in the “Advanced Speaker Options” window make this possible.

  • Improved Instant On – Capture audio from already-running apps, as well as all System Audio. If you haven’t looked at Airfoil for a while, you’ll be thrilled to see that installation and updates to Instant On no longer require a restart.

  • Awesome Accessibility – We know many visually impaired users love Airfoil, and we’ve worked hard to make the new version fully accessible with Apple’s VoiceOver.2

Try Airfoil for Mac 5 Right Now


Use Airfoil to send any audio from your Mac throughout your house. Airfoil gives you your audio, everywhere, and the best way to experience it is to try it out yourself. Airfoil for Mac 5.0 is available for immediate download. You can visit the Airfoil for Mac page for more details or just download the free trial immediately. Airfoil works on Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, and it’s fully functional in its trial mode, so you can explore all that it offers.

Download Airfoil for Mac Now

When you’re ready to purchase Airfoil for Mac, get it exclusively in our online store.

Discounts for Previous Airfoil Owners

As always, we’ll be providing free upgrades to recent purchasers of Airfoil. If you purchased Airfoil on or after November 1st, 2015, you’ll be grandfathered in to version 5. We’ve sent you an email with details, so just check your inbox.

If you previously purchased Airfoil for Mac 4 (or earlier) before November 1st, 2015, you’re eligible to upgrade to version 5 for just $15. Download the new version to try it out, then use our form to access the heavily discounted upgrade.

Enjoy!

We’re delighted to get this major upgrade into your hands, and we hope you’ll be glad to have it! You can learn more about the new version on the Airfoil for Mac page, then download it and try it out. Let us know any questions or feedback you have right here.


Footnotes:

  1. If you previously used “Airfoil Speakers” on Mac or iOS, the new Airfoil Satellite replaces it entirely. You should install Airfoil Satellite on any devices you like, and delete the old “Airfoil Speakers” application. ↩︎

  2. If you find something we missed, please let us know!↩︎