Monday, January 20, 2014

Apple airplay device currently in use - how to fix

I was recently seduced into buying an Apple Airport Express, partly because I've been listening to the radio through my fairly poor sounding Macbook Pro speakers for a few months and it kinda bugged me that I have a nice sounding stereo just a few feet from my computer.  I could run a cable to the headphones socket on the Mac but the fewer cables I have on my desk the better.  We have a few Apple products in the house and (in theory) because I've now signed up for iTunes Match I should be able to listen to my music from my iPhone, but of course that'll sound even more tinny than the Mac.

The Airport Express appealed because I can connect it to my old hi-fi and 'push' my music to from any of my devices.  Well at least that's the theory.  The Airport Express worked a treat from iTunes, but it turns out that's all it appears to be intended for.  So this new Apple device would be no good to listening to the Radio through a browser (er, then through my stereo if you see what I mean).  At least that's what I though until I found a cheap bit of Mac software called 'Airfoil'.

Airfoil allows you to play any sound from any program on your Mac through your Airport Express.  Lovely.  I cheerfully listened to the radio for a morning, then I fancied a break from other people's programming for a chunk of my own, so shut the browser and fired up iTunes.  Problem.  When I tried to play iTunes through the Airport Express I got a message that said something along the lines of:

Airplay device currently in use (blah blah blah).

So I rebooted every Apple product in the house but it still didn't fix the error message.  Then I realised how to fix it, and here's how:

  1. Go to the Airfoil popup and choose 'iTunes' from the drop down box at the top of the software.


  2.  Enjoy iTunes through your Airport Express.
It would appear that the other user who is using iTunes is Airfoil, which means it's you using it, which means you should probably apologise to anyone around you who you just accused of hogging the Airplay device!