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Kalleg 7th November 2011 06:31 PM

DIY AirPlay Board?
Hi everyone,

I am an avid user of Apples AirPlay technology. I have different speaker systems set up in my apartment (with AE), and I stream to these from my phone, laptop and IPad. For me this has become a vital part of my music listening and I can't imagine living without it.

The past 6 months the AirPlay technology has really been rolled out commercially with Denon, Marantz, Harman Kardon, B&O, Sony, Pioneer etc. integrating AirPlay functionality in their recievers and active speaker systems.

This is happening alongside Spotifys rollout in Europe who's clients/players stream to AirPlay more or less natively. I think we will see more and more of this in the future.

My question is: "where can we begin as DIY'ers?". I am well aware that we can use Apples Airport Express to get the functionality. But there must be a smarter alternative with a smaller footprint. Something like a small inexpensive Airplay module for building active speakers, a boombox, or if we want to build our own amplification with DAC and AirPlay module integrated? The possibilities are endless.

The only one I found is this one:

Bridgeco - Digital Media Player - BridgeCo

And is doesn't seem very accessible.

Do any of you have experience with this, or know of a product that does this? Any ideas are more than welcome. Alternatives too.

Thanks a bunch :) Kalle

soren5 10th November 2011 12:11 PM

Hi Kalle,

Thanks for highlighting this subject!

Im afraid I cant help you though, but as Im also very interested in the AirPlay technology, Id just like support this thread, hoping that there would be someone out there with some more knowledge about this. As you mentioned there are currently a lot of companies introducing AirPlay to their systems, and not only the big knowledge intensive hi-fi manufacturers that you list. A company like Libratone for example, is a recent start-up company that is focusing merely on wireless speakers using the AirPlay technology. My point is that there must be technology available out there, that we DIYers could make use of. No??


macboy 10th November 2011 01:27 PM

Some enterprising individuals have done a lot of work to reverse engineer Airplay:
AirTunes v2 UDP streaming protocol Free as in speech
I found the link above via this thread discussing Airplay and XBMC:
AirPlay target support integrated into XBMC natively? - XBMC Community Forum
I haven't read through the thread to see if there is more relevant information.

It's fairly common to connect microcontrollers with WiFi or ethernet these days. The tricky part would be getting iTunes to recognize your device. Then you would need to extract the audio data from the packets and finally send it to a codec/DAC chip. That last part is not as trivial as it sounds, but with some research, a workable and simple enough solution could be designed.

It might be worthwhile to proof-of-concept this device by implementing the protocol on a WiFi/ethernet enabled microcontroller platform, without the audio part. You would be concerned about negociating the link to iTunes, and make sure it starts sending audio packets. At first, you would discard the audio packets. Once you have iTunes sending you the audio data, then you can design the 2nd half of the hardware and start trying to make music from that data.

Leejin 12th July 2012 03:42 PM

I have found this module that seems to be an easier version. I'm looking to do the same thing and I *think* this is the direction to go.

Trouble is.. you have to be a developer *IIRC*.

Roving Networks | iAP

guussie 16th July 2012 07:29 AM

Could this be a start?

Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

Supposedly supports Airplay.

Patrikr 9th September 2012 11:55 PM


Originally Posted by guussie (
Could this be a start?

Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

Supposedly supports Airplay.

Hey guys, yes the pi work with airplay.
It's really cool. There are loads of info and help on the raspberrypi wiki and forum.


qusp 10th September 2012 02:41 AM

have you got pi v2? so can output i2s from airtunes audio stream from iphone?

Patrikr 11th September 2012 12:21 AM

No it's a Rev 1.
I am using shairport to get airplay working.

neverendingmonday 16th February 2013 06:53 PM

Hi everyone, I am new here.

Did anybody find any solution to this? As suggested in this post I am looking for something small to fit in my devices to use airplay capabilities.. not something like raspberry, but more like a chip that can include everything.

Has anybody made this yet?

Thanksss so much

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