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Reposted from What is the difference between an "aggregate" and a "multi-output" device?

I am setting up a multi-output device using Audio Midi Setup utility, but I have an Apple TV and three different sets of speakers connected to different AirPort Express stations in different rooms of my house, instead of just the Mac and the Apple TV. How can I make all four (ATV + AEX + AEX + AEX) be part of a single device to receive audio together in sync?

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The only way to do this without a third party app is directly from iTunes. In the top area of the iTunes windows you'll see the AirPlay icon. Click on that and then select Multiple to select multiple AirPlay targets to stream the audio (and/or video) to at the same time:

Selecting multiple targets for audio output

To stream to multiple AirPlay devices from outside iTunes you'll need to invest in some third party applications. The best approach I know of uses Airfoil for Mac from Rogue Amoeba. Airfoil allows you to send audio to many destinations from your Mac. From their page:

Multiple Outputs At Once You can send audio to multiple outputs around your house, all in sync.

It's an excellent app from an excellent Mac-centric development company and for $25 you get an excellent solution to your problem.

  • I knew that I could do it with iTunes. I'm asking doing it with other applications specifically because I'm trying to use Instacast for podcasts, since iTunes syncing is horrendous. – gesher Jul 27 '14 at 13:37
  • Setting up a Multi-Output Device, I see exactly what you saw: one checkbox for AirPlay and one checkbox for Built-in Output. I choose AirPlay. The problem is that I actually have four AirPlay devices and I want to send the audio to all of them simultaneously. When I go into AirPlay and click the Source dropdown, I see my various devices, but it only lets me select a single source at a time. So I’m still only getting audio in one room, rather than in all the rooms (and Instacast already has this feature built in). – gesher Jul 27 '14 at 13:37
  • I think airfoil can do this. But that would be using a third-party app. – Shane Hsu Jul 27 '14 at 15:55
  • @ShaneHsu you are correct. AirFoil does work and basic OS X Mavericks does not. Apple limits streaming to multiple AirPlay devices to just iTunes in Mavericks. I've updated the answer. Maybe this'll change with Yosemite... – Ian C. Jul 27 '14 at 20:56

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