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Since AirPlay is mature, many Apple enthusiasts have invested in AirPlay speakers throughout their home. This provides the ability to stream the same music in multiple locations. Since AirPlay works over Wi-Fi, it doesn’t suffer from the same limitations as Bluetooth. Apple offers the inexpensive AirPort express, which can act as an AirPlay receiver. There are also third-party AirPlay enabled speakers. You can even download free, third-party software to turn virtually any computer into an AirPlay receiver.
It is possible to stream Google Play Music from your iOS device or Mac to multiple AirPlay targets throughout your home. It’s not free, however. Software developer Rogue Amoeba’s AirFoil adds much-needed system integration to Apple’s AirPlay technology. At $29, the app is inexpensive for what it does. Paired with their free AirFoil Satellite app, users can beam music from their iOS device to multiple AirPlay receivers, using a Mac or PC as a hub. The great thing about AirPlay is that the music stays in sync on every receiver.
Setting up a multiple AirPlay system for Google Play Music is a bit of a Rube Goldberg design, especially if you want to use an iOS device. Basically, one needs to install AirFoil Satellite, a free app, on a Mac or PC. This turns your computer into an AirPlay receiver. The $29 AirFoil app also needs to be installed on the same computer. This app transmits the audio to multiple AirPlay receivers. Using an iOS device, the user connects to AirFoil using AirPlay. This beams the audio from the iOS device to the computer. From there, one can pick multiple AirPlay receivers, such as Apple TV and external AirPlay devices.
You can also forgo the iOS device entirely. Since Google Play Music offers a fully functional web app, it’s possible to just use AirFoil to play music directly from a Mac or PC to multiple AirPlay receivers. All of your playlists and albums are available on the Google Play Music web app, no matter which device you used to build your library.
AirFoil offers a free trial version. After 10 minutes of use with each session, the trial version adds noise to the stream. Obviously, the trial version isn’t something you’d use regularly. It gives the user an opportunity to test a configuration before investing $29 in the product. I strongly recommend testing the trial version before purchasing the app.
Google Play Music Works With the Apple Ecosystem
As you can see, although there is no native Google Play Music tvOS app, the service works quite well with the Apple Ecosystem. I use Google Play Music all the time. I don’t mind having to use my iPhone and AirPlay to beam music to my Apple TV. Having used Apple Music, I prefer the reliability, superior audio quality and massive music library offered by Google Play Music.
If you’re an Apple fan, you probably default to using the Apple version of everything. I used to be like this too. After a while, I simply found that too many of Apple’s apps and services are deeply flawed. I haven’t met many people who love iTunes. Safari isn’t a very good web browser. Similarly, Google play Music is just better than Apple Music. I challenge Apple fans to give it a try. Google Play Music offers a free trial, and you get YouTube Red bundled with the service.