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Turn a MacBook into an AirPlay receiver w/ macOS Monterey

  • How to add couch-based remote control to an Apple Music-fronted hi-fi system? If our network streamer is a Raspberry Pi, we’d use AirPlay. If it’s a Xiaomi Mi Box S (or similar), we might turn to Chromecast (whilst accepting the compromise of gapped playback). But what if the digital front end connected to our hi-fi system’s DAC is a MacBook or iMac? (See yesterday’s video).

    Apple’s iTunes Remote app is only useful as a remote control for Apple Music songs or albums already 1) favourited or 2) added to our library. iTunes Remote gives us no way to search or browse Apple Music.

    Fortunately, there is now a better way. Installing MacOS Monterey (launching today) adds a feature dubbed ‘AirPlay to Mac’ which turns any MacBook or iMac into an AirPlay receiver. To activate ‘AirPlay to Mac’, simply check the tickbox in the ‘Sharing’ preferences pane: the MacBook/iMac will now accept AirPlay audio streams from any iPhone or iPad running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 (or later). ‘AirPlay to Mac’ also works with video content.

    More in this MacRumors video:

    AirPlay plays music gaplessly. Its compromise is that digital audio streams travel through the iPhone (or iPad) on their way to the MacBook (or iMac) receiver. That means a hit to the battery life of both devices.

    Further information: Apple

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    For hi-fi beginners: a short film about Spotify & Apple Music