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Old Feb 27, 2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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AirPhones Allows iPhone to Serve as Wireless Headphones



Wired reports on AirPhones [App Store], a new utility that allows the iPhone/iPod touch to serve as wireless headphones, accepting streaming audio content from a computer on the same local Wi-Fi network. The utility requires that a free partner server application, currently available only for Intel Macs but coming soon for PPC Macs and Windows, be installed on the computer broadcasting the audio.

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After purchasing and installing the app, you have to download a free server application that runs on your Mac desktop (this server component is currently only available Intel Macs). Your iPhone and your Mac need to be connected to the same wireless network, and there is a slight but of latency -- somewhere around a quarter of a second audio delay between your Mac and your iPhone.
In their testing, Wired found "great, not perfect" sound quality, although they did experience occasional stuttering.

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In our tests, the app encountered only a few problems. There's the occasional stutter, especially if you walk into a dead spot and the app is forced to reconnect to your Mac. Sometimes, the only way to get it to stop stuttering is to walk back to your desktop and bring up the preferences pane for the server, which lives in the menu bar at the top of your screen. Doing this resets the connection.
AirPhones, which appeared in the App Store on February 19th, has seen several price changes in the few days it has been available, currently settling at $4.99.

Article Link: AirPhones Allows iPhone to Serve as Wireless Headphones

Last edited by WildCowboy; Feb 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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Now all I need is something that allows my iPhone to function as a Bluetooth headset for my phone that actually has service and I'll be in business.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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Only works on Intel Macs... that leaves ALOT of people not being able to use it.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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That's a very specific need... kind of defeats the point of "wireless" by having to plug into something, but whatever. I'd pick it up for .99 maybe, but not 4.99... there are too many other apps that are much better for that price.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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?

Maybe I'm not wide awake yet, but why not just use Simplify?
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rickdollar View Post
Maybe I'm not wide awake yet, but why not just use Simplify?
I haven't installed the Mac server app yet, but from the description, it seems that this will stream more than just iTunes. I plan to test this with the SiriusXM StarPlayr app (seeing whereas the app won't be approved by Apple or SiriusXM any time soon).



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Old Feb 27, 2009, 01:45 PM   #7
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So I guess this is basically the opposite of Remote. It looks pretty cool though.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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Question Could Airphones turn your iPhone into an Airport Express-like device?

Theoretically, couldn't the Airphones app be used as a cheap way to turn an iPhone or iPod Touch into an AirPort Express-type of music-streaming device?

If Airphones allows the user to stream music over wifi into an iPhone/Touch, then you could simply connect the iPhone/Touch's headphone-out port into an audio-in port on any stereo in your house, resulting in the music from your Mac streaming into your iPhone and out of your stereo speakers. Right?

If so, then $4.99 is a lot more cost-effective than buying a $99 AirPort Express. I mean, sure, the AirPort Express does a lot of other things as well (it's a wifi router/extender, printer-server, etc.) -- but if you already have a wifi router in your house and you just wanted an AirPort Express to feed music from, say, your iMac in one room to your entertainment system in another room, then maybe Airphones would be a better alternative.

To make this really convenient, I guess the next question would be whether or not you could use Airphones simultaneously with the iPhone/Touch iTunes REMOTE app, so that you could control the music on your Mac from another room while also streaming it to your stereo speakers using Airphones, all via an iPhone.

I'm guessing that the current iPhone/Touch one-app-running-at-a-time limitation would keep this scenario from working. But with the next generation iPhone (expected around June 2009), maybe it would work.

I've been hoping that Apple would build this type of music-streaming-coupled-with-Mac-remote functionality into a new software release. And I'm surprised that the Airfoil guys haven't built an app along these lines (so we can use Airfoil on a Mac to stream music to an iPhone/iPod Touch in the same way Airfoil works with AirPort Express). Apple and Airfoil both seem well-positioned to offer robust solutions for this type of wifi streaming and remote media control. But maybe Airphones will fit the bill instead.

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Old Feb 27, 2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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pair this with "remote tap" and running this in the background and we could essentially watch any video type on our iphone streamed from the base computer. Granted the quality won't be awesome, but proof of concept is there!
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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This is great, but I'd love a airfoil speaker program. That was I can use my mac to broadcast music to all of my airtunes and to my iphone docked to a bose sounddock.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 03:18 PM   #11
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I dont really see the point if all it is streaming music from your computer to iphone/ipod over a LAN. Just play it off your computer or other better speakers.

Using it as a makeshift Aiport is pretty neat, but if you want to skip songs your SOL and have to walk over to it. And for receiving calls.

Now if you could do this over a larger network, then that'd be something.
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 03:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kmcrawford View Post
This is great, but I'd love a airfoil speaker program. That was I can use my mac to broadcast music to all of my airtunes and to my iphone docked to a bose sounddock.
I agree 100%. I've been waiting for Airfoil to come out with something for the iPhone/iPod touch specifically to put music in my house where there isn’t a computer... but alas, I wait...
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 04:38 PM   #13
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Been waiting for an app that does this.. but I don't think I'm gonna pay $4.99 for it!
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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when docked it could act as a temporary air port express. (kinda)
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Old Feb 27, 2009, 08:39 PM   #15
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My 0.02$,

Ive been using airphones on an JB'ed phone in conjunction with the Cydia App called backgrounder in order to use both Airphones and the Apple Remote app simultaneously.

Install Backgrounder, respring, enable Insomnia (Cydia app to keep Wifi Active), run airphones, background it, run Remote app, background it, go into settings and turn auto lock to never, dock the iphone, voila all in 1 multimedia device.

Pros: All in one solution to replace airport express, possibilities are limitless, sound quality not that bad.

Cons: Iphone gets pretty hot, if undocked battery life = **** (sub 30 minute), While switching songs on the remote app there is brief momentary stuttering or chopping up of the audio feed.

Can supply video if needed.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 08:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Panzo View Post
My 0.02$,

Ive been using airphones on an JB'ed phone in conjunction with the Cydia App called backgrounder in order to use both Airphones and the Apple Remote app simultaneously.

Install Backgrounder, respring, enable Insomnia (Cydia app to keep Wifi Active), run airphones, background it, run Remote app, background it, go into settings and turn auto lock to never, dock the iphone, voila all in 1 multimedia device.

Pros: All in one solution to replace airport express, possibilities are limitless, sound quality not that bad.

Cons: Iphone gets pretty hot, if undocked battery life = **** (sub 30 minute), While switching songs on the remote app there is brief momentary stuttering or chopping up of the audio feed.

Can supply video if needed.
The perfect illustration of why Apple doesn't allow background tasks. 30 minutes of battery life? Can you imagine the screams if that could happen on a non-jailbroken phone?

I second a question from above -- what about Simplify -- what is the advantage of Air Phones over Simplify?
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 09:24 AM   #17
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Sounds pretty worthless.

Simplify Media?
Dot Tunes?
Put the music on your iPhone?

If you have to be on the same WiFi network, what is the point??

I'd love for one of these developers that are doing nothing but confusing people into buying what seems like a "new" product, to explain to me why I need this when on the same WiFI network?

Same WiFi network = worthless

Over the air on 3G or Edge = the whole ballgame

The new standard for music streaming apps is: Of course it works on Wifi, [I[also.[/I] But its purpose is full quality over the air.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 09:27 AM   #18
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The perfect illustration of why Apple doesn't allow background tasks. 30 minutes of battery life? Can you imagine the screams if that could happen on a non-jailbroken phone?

I second a question from above -- what about Simplify -- what is the advantage of Air Phones over Simplify?

Its hilarious how many people defend "Backgrounder" as if its something useful and legitimate. I used it for several months and now know precisely why Apple does not allow it. The processor, memory, and battery are not up to the task. Period.

Next device will feature background processes (done correctly) and it will not overwork your battery, decreasing its dexterity with each use.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 09:31 AM   #19
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useless

Why not use SimplifyMedia or... just sync the music to your device!!

What would be cool is if my iPhone's iTunes would pick up the DAAP streaming on my WiFi right now from my Linux file server using Firefly Media Server, the way my Mac and PC iTunes do. But then again that's the same server SimplifyMedia is playing from, so it's the same thing.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 10:09 AM   #20
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Just bought the App from App Store... Seem to be working well exept there's lot of stuttering
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 10:48 AM   #21
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Not to be a crusader against other apps, but you cannot bash apps without proper justification. Every app has its uses, Airphones was designed to let you use your iphone as a receiver for wireless sound.

That being said, the advantage airphones has over simplify media has to be put in context, simplify media or dot tunes can only transmit itunes content over the air both over wifi or edge or 3g.

Airphones can transmit any audio played by your computer system, wether it be an itunes song, a quicktime movie or a youtube video, but no other conection methods except wifi.

They are not substitutes for one another, they are not competition. They are two apps that share 1 feature, but that each distinctively serve different purposes.

To compare them eye to eye wouldn't be fair if you plan on streaming itunes content only.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 11:41 AM   #22
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How is this any different from the free iRemote? (http://www.iphonebuzz.com/control-yo...ote-262461.php)
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 12:10 PM   #23
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A good solution would be if Apple would just go ahead and make the iPhone/Touch a true AirTunes target. Then you could make your iPhone a wireless headset. Granted that would be limited to iTunes content. But still... An Apple solution for all around audio being streamed over WiFi would probably work better than any 3rd party one (even if they start out short on features).
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 01:25 PM   #24
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Microphone?

This would be interesting if it can stream microphone input to the phone.

Like a wireless wiretap.

Add stream from the webcam and it's even more useful for spying on your desk
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 10:40 PM   #25
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How has no one mentioned ORB software here yet? Allows for audio, video, picture, document, and even TV streaming. (if you have a tuner card) Works well over 3g and WiFi. It allows use as wireless headphones for your pc anywhere. It is pretty much the one app I couldn't live without.
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