Under The Microscope

Airfoil 5.5: Now Playing on Chromecast!

We’re now shipping Airfoil for Mac 5.5, a major update to our tool for streaming music around your house, and we’re very excited about it! With this update, it’s now possible to stream any audio from your Mac to the Google Chromecast, using Google’s Cast protocol. After many months of work, we’re delighted to be able to provide full Chromecast support in a free update for all of Airfoil 5 users. Read on for more details.

Airfoil and Chromecast Pair Beautifully

To reiterate, Airfoil now supports sending audio to any device that supports the Google Cast protocol. As pictured above, that includes the Google Chromecast Audio, as well as both the current Google Chromecast Video and the original (stick-shaped) model.1 Further, there are also many televisions and stereos which support Google Cast, and Airfoil works great with those as well.

Better still, Airfoil can send to multiple devices, all in sync! Of course, if you’ve got AirPlay or Bluetooth devices, Airfoil will still send to those as well. With this new version, you can get the party rocking with more devices than ever before.

Airfoil Satellite Improvements

We’ve made some big improvements to the companion Airfoil Satellite app as well. As you may know, running Airfoil Satellite on another computer turns it into an audio receiver. Now, Airfoil Satellite for Mac is easier to use than ever.

Airfoil Satellite is now AppleScriptable, enabling it to offer full support for an enhanced experience when it’s set as the source in Airfoil. This is especially useful when using Airfoil to send from iOS to multiple outputs. By setting Airfoil Satellite as your source in Airfoil, you can then send audio from iOS to your Mac, then from your Mac out to any and all supported devices. When you do, metadata will flow through to your outputs, and remote control will be available as well.

In addition, we’ve added optional global shortcuts for controlling Airfoil Satellite. Now with a quick press of your custom keyboard shortcuts, you can make Airfoil Satellite appear, hide it, and even control playback of supported applications.

And More

That isn’t all we added in Airfoil 5.5. This update also removes the separate sections Airfoil and Airfoil Satellite previously used to group remote outputs. You’ll now find all of your remote outputs in one section, regardless of what type they are. We’ve also fixed several minor bugs in Airfoil, and improved how it handles missing audio output devices (as used by the Computer output). Of course, as usual, we’ve also made myriad backend improvements for stability and improved performance.

Get Airfoil 5.5 Now!

This is a free update for all those who’ve already upgraded to Airfoil 5, first released back in February. To download the latest, just open Airfoil and select “Check for Update” from the Airfoil menu.

If you’re still using Airfoil 4 (or older!), there’s no better time to upgrade to version 5! You can download the free trial from our site, then purchase a discounted upgrade.

Of course, if you’ve never used Airfoil before, now’s a great day to learn more. Airfoil lets you stream any audio from your Mac all around your network. With version 5.5, Airfoil now supports sending audio to thousands of different devices that support AirPlay (like the AppleTV and AirPort Express), Bluetooth (like countless speakers and headphones), and Google Cast (like the Chromecast and more). Learn more, and download the free trial, on the Airfoil page.

Coming Soon to Airfoil for Windows

Fear not, Windows users, because we’re hard at work on adding Chromecast support to Airfoil for Windows as well. We’re working hard on a free Airfoil for Windows update that adds Chromecast support, and hope to ship that by early next year. Stay tuned for more on that!


Footnotes:

  1. We’re still waiting to get one of the new 4K Chromecast Ultra devices, but we expect it to work just fine. ↩︎

14 Responses to “Airfoil 5.5: Now Playing on Chromecast!”

  1. Mike Williams says:

    I’ve been waiting for this! My Halloween party is going to rock now! Thank you Amoebas!


  2. Thomas says:

    very well – thank you!


  3. Chas says:

    I’ve got a pair of powered monitors connected to an old (sometimes flakey) Airport Express via its audio out. Does this mean I can send streaming music (say from Radium or TuneIn on iOS, or Radium or a browser window or even Apple Music on the Mac) to those monitors with a cheap Chromecast device?


  4. William O. Hazel, II says:

    I have waiting for this Amoeba … Thank you guys … you rock


  5. Robby says:

    Great release! Thank you!


  6. Paul Kafasis says:

    Mike Williams, Thomas, William O. Hazel, II, and Robby: Thanks for the kinds words, and enjoy!

    Chas: Yes – if those monitors will connect to the Chromecast and serve as audio outputs (that is, if they take input from a simple patch cable), then you can send audio to the Chromecast, and have the Chromecast play it via those monitors. You’ll want the Chromecast Audio for that.


  7. Anders says:

    Thank – great!

    But – do you have any play on making Airfoil act as a chromecast and be able to recieve a cast? Having this possibility of Airfoil as a virtual chromecast that could integrate with the Google Home setup would be ideal.

    Best
    Anders


  8. Paul Kafasis says:

    Anders: We don’t have any plans for that currently. The Chromecast functions similarly to an AirPlay device, but internally, it’s very different. When an app appears to be sending audio to the Chromecast, it’s actually telling the Chromecast to run its own mini-app on the device, then do the streaming itself. So for example, audio doesn’t flow from Spotify on iOS to the Chromecast. Spotify on iOS tells the Chromecast to download and run the Spotify Chromecast app, and the Spotify Chromecast app then downloads the desired audio stream.

    All that is to explain that setting up Airfoil Satellite to be a Cast receiver would be enormously difficult (essentially requiring us to reverse-engineer and emulate an entire Chromecast receiver), and it’s not something we currently plan to do.


  9. Anders says:

    Paul: Thank you very much for the answer. Your answer is, however, actually why I would like the feature – to avoid Spotify to flow through the iOS (like Airplay does) But – I found a solution just today. I bought another ChromeCast Audio, plugged it into my Mac via Optical out on The ChromeCast and optical in on the Mac. I then use the fantastic (and free) LineIn software from you guys at RogueAmoeba to pass the digital signal from the ChromeCast to the System Audio. From here the Mac is connected to my DAC through USB and at the same time Airfoil cast the music to two other ChromeCast around the house. So – a hardware solution that solved my request!
    Thank you again for this fantastic update!


  10. Anders says:

    But – a welcome and probably easier-to-add feature be to have Airfoil support ChromeCast Groups. That would be nice!


  11. Paul Kafasis says:

    Anders: Ah ha – well, I’m glad you found a working solution. As far as Chromecast Groups go, we’ll be looking at them in the future. For now, as a workaround, you can easily make your own groups inside of Airfoil (see the Groups tab in the Preferences window).


  12. Josh says:

    This is great! Or it will be if Satellite responds to AppleScript with anything other than empty strings. In my testing across two devices:

    tell application “Airfoil Satellite” to get track title
    response: “”

    The track title metadata *is* displaying in the Satellite window in both cases.
    Tested-on: El Capitan & OS X Server with a variety of songs, using iTunes and an iPhone as airplay sources.


  13. Paul Kafasis says:

    Josh: We’re currently working on a bug with Airfoil Satellite 5.5, and think we’ve got it licked. Get in touch via our support form, and we can provide an updated build to test.


  14. Brian says:

    Anyone else finding Chromecast is not in sync, it’s earlier than internal computer speakers and/or other devices also playing?


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