Under The Microscope

Learn the A-B-C’s of Home Audio Streaming

Over on their Next Track podcast, I chatted with Kirk McElhearn and Doug Adams about the A-B-C’s of home audio streaming. That’s AirPlay, Bluetooth, and (Google) Cast. If you’re interested to get audio streaming throughout your house, give Episode #50 – Streaming Music in your Home a listen. Of course, our home audio streaming app Airfoil app ties in to the discussion.

Restore Audio Streaming to Apple TV, With Airfoil Satellite TV

Update (May 18th, 2017): Airfoil for Mac 5.6 restores direct streaming to all models of Apple TV. Get the latest version now from the Airfoil page. Airfoil Satellite TV will no longer be needed to stream to the Apple TV. See this post for more details.


As described in Friday’s post, we’ve been working on two distinct solutions to enable you to stream audio from Airfoil to the newest Apple TVs. We’re now able to provide you with the first of those solutions.

Get Airfoil Satellite TV Now!

Airfoil Satellite TV IconWhen tvOS 10.2 broke Airfoil’s ability to send audio directly to the Apple TV, we began working on an alternative method of getting audio to the device. We’re now pleased to provide Airfoil Satellite TV, an app to turn your Apple TV into an audio receiver for Airfoil. With Airfoil Satellite TV running on your Apple TV, you’ll again be able to send audio from your Mac or Windows machine to tvOS-based Apple TVs.

To download the free Airfoil Satellite TV, just search for it in the App Store right on your Apple TV. If you have automatic downloading turned on for your Apple TV, you can also click this link to get the app. When you’ve got the app running, just use Airfoil to send audio to the “Airfoil Satellite on <Your Apple TV Name>” device. Once you do, you’ll again be able to rock out with audio from your Mac or PC playing through your Apple TV.

Airfoil Updates Still To Come

Airfoil IconAirfoil Satellite TV restores the ability to use your Apple TV as a receiver for Airfoil, but it must be running in the foreground. As discussed in our previous post, we’ve also been working in parallel to restore Airfoil’s ability to stream directly to the Apple TV with no app required.

We’ve recently completed the preliminary work to enable Airfoil to connect with tvOS-based Apple TVs, and we’re working on bringing the functionality into Airfoil. Once that’s ready, we’ll ship free updates for Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows. While we can’t yet give release dates for these updates, you can be sure we’re working hard to get them to you as soon as possible.

Updates on Airfoil and the Newest Apple TVs

Update (May 18th, 2017): Airfoil for Mac 5.6 restores direct streaming to all models of Apple TV. Get the latest version now from the Airfoil page. It is now safe to update your Apple TV to the latest tvOS. When you do, you’ll only need the latest Airfoil for Mac to stream to the Apple TV. No additional software will be required.


Late last month, we alerted users to an incompatibility between Airfoil and Apple TVs running tvOS 10.2. We’ve since been hard at work on restoring the ability to stream audio from Airfoil to the newest Apple TVs. We’ve attacked this problem in two ways, and while we’re not finished yet, we’re now close to a pair of solutions to get things working for our users.

Long-Term Solution: Airfoil Updates

Airfoil IconWe’re working diligently to restore Airfoil’s ability to stream directly to the Apple TV. We know our users want to stream audio from their Macs and PCs to Apple TVs, and we’re incredibly eager to get this functionality back for you. This work has required a great deal of research, along with no small amount of reverse engineering, and that unfortunately takes time.

Happily, we’ve recently completed the preliminary work to enable Airfoil to connect with tvOS-based Apple TVs. We now have a working prototype for this, and we’re working on bringing the functionality into Airfoil. Once that’s ready, we’ll ship free updates for Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows. While we can’t yet give release dates for these updates, you can be sure we’re working hard to get them to you.

Interim Solution: Airfoil Satellite TV

Airfoil Satellite TV IconIn parallel with our work on Airfoil itself, we’ve also been working on a second solution to enable you to stream audio from your computer to the Apple TV. Yesterday, we submitted the results of this work to the App Store, in the form of a new app called Airfoil Satellite TV.

You may know that the Airfoil Satellite name is used for applications which enable various devices to act as audio receivers for Airfoil. With Airfoil Satellite running on a device, Airfoil sees that device as an output to which it can stream audio. When your Apple TV is running Airfoil Satellite TV, you’ll again be able to send audio from your Mac or Windows machine to tvOS-based Apple TVs.

At this point, we’re just waiting on Apple and the App Store review process to get the first version of Airfoil Satellite TV to you. We’ll post just as soon as it’s available.

Almost There

We hope to have Airfoil Satellite TV approved and in the App Store very soon. Once that’s available, all Apple TV users will be again be able to receive audio from their Macs and PCs using Airfoil.

Soon after that, we’ll be providing free updates to Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows, enabling Airfoil to talk directly to the newest Apple TVs without requiring any other software. These Airfoil updates will take a bit longer, but we’ll have more news on them soon.

We’re certainly sorry for this temporary loss of functionality in Airfoil, and we’re working diligently to have the problem resolved very soon. Thank you for your patience, and please stay tuned for updates.

Airfoil & Apple TV Users Should Avoid tvOS 10.2

Update (May 18th, 2017): Airfoil for Mac 5.6 restores direct streaming to all models of Apple TV. Get the latest version now from the Airfoil page. It is now safe to update your Apple TV to the latest tvOS.


Summary: To prevent loss of connectivity with Airfoil, Apple TV users should not upgrade to tvOS 10.2 at this time.

On March 27th, Apple released tvOS 10.2 for the latest generation of Apple TV. Changes made by Apple in this update have broken Airfoil’s ability to transmit audio to the newest generation of Apple TV. This issue affects both Airfoil for Mac and Airfoil for Windows, and prevents Airfoil from successfully sending audio to the Apple TV. If your Apple TV is still running tvOS 10.1.1 (or lower), stick with that for now to maintain connectivity with Airfoil.

Next Steps

We’re currently researching this problem, and hope to work around Apple’s changes with a future update. In the meantime, Airfoil users should avoid tvOS 10.2, sticking with their current version of tvOS instead. Be sure to disable automatic updates on the Apple TV as well. You can do this by going to Settings -> System -> Software Updates, and toggling “Automatically Update” to Off.

More to Come

We’ll post more news as soon as we have it, so watch this blog, as well as our Twitter account. When a new version is available, Airfoil itself can alert you, so be sure Software Update is on in the Preferences.

The Flexibility of Audio Hijack 3

Audio Hijack IconOver at Six Colors, Jason Snell recently wrote about two different ways he uses Audio Hijack 3 to record audio for his podcasts. Jason covers both recording (and live-streaming) his audio when all his guests are remote, as well as using Audio Hijack to record multiple parties in the same room. If you’re curious to learn more about how podcasters do their work with Audio Hijack (as well as Loopback and Nicecast, or you’re interested to start your own podcast, this is a great post.

These sorts of set-ups are exactly how we hoped Audio Hijack 3 would be used when we were designing it. We knew the new design would enable all manner of great new uses. For instance, making it possible record to multiple files in one Audio Hijack Session was certain to be powerful, but it’s not always easy to see if and how that power is being used. It’s very gratifying to see our work put to such good use by others!

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