Keeping abreast with technology - AirPlay: the next ‘must have’
AirPlay (previously known as Apple AirTunes when it was for audio-only) allows a user to play media (both audio and video) from an Apple iOS device (such as an iPod, iPhone or iPad) and stream it to another device without wires. These other devices can be televisions, speakers, music systems and audio-video receivers.
What you will need
To use AirPlay you’ll need an iOS device which runs at least iOS 4.2. This includes all current iPads, the iPhone 3Gs (and newer models) and third-generation iPod Touches and later. You can also use AirPlay from a computer running iTunes or a third-party client which streams to AirPlay speakers.
The are currently two types of devices implementing AirPlay: devices which transmit audio-visual content; and devices receiving content and rendering it on displays and/or speakers :
- AirPlay transmitter devices include computers running iTunes and iDevices such as iPhones, iPods and iPads
- AirPlay receiver devices include AirPort Express (which has an audio output through a mini-jack connector), Apple TV and third party speakers
AirPlay wireless technology (receiver mode) can be integrated into speaker docks, AV receivers and music systems. Companies such as Denon, Marantz, Bowers & Wilkins, JBL and Denon are beginning to use AirPlay within their machines. Song titles, artists, album names, elapsed & remaining time, together with album artwork can all appear on AirPlay-enabled speakers which incorporate built-in graphical displays.
The new Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8 Air (and also what will be Bang & Olufsen’s first AirPlay product, the portable ‘Air’ speaker) will be one such receiver music system capable of implementing AirPlay once released onto the marketplace.