AirPlay not quite music to users' ears

Just hours after an update to Apple's iOS added much-hyped AirPlay functionality to iDevices, users are reporting a less-than-smooth media streaming experience.

AirPlay has been touted as an all-in-one WiFi streaming solution for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, with Apple's PR highlighting the ease with which users can stream ''whatever'' to an Apple TV.

''So if you feel like watching a movie you have on one of your devices, you don’t need to rent or buy it again. Just tap to start playing content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, then tap again to instantly stream whatever you’re watching — or listening to — directly to Apple TV.''

But blogger Dave Zatz reports that in reality, iPhones and Apple TV devices aren't playing nice, with streaming often proving a hit-and-miss affair. He claimed that while streaming video works using Apple's built-in apps, his attempts to stream from third-party apps such as Hulu were met with little success.

''Although the occasional app can pass along the audio half of the feed – which is of pretty limited value. It’s unclear if I have all the wrong apps or if this functionality needs to be enabled by developers. Perhaps it’s just not ready for primetime,'' he said.

Mr Zatz reported better luck with audio streaming, though he claimed it was unclear whether an app was compatible with AirPlay or not.

''The music just starts playing — there’s no real Apple TV visual cues as to what’s going on,'' he said.

Similar stories are emerging from Apple's support forums, with users reporting patchy and confusing AirPlay experiences.

''Both my iPhone 4 and iPad are having a very inconsistent experience enabling AirPlay. At first, the iPhone did not see any of my [AirPort] Expresses or AppleTVs (both 2nd gen),'' wrote ''slouchsock8''. ''This is really buggy...it's unfortunate that it got released this way.''

Users have also reported that streaming video from Safari does not work, with only audio playing. Streaming videos recorded on an iPhone is also unavailable.

It has been suggested that fault for many of the bugs may lie with third-party developers who have yet to update their apps to use the AirPlay APIs, a situation which is likely to improve in coming weeks and months.

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35 Comments

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Edit: My comment (which was rather long-winded on how stupid it is that this is there solution to "not having to rent something multiple times") got eaten when I hit submit so **** it.

works great for me,no problems . just thought i'd post some positive comments it seems only negative comments get posted, although i am using 4.2.1 (developer access) .

silverboy31 said,
works great for me,no problems . just thought i'd post some positive comments it seems only negative comments get posted, although i am using 4.2.1 (developer access) .

Although iTunes labels the latest update 4.2, a quick check reveals the public update is 4.2.1.

Airplay is condemned to fail, the whole premise is stupid at best and apparently it was designed to catch to sell a soon-of-be-outdated-technology to unconditional fanboys that boys almost anything from Apple.

I think the only story here is that, from what I understand, third party developers can't stream video (yet). However, audio support is there and developers just have to integrate the APIs.

Elliott said,
I think the only story here is that, from what I understand, third party developers can't stream video (yet). However, audio support is there and developers just have to integrate the APIs.

... and streaming video from Safari doesn't work quite right.

Does this Airplay bring anything more than DNLA to the table?
Why didn't they just use DNLA, and be compatible to many other devices that already have that?

dodgetigger said,
Does this Airplay bring anything more than DNLA to the table?
Why didn't they just use DNLA, and be compatible to many other devices that already have that?
they can put their own compression and meta data in.

dodgetigger said,
Does this Airplay bring anything more than DNLA to the table?
Why didn't they just use DNLA, and be compatible to many other devices that already have that?
DLNA also operates differently. With AirPlay, you initiate the playback and choose your destination on the device that's sharing the media. From what I can tell with DLNA, it creates more of a "media server" that then other devices can access.

Elliott said,
DLNA also operates differently. With AirPlay, you initiate the playback and choose your destination on the device that's sharing the media. From what I can tell with DLNA, it creates more of a "media server" that then other devices can access.

That is one part of DNLA. But you also can have a device that can initiate the playback on another device, just like Airplay does. You can even have a device that controls a DNLA server, telling it to stream things to yet another device.

protocol7 said,
Users probably expected it to work system-wide like AirFoil.

This doesn't even work in apples own apps I had to format my iPhone 4 and apple tv 2 to get it to work

The point was more that the average user, who will update and expect things to ''just work'' will be annoyed to find that they don't, yet.

Not really, as in the article the streaming works from apple apps, perhaps the apps he was using haven't been update to support the new feature, something the blogger also admits

REM2000 said,
Not really, as in the article the streaming works from apple apps, perhaps the apps he was using haven't been update to support the new feature, something the blogger also admits


Actually no people like me are having a hard time getting it to work from the apple iPod app to an tav 2 also. Had to go completely from scratch again to get it to work.


Apple is supported to just work. Everybody bashes Microsoft for this. But when apple screws up they are praised.

I shouldn't have to reformat my iPhone 4 and apple tv 2 to get things to work

majortom1981 said,
Apple is supported to just work. Everybody bashes Microsoft for this. But when apple screws up they are praised.

Apple praised? What forum have you been reading?

benzema said,
Job...

No,

You're updating the idevices Wrong.

-sent from my wp7

Really? You couldn't think of any more of an intelligent comment? These "doing it wrong" jokes are getting really, really dumb.

ZenVenT said,

No,

You're listening to it wrong.

-Sent from my iPhone

No...

You're streaming it wrong.

(Which is actually the real problem... Oh wait, so was the "You're holding it wrong" thing as well xD).

hotdog963al said,
^ Worst thread of comments I've ever seen
Can we a see a ban of the avatar-less news trolls?

Well then Jobs and Apple need to stop making stupid comments....

hotdog963al said,
^ Worst thread of comments I've ever seen
Can we a see a ban of the avatar-less news trolls?

I'm avatar-less, and I shall say proudly:

"You're streaming it wrong."

- Sent from my iPhone

hotdog963al said,
^ Worst thread of comments I've ever seen
Can we a see a ban of the avatar-less news trolls?

Can we have a ban on HotDogs?