How to Turn Windows, Mac, Linux PC Into AirPlay Receiver Using XBMC 11

XBMC Eden AirPlay

The popular open source media center software XBMC has been updated and is now available for all major OS including Windows 7, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, iOS and Apple TV. The latest XBMC version 11.0 codenamed ‘Eden’ includes many new features that brings about significant changes to respective OS versions of  XBMC media center app. Apart from few cosmetic changes the features worth mentioning are AirPlay, improved Blu-ray Disc support, subtitles support for MP4 videos etc. Now lets discuss about AirPlay technology and as we are interested only in that feature here.

Related post: Best Free AirPlay iPad Apps for Streaming Audio and Video to Apple TV

AirPlay is an Apple technology that allows wireless streaming of multimedia content from devices including iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 5.0+ to AirPlay receivers. But officially Apple supports this feature only on Mac OS and Apple TV hardware. So the need for wireless streaming from an iOS device to other platforms like Windows and Linux calls for third-party apps. And that is what exactly XBMC Eden media center software features in it.

Heads up: we have already covered few Windows apps that enables AirPlay support. Check them here and here.

To enable AirPlay on desktop using XBMC 11 wireless N router is recommended. Using older routers can result in a delay.

How to enable AirPlay on computer using XBMC Media Center:

1. Download and install the latest XBMC 11.0 Eden for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu and other Linux distros from here. While installing XBMC on Windows and Mac is straight forward follow the steps mentioned here to install it on Linux flavors. Please note the following,

  • If you are on a Windows PC make sure you have installed iTunes or if you haven’t installed get Bonjour for Windows. Bonjour is a background process installed with iTunes that helps the audio program complete certain functions, such as finding shared libraries.
  • Make sure the firewall or Antivirus software on your computer OS is not blocking Bonjour service.

2. Launch XBMC on your computer and wait for it to load. While you are on it scroll your mouse over the main menu on middle of the screen to right side where you have the ‘System’ menu. Click ‘Settings’ sub-menu.

XBMC System Settings

3. Now under XBMC settings click to select and open ‘Network’ settings.

XBMC Network Settings

4. Under ‘Network- Settings’ services move down the screen to find an option where you can enable AirPlay feature on XBMC. Click ‘Allow XBMC to receive AirPlay content’ to enable it on your PC.

XBMC AirPlay Enable

On your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad  running iOS 5+:

Once the AirPlay feature is enabled on your desktop machine head over to any Apple device running iOS 5.0 and above to start streaming content wirelessly. AirPlay icon will be displayed on the native music, video, photo and other popular iOS apps like YouTube which when clicked lets you select to XBMC player as the receiver.

iPhone YouTube AirPlay

Note: At the time of drafting this post Airplay supports videos and pictures streaming from iOS to all platforms whereas music streaming is supported on Mac, Linux but not on Windows for time being.

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