Streaming Music to Multiple Speakers using iTunes | January 24, 2006

I really like Airport Express as it allows me to stream music from my iMac to the stereo in my living room. This is particularly handy when we have guests around as I can stick iTunes on party shuffle and not have to worry about music for the rest of the evening (for extra geek cred you can control iTunes with your mobile phone using salling clicker). If I had a bigger flat I’d probably consider getting a few more Airport Express units and hooking them up to stereos in the bedroom and kitchen. If the rumours are true, Tom Coates has 5 of the things. Now that’s just showing off.

Anyway, the one thing that has always bothered me is you could only ever listen to music on one device at a time. If you had iTunes streaming to the living room, you couldn’t listed to the music on your Mac in the bedroom. Luckily now you can. In fact you can stream your music to any and all the remote speakers on your network, so you can sashay through your home barely missing a beat.

For this to work you need to have iTunes 6.0.2 installed. You also need to download and install the latest Airport Express Firmware. Once your Airport Expresses reboot after the firmware update, you should see a new “multiple speakers” option in your speakers dropdown. Clicking on this will bring up a list of your connected speakers, allowing you to choose which ones you want to stream music to. Sweet.

Posted at January 24, 2006 11:52 PM


Tom Coates said on January 25, 2006 1:07 AM

I think I have three or four, but definitely not five. I’m having a bit of an Apple orgy today, actually - just got myself an Intel 20” iMac to replace my five year old desktop mac, and work’s just given me a Powerbook. So - for a moment at least - there are four working Macs in the house. And I think they’re all on, right now!

Tom Coates said on January 25, 2006 1:09 AM

OOh! New functionality! Missed that!

Andrew Stott said on January 25, 2006 5:55 AM

One thing to note: if you’ve tightened up the firewall on your workstation (where you’re running iTunes) you may need to make adjustments to allow the necessary inbound UDP traffic. Either add a new rule to allow UDP port 6002 or disable the UDP blocking in the advanced section of the firewall config… Had me scratching my head for a bit until tcpdump came to the rescue! :)

Tore Mogensen said on January 25, 2006 8:02 AM

An odd thing is that the iTunes volume control is bypasses when you use multiple speakers. I usually have my stereo set very high, so that I can control the volume from my Powerbook, but when I switched to “Multiple speakers” the iTunes volume was bypasses, which nearly ruptured my ear drums.

Tim said on January 25, 2006 1:53 PM

Tivo Series II + Audiofaucet = music everywhere.

With Tivo hooked into my wireless network, the Audiofaucet software can read the iTunes xml file and steam it to my stereo system. It even displays album art and next track.

Worked perfectly for our Xmas party.

J. Cornelius said on January 25, 2006 11:55 PM

This is great news. Sadly it doesn’t seem to work for restricted users in a multiple user setup :(

It must be something with network permissions or keychain access.

L. Masuoka said on February 18, 2006 6:42 PM

I have current firmware, iTunes and two express bridges to separate stereos. The extreme base is the main. I get an error message when trying to connect both express under multiple speakers. Everything works with a single stream. Any suggestions? There are three options listed under multiple speakers, stereo 1, stereo 2 and computer. They all work individualy, but any two will not load. What am I missing?