Under The Microscope

Warning on Apple TV version 6.0

Update (September 25th, 2013): Woo! Airfoil 4.8.1 handles this, restoring the ability to stream audio to all Apple TVs. See this link for more details or just get the update now.

Update (September 29th, 2013): Airfoil for Windows 3.5.2 also handles this, restoring the ability to stream audio to all Apple TVs. See this link for more details or just get the update now.

The information below is now deprecated, and left only for historical purposes.


We recommend that Airfoil users who stream audio to their Apple TVs do not update to Apple TV version 6.0 at this time. Read on for further details.

The Issue and Workaround

On September 20th, 2013, Apple released version 6.0 of the software for the AppleTV. Unfortunately, Apple TVs running version 6.0 will refuse to play audio sent to them by Airfoil. Attempting to send audio to an updated Apple TV will result in this error:

Airfoil's Message

To continue being able to stream audio to the Apple TV, we recommend that you do not update your Apple TV to version 6.0 at this time.

Further Details

We are still investigating the issue and further research will be required to determine if a workaround is possible. At this time, it is clear that the new Apple TV software demands Apple’s proprietary FairPlay encryption in order to be allowed to send audio to it. This limitation was not present in older versions of the Apple TV software. Figuring a way around this encryption, or if it’s possible at all, may take some time.

Staying Informed

For updates, stay tuned to this blog or follow us on Twitter. We hope to have more news in the coming weeks.

31 Responses to “Warning on Apple TV version 6.0”

  1. Steve Hoge says:

    “All your Fairplay are belong to Us”

    Bummer – seems Apple is determined to lock you guys out (esp after the recent App Store kerfluffle.) But press on! We trust RA has some of the most agile engineering expertise in this space!

  2. ewd says:

    Bummer.. Is there a way to downgrade the Apple TV to prior working version?

  3. Bob Vork says:

    I updated my Apple TV yesterday, and now I can’t use airfoil to airplay Spotify. I really hope you guys can find a solution, I love Airfoil and use it on a daily basis.

  4. JohnnyGTO says:

    Ahhhhh pooop just bought Airfoil a few days ago and love it. Unfortunately the upgrade ich hit on the Apple TV. :-(

  5. Ferran says:

    Well, for now I’m using an old Airport Express I bought before getting the Apple TV to keep streaming Spotify to my Hi-Fi. We’ll wait for news about a possible solution.

  6. Johan says:

    This is a bad move by Apple. Fortunately I managed to downgrade to firmware 5.3 on my ATV2.

    1. Download restore firmware from Apple (Google it)
    2. Connect AppleTV to computer using micro-USB (do not connect power cord)
    3. In iTunes option-click on restore button in the device summary for the AppleTV and select downloaded firmware file.
    4. Hold your breath. If all goes well you’ll have a factory default AppleTV with 5.3 within a few minutes.

    Will work as long as Apple signs the firmware.

  7. Ken says:

    Thanks Johan! Worked on my ATV3.

  8. Ken says:

    But note that ATV3 does need the power cord to be plugged in, otherwise the procedure is the same.

  9. madde says:

    Very nice to hear that:(((( i just did it and it doesnt work. argggggggggggg

  10. Robert Berger says:

    Time for Anti-Trust against Apple. They are now a monopoly in terms of and acting like a monopolist. They (and all companies who try to block the owner of the device from selecting what content is available to the devices they bought) need to be forced to open their devices at least at the API and protocol levels.

  11. Watts says:

    While it may indeed be true that Apple did this specifically to stick a finger in Rogue Amoeba’s eye, it may well have been a legal requirement on their part to be able to implement the “AirPlay from iCloud” feature: up until now, all that content was pretty much guaranteed to be running over a LAN rather than the open Internet, and I’d bet iTunes’ content providers weren’t going to agree to this without implementing encryption. Given that there are a lot of Apple devices in the field that aren’t going to be able *send* this data in encrypted form, though, I’d imagine that can’t be a requirement. (In any case, unless you think one can successfully argue that “software that can send AirPlay data streams specifically to the Apple TV” is in and of itself a market, you can’t argue Apple has a monopoly.)

    A somewhat hacky workaround I could envision: a future update to Airfoil that essentially creates a local streaming audio station that iTunes running on the same Mac could subscribe to, acting as a repeater to the ATV.

  12. Himan says:

    Beamer.app does the same and worked fine after the update to 6.0, Maybe you streaming to the AppleTV the another method that stopped working.

  13. Henrik says:

    Thanks John, worked fine for me!

  14. Pantra says:

    I cannot find the v5.3 anywhere. Link please?

  15. Not Antitrust says:

    @Robert Berger: hehe, as disappointing as Apple’s decision to do this was, really? Anti-Trust?

    Please lookup and understand the definition of trust, anti-trust and monopolies before you make up wannabe troll-bait comments like this.

  16. D Tip says:

    If you have mountain lion installed you can hold the Alt button down, and click the speaker symbol in the top menu, and then select apple TV. You are now able to stream all audio to your apple TV(not multiple speakers).

    If you have a multiple speaker set up. You can use airfoil to stream to your computer(now set to be the apple TV) and any other device.

    Regards D

  17. JohnnyGTO says:

    Looks like Apple yanked 6.0 http://www.tuaw.com/2013/09/22/apple-pulls-apple-tv-6-0-update/

  18. CK says:

    D Tip: Oh my god. Thank you.

  19. JohnnyGTO says:

    Quick note, AirParrot sends audio w/ video without issue.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Shame on Rougue for not seeing it coming and for not proactively notifying your paid customers. On to Air Parrot I guess, thanks JohnnyGTO.

  21. JohnnyGTO says:

    I only mentioned AirParrot as an example that audio seems to be possible, AirParrots audio is awful compared to Airfoil and is the reason I bought Airfoil. I’ll wait for Rouge to fix the issue. In the mean time I’m going to try the just released update firmware.

  22. Joe says:

    Apple just re-released the update that they pulled after one day. Any change re Airfoil?

  23. Ferran says:

    Confirmed. Same issues with the new re-released update… no transmitting to Apple TV.

  24. Harmon says:

    D Tip: Thanks! works like a charm.

  25. Anonymous says:


  26. J says:

    any update from the rogue amoeba developers?

  27. Gio says:

    any update from the rogue amoeba developers yet?

  28. Stewpid says:

    I am trying to restore my ATV3 from 6.0 to 5.3.0 but its failing the verification with Apple. Does anyone know if there is any way of bypassing this??

  29. Jeff says:

    I wish Rogue Amoeba would have sent an email to their registered users about this issue instead of expecting us to anticipate the problem and come to their site before updating Apple TV.

  30. Ton van der Greef says:

    Dear support, today Apple has launched v6.0 again. On their site they are mentioning several bug-fixes. Is this version save to install ? WIll Airfoil work?

    Kind regards, Ton

  31. Paul Kafasis says:

    All: Airfoil 4.8.1 is now out, and restores the ability to stream audio to Apple TVs (with any version of the software). Get it now!

    Steve Hoge: I don’t think so – we’ve been streaming to AirPlay devices for years and years, without a major problem. This change was more likely “deletion of old code without regards to possible consequences” than a malicious act.

    Jonathan: Sorry to lose you as a customer.

    Jeff: Emailing our entire user base for something which will only affect a small percentage of them simply isn’t feasible. We did, however, activate the News window inside the app, to get the word out as best we could. We’d loved to have been able to alert each and every person who needed to know, but there’s no perfect way to do that. Our News window was our best option, but it won’t be 100% successful.

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