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Apple’s AirPlay hacked to stream to XBMC

Apple’s AirPlay is a wonderful piece of technology that, unfortunately, requires you to buy into the complete Apple ecosystem in order to stream content around your house.

Thankfully, though, some clever developers have been working hard to break their iDevices free from these shackles. With a little bit of tweaking, Erica Sadun at TUAW has managed to get a machine with the XBMC HTPC software installed on Ubuntu Linux to run the AirPlay client service. By advertising itself using the Bonjour protocol, the box shows up in the menus of any iOS device, just as it would if it were Apple certified. From there, it’s just a matter of selecting the system to stream any content seamlessly to the PC.

 This is obviously still in the early stages so far, but it’s clear proof that non-Apple systems can be made to communicate with AirPlay relatively easily and without modifying anything on the iDevice itself. Sadun also reports that similar projects are underway with Windows, which should make AirPlay available to an even wider number of PCs and to the vast majority of iPad and iPhones owners.

Unfortunately it’ll still be some time before these sort of hacks are ready for mainstream consumption. Nonetheless, with developers squirreling away, it’s only a matter of time before AirPlay is made to work with a whole range of non-Apple devices. For now, we’ll just have to make do with a video of an iPad streaming seamlessly over to XBMC.


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