Under The Microscope

Airfoil 4 Is Here, With Friends

Airfoil for Mac IconToday, we’re thrilled to be releasing version 4 of Airfoil. This is a major upgrade, one we think you’re going to love. If you already know you’re going to want Airfoil 4 (and you’re on Mac OS X 10.6 or higher), we won’t take any more of your time. Just click here to download it now. Otherwise, read on for more details.

If you haven’t used Airfoil before, it’s our popular (and award-winning!) tool for streaming audio around your house or office. Airfoil transmits any audio playing on your Mac to a host of networked audio devices, all in sync. You can stream to iPhones, iPads, or iPods Touch, to other computers, and of course to Apple TVs and AirPort Expresses. Airfoil for Mac aims to give you your audio — everywhere.

What’s New?

Airfoil 4

The first thing you’ll notice when you launch Airfoil is its new and streamlined interface. We reorganized the main window to make it easier to use, and updated the graphics as well. When it comes to Airfoil 4, however, a facelift is just the beginning.

Airfoil Speakers in actionThe real meat of this upgrade lies in the major new features found in Airfoil Speakers and Airfoil Video Player, the free companions to Airfoil. Airfoil Speakers debuted in version 3, to enable you to send audio from one Mac to another, but it’s come a long way from there.

With version 4, Airfoil Speakers can now display metadata from supported sources, including track titles and album art. Better yet, Airfoil Speakers can now remotely control the playback of select sources1, so you can pause audio, and even skip tracks!

Have you ever launched Airfoil Speakers on one Mac, then had to dash back to the Mac running Airfoil in order to start sending audio? Never again! Airfoil Speakers 4 can even initiate a connection to Airfoil! Tune in from across the house, or across the office – this feature is great for running office-wide radio stations, letting people tune in or out whenever they like.

Airfoil Video Player in actionWhat about Airfoil Video Player? It’s always allowed you to watch local video files and DVDs on your Mac, while hearing audio through remote speakers. Now, Airfoil Video Player 4 can play web video as well. You can watch a Netflix movie or Hulu TV show, and hear the audio through your remote speakers. It’s also got a great new interface, making it even easier to set up and control.

Airfoil 4 also offers many additional enhancements, including improvements in grabbing all System Audio and working with apps like Google Chrome, as well as sending album artwork to the AppleTV. As you should expect, this is absolutely the best version of Airfoil yet.

Get It Now

Airfoil 4 requires Mac OS X 10.6 and up, and the free trial can be downloaded from the Airfoil for Mac page. Once you’re ready to buy, a license key to unlock the full version costs just $25, and can be obtained through our fast and secure store.

Already Own a License for Airfoil?

If you purchased Airfoil before November 1st, 2010 (your license key will start with TX40- or SSME-), you can upgrade to Airfoil 4 for just $10.

If you purchased Airfoil on or after November 1st, 2010 (your license key will start with KUTA-), your license will automatically unlock Airfoil 4 free of charge. Just download and enjoy!


1. Currently, iTunes, Pulsar, VLC, QuickTime Player, and RealPlayer are supported.

27 Responses to “Airfoil 4 Is Here, With Friends”

  1. Daniel Sofer says:

    Glad to see this Paul! I thought you were never going to develop for the iPhone again!

  2. Daniel says:

    Has the remote control via Applescript feature been removed? On Airfoil 3 I had a script written to control Spotify from my Apple TV.

    I see that the scripts for Pulsar, iTunes, VLC, QuickTime Player, etc… are all in the app bundle, can we just add our own in there?

    Also you advertise metadata support – does this work for anything but iTunes?

  3. St3phen says:


    Looks like an amazing update to my favorite software of all time. I’ll likely be purchasing today. But…

    I have some PowerPC machines that, obviously, can’t go beyond Leopard. And, I have one hackintosh that I’m choosing to keep on Leopard. Thus my question:

    Will Airfoil 4 still transmit to Airfoil Speakers 3? WIll Airfoil 3 be able to transmit to Airfoil Speakers 4? Thanks.

  4. Mike Ash says:

    Daniel: You should be able to add your script next to the existing ones. Give it the right name and Airfoil will use it with Spotify. Be sure to keep a copy outside the app so you don’t lose it during updates. (And I should mention that this is all completely unsupported, but should work fine.) Metadata is currently supported from iTunes, QuickTime Player, RealPlayer, and of course Airfoil Video Player and Pulsar.

  5. Paul Kafasis says:

    Daniel Sofer: This is a major upgrade to our Mac application. We had said, and maintain, that the iOS platform is not appealing to us. Not much has changed there.

    St3phen: Airfoil 3 will send to Airfoil Speakers 4, it just won’t show any metadata nor offer any control. Airfoil 4 will send to Airfoil Speakers 3, and it will work exactly the same as you’d expect. So, you should be in good shape.

  6. craig says:

    is there plans for updating the airport speaker touch app to display metadata and controls?

  7. Dean Mattson says:

    The new Web mode sounds great. Does it work with the original Apple TV as well as the new one?

  8. Shannon O’Neill says:

    This looks wonderful. I have the Airfoil 3 family pack. Is there an upgrade option?

  9. Paul Kafasis says:

    craig: That’s on the drawing board for the future, but it won’t be an immediate update. Stay tuned!

    Dean Mattson: Airfoil can still send audio to the old Apple TV, as well as the new one. To be clear, the video is displayed locally, not remotely.

    Shannon O’Neill: Just use the same $10 upgrade. Enjoy!

  10. Luis says:

    Airfoil 4 rocks!

  11. Wagnerone says:

    Airfoil rules in many ways. Airfoil 4 has a great set of improvements over 3. Upgraded yesterday. Thanks!

    Bummed my PPC “speaker nodes” can’t avail themselves of Airfoil Speakers 4.

    Older PPC machines (the laptop models I use use very little energy and are compact) may not be good for a lot, but they’re perfect for Airfoil Speaker use.

  12. Carlos says:

    Can we expect the same updates for PC users?

  13. Kwin says:

    Hulu and Netflix! Just in time for Christmas-thanks. Will it work on an Intel machine running 10.5.8?

  14. icarlos says:

    Beautiful work Paul!!! Feliz Navidad!

  15. Paul Kafasis says:

    Luis: Thanks – we think so too! Spread the word.

    Wagnerone: Indeed, but the basic functionality (“Turn this computer into a remote speaker”) still works just fine – we made sure to preserve that.

    Carlos: Airfoil for Windows has its own codebase and release cycle. Some of these features will eventually make it over to Windows, particularly Airfoil Speakers updates, but the two are distinct products, not identical.

    Kwin: As noted, 10.6 is required. Of course, if you’ve got an Intel machine, the 10.6 update is easy and inexpensive.

  16. Dan Engel says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Paul.

  17. Daniel says:

    Congratulations on the release, I’ve now upgraded. Had some fun hacking together some Applescript to capture metadata. A few small things:

    – Is there any reason Airfoil Speakers doesn’t display the album name?

    – Since the DACP control scripts have more actions than just play/pause, previous & next track (eg stop, shuffle, seek), it would be nice if these extra buttons could be available in Airfoil Speakers. Seek should at least be reasonably easy to fit into your existing GUI, by holding down the previous/next track buttons.

    – Some menu items are needed in Airfoil Speakers, so that we can assign keyboard shortcuts to the control buttons (play/pause, previous/next track).

  18. Paul Kafasis says:

    Daniel: You should definitely contact us via email, as we can assist you best that way.

  19. YogY says:

    Nice update guys!

    Spotify support would be greatly appreciated!

  20. Sam Webb says:

    I have an iMac in the living room that I use for watching videos and DVDs from iTunes, AVIs via Front Row and DVDs that have been ripped via DVD player. I also use it to listen to music via iTunes.

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to get a set of speakers that have a lot more UMPH than the iMac internal speakers but i CANNOT get a set of desktop speakers that plug into the back as the iMac is not really on a desk, and gets moved around quite a bit. I’ve never found a set-up that I could use to wirelessly send the iMacs audio to play back in sync with video being played.

    Is there a way I can get an external speaker system of some type, (specific examples would be helpful) and then use AirFoil to send the audio from the above sources to the external speakers?



  21. KiltBear says:

    Howdy guys,

    I like the app a lot. But… what I am really hoping for is software to turn my various macs into AirPlay receivers. That way I can send audio from my iPhone / iPad directly to the iMac with its connection to nice stereo speakers.

    Any desire or capability to do this?

  22. Paul Mayne says:

    Any plans to add speaker capabilities to the Boxee Box?

  23. powertogeeks says:

    I just checked if version 4 fixes airfoil mac’s dropout problem between AE and apps such as Spotify when using DACmagic. And I’m disappointed that it doesn’t. I use a MacBook & Airport Express combo for streaming music from both Spotify and iTunes via Cambridge Audio DacMagic (connected to the airport via Toslink). While this works excellent with iTunes, with Spotify I keep getting small dropouts in uneven intervalls between 5 sec – 1 min, making listening impossible. i know from various fora that many others have the same problem. Have a look at this forum, for instance. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Problem-Airport-Express-DacMagic
    Thanks for a great update but it would be great to have an idea what to do about the DacMagic dropout problem.

  24. Thomas says:

    Can I please request that when you update the iOS App you add a feature to turn Each set of Airfoil Speakers on the network on and off separately. Much like how the iTunes Remote App works. I would really like to be able to turn music on and off in each room in the house from my phone.

  25. Svein A says:

    powertogeeks, and others experiencing dropout problems with optical out/AE: Apples firmware upgrade 7.5.2 for airport express fixes the problem. My Spotify/Airfoil/AE/DacMagic combo works perfect after firmware upgrade of the AE. Several others report the same – no more dropouts. Try this!

  26. Dana says:

    How do you buy airfoil in the uk also is there a way to buy the whole package as a App in the iOS App Store because some of us don’t have a credit card. If there is any other way to pay for it without using a credit card?

    Many Thanks


  27. Paul Kafasis says:

    YogY: Thanks! As far as Spotify goes, it’s something we want to support. Unfortunately, the application doesn’t currently support AppleScript, making it much more difficult to work with. We’ll see what happens though.

    Sam Webb: Airfoil and Airfoil Video Player, combined with an AirPort Express, could potentially do what you’re after. I’m not certain it will work perfectly as a full-time solution – it depends in large part on how powerful the iMac is. Airfoil Video Player requires a good chunk of CPU to do what it does.

    That said, Airfoil itself is free to test, so you can see if this may work for you.

    KiltBear: Desire? Sure. That’s why Airfoil Speakers exists already. Unfortunately, sending from iOS devices isn’t supported right now due to Apple. iOS (and iTunes) will only send to authorized AirPlay devices, and we don’t have the ability to turn Airfoil Speakers into one of those. We’ll see what happens in the future.

    Paul Mayne: The Boxee Box is one of a number of platforms we’ll be considering porting Airfoil Speakers to. We’ll see!

    powertogeeks: Unfortunately, there’s not a lot we can suggest, besides switch to analog. We’re as frustrated by this as anyone, but even the nature of the problem is not well understood. We’ve had users for whom iTunes works and Airfoil doesn’t, for whom Airfoil works but iTunes doesn’t, for whom neither works, and of course, for whom both work. It’s something we hope will eventually be fixed, obviously, but we don’t have a whole lot of control over it.

    We have heard from some that the 7.5.2 firmware for the AirPort Express has improved things (as seen in Svein A’s comment below yours).

    Thomas: This is something we may add, but it’s not planned for the near future update. For now, your best bet is Reemote, from 010dev.

    Dana: Our store accepts payments via credit card or PayPal. Let’s be clear though – Airfoil is a Mac OS X app, with an iOS sidekick. You need to run Airfoil on your Mac.

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