As I wrote last night, AirPlay rules! As I have written previously, iTunes does not. It has always seemed like a bloated program to me. I far prefer the Music Player Daemon (MPD), a program for Linux and Mac OS X to manage and play your music. The MPoD app seals the deal! Fortunately, if you have a Windows or Mac, you can easily stream MPD over AirPlay. Just follow these easy instructions.
First, install and configure MPD as normal. I will not cover that here, since the official site has plenty of documentation. Once you get it playing music locally, you can begin tweaking it. Edit mpd.conf and add the following block. If you use the default configuration file you can uncomment and edit the this block, otherwise just insert the following.
name ”My HTTP Stream”
encoder “lame” port ”8000″
bitrate “320” format ”44100:16:1″
This tells MPD to stream its audio over a high quality HTTP stream. You can make the port whatever you want, just remember it and make sure people cannot access it from outside of your network. Also, make sure your MPD machine has a static IP and that you know it. You can find this with the ifconfig utility. Advanced users who want a truly lossless connection could switch lame to vorbis, use quality 10, and get iTunes to play vorbis files with a plugin, but we’ll keep it simple for now. A 320 kbps stream sounds nice and sparkly. Now restart MPD and you should see your new HTTP stream. Just type “mpc outputs” at the command line, or go to MPoD’s settings and you should see it.
Now that you have it working, go to your Mac or WIndows machine and open up iTunes. Hit Command-U on a Mac, or go to the Advanced menu then choose Open Stream. Type in the URL of your MPD output, for example http://192.168.1.100:8000. If you did everything right it should open up and you should hear MPD in iTunes. Congratulations! Now just configure AirPlay as normal and there you go, MPD running over AirPlay for free! Enjoy!