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I've got a very simple situation, which is: I have a generic record player with a preamp and RCA outputs (red/white). I have a pair of speakers connected to an old Airport Express, one connected to a new Airport Express, and an Apple TV.

Can I make the record player Do A Sound in the AirPlay-connected speakers? Options I've considered are:

  • A Raspberry Pi, but the software side of it may be more trouble than it's worth
  • Connecting the record player, using an adapter, to my iMac, and then using Rogue Amoeba's LineIn to capture input, and transmit all audio, using Soundflower and Porthole, to AirPlay. This worked, but the lag between different speakers is considerable. Also, I'm using three separate apps for a task I should be able to do with a small box.

This doesn't seem like that maddeningly difficult an ask, but so far I've come up with nothing that works as an AirPlay transmitter in the same way as, say, iTunes. I can get this amp for cheap: http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/products/42/98/405/VSX-529-K/page.html but I don't understand if it can transmit as well as receive AirPlay streams. Halp?

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    'lag between different speakers' You mean you're losing the stereo image, or are you streaming to multiple speaker pairs/sets? I'm not sure I could actually think of a better solution that your LineIn/Soundflower/Porthole. There is going to be some latency - considerable if you're using the Mac's own audio ins rather than a dedicated USB DAC, but the stereo field ought to stay coherent. It might be worth investigating if you can reduce the buffer size, which will reduce latency, at cost of CPU usage. [btw, I doubt a consumer device like the Pioneer would provide transmission, only reception] – Tetsujin Dec 26 '14 at 10:32
  • I meant I was streaming to different speaker pairs, and there's a very noticeable amount of lag between, say, the old Airport Express and the Apple TV (the Airport Express is considerably faster. Funny, because the Apple TV is sitting on the wifi modem (new Airport Express)). And yes, seems like the Pioneer only provides reception. – lowercasename Dec 26 '14 at 10:38
  • If only OSX provided a hardcoded line-in-to-line-out function, like OS 9 had. I'm sure the latency would've been much better there. – lowercasename Dec 26 '14 at 10:40
  • I think you're seeing 2 separate issues, latency through the initial setup; which I'd live with really, as it doesn't hurt the final output - & different degrees of latency through the multiple Airports, which you will never be able to accurately sync. – Tetsujin Dec 27 '14 at 8:55
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    Well, I've discovered that I can just use the newest version of Airfoil, which does the same business as the LineIn+Soundflower+Porthole setup but improves the syncing between different speakers considerably, to the point where I can't tell any more if they're out of sync. The initial latency I can live with, absolutely. – lowercasename Dec 27 '14 at 22:41
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Now I have figured out a simple and reasonably cheap solution for Airplay that does not require a computer, paid apps and similar, only a cable, that have multiple other uses, and an iOS device not in use while listening (depending on the circumstances I use either my iPhone or my iPad), see this

http://davidbo.livejournal.com/795.html (It is added to the Wayback Machine so it won't disappear).

Some non-dealbreaking minor issues remains, I will update that article when I find solutions to them.

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If you want to improve audio quality you need a some kind of optical receiver on the end of AE. It could be MD player/recorder as a cheap solution. Or audio receiver/amplifier as not cheap but better and versatile. You connect it with miniToslink to Toslink cable and then you get signal from and sending it where and how you want. This way you are omitting AE DAC which is considerable boost to quality. Still you can worse it with speakers amp if they are standalone multimedia speakers so you might not hear the difference.

Is it what you were trying to achieve with this cumbersome loops btw?

  • I think you misunderstood me - I am trying to connect a device with RCA output to a number of AirPort Expresses. What I'm trying to achieve is wireless sound from a record player. – lowercasename Dec 27 '14 at 7:33
  • Oh, I am sorry I have misunderstood. But then you might find this answer useful — apple.stackexchange.com/questions/163394/… – iskra Dec 27 '14 at 14:29
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Look at this http://www.yankodesign.com/2012/06/28/vinyl-goes-wireless/

Apparently it has a DLNA/Airplay module. If that module was possibly to buy separately I guess it would solve your (and my) problem, but so far, I haven't found anything. Please update this question if you figure something out.

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    Yeah, I saw that when I was searching, but it's not a real product, just a design idea. It's beautiful, but full of impossible things, just like that AirPlay module. I now suspect Apple actively forbid that sort of development - the technology is probably quite simple. – lowercasename Nov 13 '15 at 20:32

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