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Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
Is there a good way or device for injecting an external signal into an AirTunes net, similar to how a Mac or iDevice does it? I use AirTunes pretty broadly, but I’d also like to make the output of my receiver, from its attached turntable and tape decks, onto it.
 

arw

macrumors 65816
Aug 31, 2010
1,109
872
Do you mean AirPlay?
Am I correct in assuming you want an independent device that can take an analog audio input and stream that via AirPlay (WiFi) to AirPlay receivers like an Apple TV or HomePod?
Or am I completely misunderstanding your question? Sorry then.
 
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Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
Do you mean AirPlay?
Am I correct in assuming you want an independent device that can take an analog audio input and stream that via AirPlay (WiFi) to AirPlay receivers like an Apple TV or HomePod?
Or am I completely misunderstanding your question? Sorry then
Do you mean AirPlay?
Am I correct in assuming you want an independent device that can take an analog audio input and stream that via AirPlay (WiFi) to AirPlay receivers like an Apple TV or HomePod?
Or am I completely misunderstanding your question? Sorry then.
yes, that is what I want to do. I use a network of AirPort Express wifi devices, and I’d like to get analog device content onto that net. If there’s a hardware device or even an app (presumably for a Mac computer) that will do it, I’d like to hear about it.
 

arw

macrumors 65816
Aug 31, 2010
1,109
872
This is how it works with a Mac (if it has a built-in or external Line-In):
- Set the Macs system audio output to your desired AirPlay receiver (AirPort Express) (unfortunately, system audio can only be streamed to one single AirPlay receiver at a time, in contrast to iTunes/Music. See 3rd party software at the bottom.)
- Feed the analog audio into the Macs Line-In
- Start QuickTime Player and select "New audio recording" (no need to actually start the recording, but for copyright reasons the Line-In cannot be listened to without any additional programs running)
- Then the audio input is live-streamed via AirPlay

Airfoil should be able to stream the content to more than one AirPlay receiver at once. [free trial, $42 USD license]
 

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Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
Thank you. That is very helpful. The Airfoil app is a good tip, but now I have to figure out how to get analog audio into an M1 iMac or MacBook Pro. I have a multi-function hub that connects to them and provides several input types, but I still need an A-to-D device that produces output of one of those types.
 

Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
And that turned out to be balky and difficult to keep working, so now I’m checking to see if anything better exists.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
10,803
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A sea of green
And that turned out to be balky and difficult to keep working, so now I’m checking to see if anything better exists.
Fair enough.

What's your budget? What level of audio quality is your desired minimum? What model is the receiver?

If you have Airfoil and are willing to use an existing Mac, then that seems to narrow your question down to a choice of ADC. Or maybe an S/PDIF to USB adapter, depending on the receiver's outputs.

Maybe your budget is enough you can afford to buy an older Mac model that has optical inputs (assuming your receiver has optical outputs).
 

Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
I could afford quality sound, but I’m really curious: as useful as AirTunes is, why hasn’t anyone put together a raspberry pi setup that runs the core utilities Apple uses in their own to send audio over wifi? I’d think that would be a marketable product, once it worked reliably.
 

arw

macrumors 65816
Aug 31, 2010
1,109
872
No plug-and-play solution but it seems like the necessary tools exist:
First, an Analog-Digital-Converter HAT like the HiFiBerry DAC+ ADC.
I have not found any info about directly streaming the audio via AirPlay but there’s a workaround: An audio renderer like IceCast which is able convert the audio into a live stream:
protocols for local audio distribution like Airplay, Roon or the squeezebox protocol
I don’t know if this already allows to send audio to multiple devices.
But there's the AirPlay 2 capable audio player shairport-sync or the complete suite Volumio (also based on shairport).
Volumio is mainly designed for playback of digital media files (or cloud/streaming services) but it should be possible to feed the audio stream from IceCast into it and then make use of its AirPlay (2) capabilites.
Volumio usually uses music it finds locally (internal memory, USB disk, ...) or on the network (Spotify, web radio, DLNA server, ...). But it is also able to receive an audio stream directly from devices connected on the local network, such as a smartphone or a computer: in this case, Volumio acts as a renderer, and converts the stream to sound, played through the attached audio device. It understands two protocols: UPnP/DLNA or AirPlay.

EDIT: added/sorted stuff
 
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Tomdeboni

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2017
12
0
Enfield NH
Thanks for the technical info, but I may have found the most turn-key solution out there, and it was the one I had tried several years ago. When playing a record or tape, with the appropriate input selected on a receiver, I use an unused tape output to drive a cheap (I'd like a better one, but haven't found one, yet) ADC, the output of which is connected to a MacBook Pro via a USB port. I run Airfoil on the laptop (the latest hardware-software combo is less balky than when I tried this in the past), and it distributes the data streams to whichever devices I choose. I have several other receivers with Airport Express connections, and when I play the music simultaneously in different rooms via different APE's, the sounds are synchronized. It's all very convenient and reliable, though a tad more complex that I'd like.
 
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