iTunes movie sound through airport express?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by skerfoot, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. skerfoot macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Short version:

    Is there a way I can convince iTunes to play the sound for a video through the airport express, rather than the screen speakers?

    Long version:

    I'm setting up a mac mini as a media center. It's connected to a small screen via miniport/VGA, and into a standard receiver-TV via HDMI. THe house has a multi-room audio system installed which is controlled from the basement (long story). This means that I have to use an airport express to get the sound to the multi-room system.

    This all works very well for playing iTunes music through the multi-room speaker system. Movies play through the sound system associated with the TV. However, I had this dream of playing a mix of music and music videos, with the sound going through the multi-room system (via the airport express) and the video showing on the TV (with full screen visualizer playing for music without video). This is almost working, but whenever a music video comes up, the sound switches to the TV, rather than the multiroom system.

    I've gone through all of the settings and preferences that I can find. Any suggestions, or is this a battle with iTunes that I'm just not going to win?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, not iTunes.
    I'm using a mini as my media center, using Plex to manage and play movies and TV shows. The difference is I have the mini's audio output to the stereo system via cable, instead of trying to use the AE for this. I realize that may not be practical, given your setup, but there's no other elegant solution that I'm aware of.
  3. skerfoot thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010

    Thanks for your reply. I took a look at the Plex website, but couldn't find a very good description of how it actually works. If I understand correctly, it loads onto the computer that you are using as your media center and manages music, photo and video files. Does it interact with iTunes and iPhoto libraries directly, or does it require making its own versions? I see that the iPhone version is $5, but what about the desktop version? The download link was free. Pretty website, but I had trouble figuring out some of the basics. It looks good though.

    I guess if I can find a wireless method to get the sound to the basement, that might be the best option. Then I can plumb the computer audio out directly into the receiver. It has a switch between two sets of speakers, though how this will interact with the sound going to the TV via HDMI I'm not sure.

    BTW, Do you have problems with the Mini waking from sleep and reconnecting with your screen? It looks like my mini wakes when prompted by the keyboard (breathing light becomes steady), but no picture arrives on the Dell screen run by VGA. I have a feeling that it doesn't like having the HDMI connected, but turned off if the receiver is either powered off or paying attention to the cable box input instead. This has become a PITA.

  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I installed Plex and it automatically finds metadata and artwork for all my movies and TV shows. I can then use the Plex interface to browse the poster art and launch the video. I haven't tried using the iTunes or iPhoto interface, so I'm not sure how those work with Plex. I just find it a better tool for managing and watching videos than iTunes.

    I've never had a problem with the mini waking from sleep and finding either the monitor or the HDTV.
  5. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    Skerfoot: you might try Soundflower? I don't know how flexible that app is, i used it once a long long time ago.... lol...

    I woulda thought that you could assign audio via alt and clicking on the volume control in the menubar. Or was that me hallucinating? lol :rolleyes:
  6. skerfoot thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks, this is ALMOST perfect for what I'm looking for. It was really easy to set up, and it forces audio through whatever output I choose, including an airport. The only downside is that it doesn't sync video and audio played through iTunes, only for it's own dedicated video player. I can understand why this is, but it would be even cooler if it could do the same thing for video played through other apps.

    Maybe in an update.

    Now, if I could only get the mini to reliably talk to the VGA Dell screen upon wakeup, this system would be fully functional!

    Thanks for the help,

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