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Playing differenet music simultaneously to different AirPlay speakers

626 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 14, 2012 12:18 AM by Mr Badger RSS
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Dec 12, 2012 4:12 PM



I'm trying to work out whether I can replicate the abulity to play differnet music via different Airplay speakers i.e. have Led Zeppelin on the Airplay speaker in my study while my wife prances around some electronic club anthem crap in her room. I've looked at the Sonos wireless audio system and they can do it no problem, but I don't want to shell out on their very expensive speakers and mirror iTunes on their system when i have a bunch of Airport expresses and speakers already.


I'm going to be buying an Mac Mini to serve the music so it's always on and we don't have to fire up the lapdogs. I want to keep our music separate for fear of her 10 year's worth of accumulated hyper-electronica infecting my nice orderly playlist setup. I know I can set up two different iTunes libraries on the same machine, so that's easy. What I'm trying to establish is whether, for example, I can go to the Remote App on my iPhone, connect to my library on the Mac Mini and send Celebration Day via Airplay to the Airport Express "Study", whilst at the same time she can go to her iPad Remote App, connect to her library on the same Mac Mini and send Dance Electronica Vol73 via Airplay to the Airport Express speaker "Workroom".....over the same wireless network.


Any thought gratefully received.




Mr B

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)

    Sorry can't help. Had an Idea, sent it off, but it wasn't feasable.


    Message was edited by: kilima

  • Joseph Delaney Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    You don't need two computers, you just need two devices that can send to airplay speakers. The iPhone and iPad can both do that, independently of iTunes - just use the "Music" app, not the "Remote" app.


    It does mean that you'll need to either sync your iphone or ipad to have a copy of the music stored directly on the device, or subscribe to iTunes Match ($25 per iTunes account, and you get access to all your music without needing to sync, provided you have network access - Amazon and Google have similar services). Or use Home Sharing iOS: Setting up Home Sharing on your device


    Also, if you double-tap the "home" button on the iphone or ipad, then swipe the bottom of row of icons from left to right until you get to the volume controls - you can send any audio that's currently playing to your airplay speakers, even from Pandora or or Angry Birds). There are probably some apps that will stream directly from your dumb network drive - I don't use them so I have no recommendations.


    I suggest trying Home Sharing, if that doesn't suit your needs go for one of the cloud services.

  • Joseph Delaney Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    Use Home Sharing.


    The music stays in iTunes on your Mac. Then you use the iPhone or iPad's Music app to connect to the shared library, the music will stream to the iPhone or iPad (no permanent copy left behind). If you turn on airplay too, you're using your iPhone to pull music off the Mac and send it directly to the streaming speakers. It's just passing through the phone, without stopping.


    Try it. Don't overthink it.

  • Joseph Delaney Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)

    You can use Home Sharing on the Mac Mini.


    Partitioning makes no sense.


    There's one mistake in your reasoning - you said "Given that I can't run two instances of iTunes on the same Mac Mini..." - but that's incorrect. You can set up two user accounts on the Mac Mini (using the "Users & Groups" system preference), turn on "fast user switching" and have iTunes running in both accounts simultaneously.


    Here's how it would work.

    1. Log in to the Mac Mini, using the "Mr Badger" account, start up iTunes and turn on Home Sharing (signing in with the "Mr Badger" AppleID)

    2. Use fast user switching to log in to the "Mrs Badger" account, start up iTunes and turn on Home Sharing (signing in with the "Mrs Badger" AppleID)


    Once that's done, you can turn on Home Sharing on the iPad and the iPhone - the AppleID you use will determine which music library you see, you then send the music to the location of your choice. You can also play a song on iTunes on the mini at the same time, and use airplay on that too.


    I just tried it, and it works. I had three songs playing from two music libraries, both located on the same iMac, all at the same time.


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