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The AirPlay technology that Apple rolled out with iOS 4.2 is definitely the future, even though it’s quite lacking in its current incarnation. Thanks to an enterprising developer, you can now add iOS to Mac streaming capabilities, without ever having to hack your device.
MacRumors is reporting that longtime iOS developer Erica Sadun has essentially reverse engineered Apple’s new AirPlay technology to come up with a Mac application called AirPlayer, which essentially allows you to stream from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to the screen of your Mac computer.
“What AirPlayer does is create and advertise a custom Bonjour AirPlay service that pretends to be an Apple TV,” Sadun revealed. “Bonjour is Apple's zero configuration networking solution for allowing devices and applications to communicate with each other over local area networks. When Apple created AirPlay, it basically set up a new way for Apple TV to interact with iOS using Bonjour communications.”
Of course, there’s no reason that something similar couldn’t be done to make AirPlay stream to Windows as well, although Sadun, a writer for the Mac-centric website TUAW, has no plans to attempt that anytime soon.
AirPlayer is currently an ad-supported alpha for Mac OS X, which tinkerers can download free from Sadun’s website. MacRumors calls the software an “early proof of concept release,” which we would agree with -- we downloaded AirPlayer and gave it a spin, but found the experience a little slow and buggy in its current form. However, it’s an exciting peek into what may come, particularly if Apple gets to work on allowing us to stream directly from our iTunes library to our iOS devices.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Video & image courtesy of MacRumors)