Under The Microscope

Airfoil for Windows and Web Browsers

When Google Chrome was released, one of the things that set it apart from other browsers was the fact that each tab you open gets its own process. One of the compelling reasons for this new feature is that certain browser plugins are rather infamous for causing instability and memory leaks which can cause your browser to crash. Under the new model introduced by Google Chrome however, only the tab that has that plugin running will crash, leaving everything else intact.

This idea turned out to be so great that Microsoft borrowed the idea for Internet Explorer 8. The latest version of Firefox (3.6.4), which was just released, takes a slightly different approach, but the end result is the same – plugins run in their own process, isolated from everything else.

While this is great news for browser stability, it is bad news for people who want to use Airfoil for Windows to grab audio from these browsers. When you hijack an application with Airfoil, it grabs the audio from the process you select and starts sending it to your remote devices. The problem with this new browser paradigm is that Airfoil can only grab audio from one process at a time and it doesn’t know which of the many processes that your browser has started is actually playing the audio:

Google Chrome Processes
Will the real Google Chrome please stand up?

Current Workarounds

Currently, Airfoil for Windows works fine with Internet Explorer 7, Apple’s Safari for Windows, and Firefox 3.6.3 or earlier. To use Airfoil for Windows to stream internet audio today, you have a couple of choices:

1. Use whatever browser you want for regular browsing, then fire up one of the currently supported browsers if you want to stream internet audio with Airfoil. We recommend Safari for Windows.

2. Use one of the currently supported browsers for all of your browsing and audio usage.

The Future

We recognize that this isn’t the ideal solution. It is just a short term workaround to get you back up and running today. In the meantime, we’re working hard to make Airfoil for Windows capable of grabbing audio from all browsers.

If you have any questions or trouble, contact our support department and they’ll be happy to help you out.

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