Earlier today, the private key from Apple’s Airport Express was found and released, along with some Perl code, finally allowing for anyone to create their own “Air Speaker” without using the Airport Express. With this code, any OSX or Linux computer can now be turned into an AirSpeaker, that any iPhone or iPod Touch, or iTunes, can now stream music to seamlessly. This really is fantastic because it allows a great deal of flexibility with how you play music, which has been limited for years now.
I found the hack via HackerNews and combined with some code improvments from GitHub, managed to get it working on both OSX 10.6 and Ubuntu 9.10. Here are the steps I followed:
Although the Perl code was originally designed for Linux, the Internet managed to get things running on OSX quite quickly. I found this fork of the Linux code to be easiest to install on OSX: https://github.com/albertz/shairport @ 2aace590d2099fcf83d8b94b350bcc67d8d58788
Assuming you already have XCode and Homebrew installed, the only steps you should need are:
brew install pkg-config libao perl -MCPAN -e 'install Crypt::OpenSSL::RSA' git clone https://github.com/albertz/shairport cd shairport make perl shairport.pl #should have you running!
For my Ubuntu Boxee system, there were more packages to install. I used the original Linux code version, which the OSX version is forked from, at https://github.com/bbhoss/shairport @ 6e1f784b41629e88ab441f500538d45ec807e2e2. You might not need all these steps if you already have Perl installed.
sudo apt-get install libcrypt-openssl-rsa-perl libao2 libao-dev (Program dependencies) sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon avahi-discover avahi-utils libnss-mdns service-discovery-applet mdns-scan (Avahi dependancies) sudo service avahi-daemon start (you need Avahi running) perl -MCPAN -e 'install Crypt::OpenSSL::RSA' perl -MCPAN -e 'install HTTP::Message' perl -MCPAN -e 'install IO::Socket::INET6' git clone https://github.com/bbhoss/shairport cd shairport make perl shairport.pl # should have you running!
Assuming everything is working, the Air Speaker is running, and both iPhone and computer are on the same network, you should be able to select the Air Speaker like below. For me atleast, this is great because I have all my podcasts on my iPhone and really love the iPhone app Podcaster for listening and organizing my podcasts. Now I don’t have to sync anything on my computer, I can keep it all on the iPhone and just play my podcasts to what ever computer I want wirelessly!