February 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

4 Android AirPlay Music Apps

android airplay

We were surprised to find, back in November 2011, that Google Android devices can play music on Apple’s AirPlay devices. It’s like Coca-Cola offering a free glass to anyone who drinks Pepsi, and quite frankly, it confused us.

Then we found a whole slew of great Android apps for playing music on AirPlay devices, including Apple TV and AirPort Express. That story received so much traffic, as it continues to do today, that we became convinced that Apple was stealing Android people with AirPlay — the same way it lured away so many Windows folks with the iPod. Google has finally woken up to the AirPlay threat, but can it (or Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Qualcomm, DTS, or any of the wannabes) catch up to Apple in the living room?

Nevermind, those questions will have to wait for another day because we’re ready with another batch of  Android apps for playing music on Apple’s AirPlay devices.

Before you tell us that we missed one, check out Round One of this list, which includes Taglists by Eye-C, Remote for iTunes, iMediaShare, Twonky, AirBubble, and Honey Player. The below list consists of every app we could find in Google Play that is ostensibly capable of streaming music to AirPlay devices that was not included in that round.

Notes:

  • None of these apps can control the volume of playback on your Apple TV, AirPort Express, or AirPort Speakers, the way iOS apps can. We guess that’s where Apple draws the line on non-Apple devices streaming to AirPlay.
  • We tested these apps using a Samsung Galaxy SII using the latest version of Android that it supports (4.0.4), with Apple TV and first-generation AirPort Express both running the latest firmware as of today, February 7, 2013.
  • We’re aware that it’s slightly weird to judge the paid version of one app versus the free versions of other apps, but we were looking for the minimum viable version with AirPlay for Android, because that’s what this article is about.

AppleTV AirPlay Media Player (free)

Wireless Music Features

  • It works with Apple TV only — no AirPort Express or AirPlay Speakers.
  • It can play music from your Android’s internal memory or an SD card, YouTube, Shoutcast, local media servers, and your home-networked computers with Windows file sharing turned on.

Test Notes

  • There’s not much lag before songs play, once the app is connected.
  • It didn’t see the media files on my Windows 7 box or either of two Macs (running Lion and Snow Leopard). You might have better luck depending on your network and machine configurations.

Bottom line

  • If you’re trying to play music with your Android on your Apple TV, this app will do the trick, and it has robust video options too. It’s part of the ZappoTV family of apps, designed mainly for putting web video on your television, but it also works with music to an extent.

DoubleTwist Player AirSync ($5)

Wireless Music Features

  • It works with Apple TV only — no AirPort Express or AirPlay Speakers.
  • It plays music and podcasts from your Android, and that’s it.

Test Notes

  •  You need to pay at least $5 in order to stream from this app (which people love as a standalone music player by the way) to Apple TV. Then you’ll need to Enable Streaming in the Settings > AirTwist & AirPlay menu. After that, it’s smooth as silk, and you’ll
  • Once a song or station is playing, all it takes to send that song to your Apple TV is a tap of the AirTwist symbol.
  • The app can play DoubleTwist Radio channels, but they won’t stream to your Apple TV. The app can only play locally-stored music on Apple TV.

Bottom Line

  •  If you already use DoubleTwist and want to upgrade to streaming to AppleTV only (no AirPort Express or wireless speakers), it’s a no-brainer: This is the Android AirPlay app for you, even though it costs $5. You’ll appreciate the wireless music syncing from Mac and PC that comes along with that… unless you’re nearly broke, in which case keep your five bucks. This was our favorite out of these four.

PlayTo AppleTV Roku GTV & DLNA (Lite, free)

Features

  • This Lite version includes limits on what you can watch video-wise, and includes advertisements, but for the purposes of music streaming, there are no real limitations.
  • It can play music stored on your Android, networked Windows computers and media servers (with sharing configured), and a slew of online sources, most of them video. The best option there for music fans is Amazon Cloud Player — however, it’s only in the full version, which costs $5.

Test Notes

  • This app can find Apple TVs automatically. That part is easy.
  • If you know the IP address of another AirPlay device, such as an AirPort Express, you can add it manually if you know its IP address (you can easily find that using AirPort Utility desktop application). We were able to do this successfully. However, when we tried to switch to the AirPort Express, we saw a “No Media Present” error message.
  • We found it a bit confusing to navigate our music in all three views: Gallery, Grid, and List — and we don’t even have that much music on this device.
  • There’s no navigation within the app, so sometimes, you have to tap the main Android Back button like 15 times to climb back out to the main menu.
  • We were not able to play music from our networked computers with this app, which might have been a configuration issue. Your mileage may vary.

Bottom Line

  • We’re not feeling it. However, if you store all your music in Amazon Cloud, upgrade to the paid version, and only use Apple TV, that could be a nice solution, because in that case, the app uses the web interface of Amazon Cloud Player. However, if you’re looking for an easy way to put lots of video content on Apple TV via Android, this is a good option.

MaxMusic

We had high hopes for this one, because it claims to be “the first player enable your android into AIRPLAY mode, all you need to do is to seat on your sofa and stream the music you love into the speaker remotely.” In addition, its music interface is nice and simple, unlike many of these others, which include lots of video-centric features. However, we could not find an AirPlay setting, and the Settings menu tried to send us to a local webpage that didn’t exist. Fail.

  • rvw1970

    I use the DS audio app from synology and can stream straight to airport.and control the volume . This I had a year ago . It does require a Diskstation from Synology but that is where I keep my iTunes database anyways and now I stream it th rough the whole house from my Android DS Audio app.

  • Martin Meel

    There’s a new app in the play-market which can stream every audio via AirPlay.
    It’s quite new and sure not every device is supported, but I think it’s worth a try.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.airaudio

  • vestheimsticks

    i just downloaded and purchased the licence, however it does not work on mine at all..

  • Unhappy

    So basically all players above only work on apple TV or it should work with airport express but you found it doesn’t… I’m after a music player for my android device that will stream to an Apple airport express and you wrote a whole article about this but gave me nothing… Nice job, thanks.

  • C.Hey

    Streambels my friend… It’s free and beautiful so far.

  • RT

    Thanks! Had tried AirAudio on a MotoG streaming to an AirPlay compatible Denon which didn’t work and Streambels worked first time !