Fixing AirParrot Audio Problems

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Viewing my WordPress stats, I discovered that many people visit this site looking for solutions to AirParrot audio issues. I have used AirParrot for some time and find it to be quite solid and stable. Mac OS X audio settings are in a central location, which seems to be the main issue. People often forget to look in System Preferences, as they assume the AirParrot user interface will have comprehensive control over AirParrot audio settings.

The other issues involve AirParrot’s interaction with other software, such as remote desktop software. When I use AirParrot with Splashtop, I need to have the software configured properly and start each component in the correct order. I took the time to figure this out so you don’t have to.

I am assuming that you have read and followed the instructions for installing the AirParrot audio drivers. By default, AirParrot does not have audio enabled. If you want audio support, select “Enable Audio” from the menu. The first time you enable audio for AirParrot, it needs to install some additional software. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Please refer to my tutorial on configuring AirParrot, for more information regarding the basic setup. No need to parrot myself!

If you are using AirParrot with a remote desktop application such as Splashtop, you should also refer to my tutorial. This will give you the correct steps and start-up sequence to get it working right. The order that AirParrot, remote software, and the video program are started is important.

If you are still unable to get sound on your AirPlay device, try the following:

1. Make sure audio is enabled. This is in the AirParrot menu at the top right of your screen, on the Mac OS X menu bar.

2. Have you tried turning it off and on again? Try quitting AirParrot and restarting it. Then re-connect to your AirPlay device, such as your Apple TV. I have had the occasional audio drop out. This is easily fixed by restarting AirParrot.

3. The main audio controls for the Mac are located in System Preferences → Sound. Please be aware that with the default Mac audio hardware, you can only have one audio device output at a time. When AirParrot installs its audio device, it is registered here. Make sure that AirParrot is the audio device selected for output.

AirParrot has a minor flaw. When you quit your AirParrot session, it does not return your audio output settings to your previous selection — typically Line Out or Internal Speakers. You may notice, after using AirParrot, your Mac is mute. Simply open System Preferences → Sound and select the appropriate device for your Mac’s audio output. Everything should work now.

If you are still experiencing audio problems, it could be that your CPU isn’t powerful enough. There are ways you can fix these problems without buying a new Mac… (continue…)


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  1. Trying AirParrot on 2010 MacBook pro Mountain Lion.

    I get sound but just a black and white chess board looking pattern instead of video. Other times I just get the green airparrot logo and then the programme closes after about 5 seconds.

    Strangely enough the video picture is visible for a split second each time I maximize or minimize the window.


    1. Have you tried adjusting the resolution on your Mac or Windows machine? If not, give that a try. Try to get it as close to the target resolution as possible. If you have an apple TV 2, it runs at 720p, so 1280×720 is a good resolution for your computer. If you are using an Apple TV 3, try 1920×1080, or as close as you can get. Also, go to AirParrot Preferences and make sure that underscan is set to 0%.

  2. I’ve been following this blog trail in the hopes of fixing my own audio streaming problem. I have tried everything. You know what finally worked? Turning everything off and on again just like he recommended. Restart Apple TV- restart computer-restart air parrot. Finally, the “enable audio” button held on Air Parrot when I selected “Apple TV” from devices on Air Parrot. Of course I also went into my preferences for Sound and selected Air Parrot which I hadn’t done before. But until I did all the shutdown, it didn’t work. Wow.

  3. Help needed. My audio is working, BUT it is not sinking up with the video stream.
    It’s just slightly off, but it’s enough to drive one crazy.

    1. What are the specs on you system? Take a look at CPU activity as shown in the article and let me know what you see. You might need to adjust AirParrot to use a little less CPU — lower the frame rate or make other adjustments. These are detailed in the article.

      My hunch is that if you are using AirParrot, you have an older Mac or a Windows PC. You may have to fine tune AirParrot. Also, make sure to close other apps. You should just have AirParrot and your video app or web browser running.

  4. I had trouble getting rid of the AirParrot sound driver after upgrading to Mavericks. Removing APExtFramebuffer.kext and AirParrotDriver.kext from /Library/Extensions did the trick.

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