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I have set up a Mac mini as a jukebox that streams audio to an Airport Express in another room in the house, using the AirPlay/AirTunes feature in iTunes. I control this with the iOS Remote app, and this works great.

At the present time, it looks like the Mac mini's copy of iTunes gets taken over by the Remote app, while streaming.

If I set up a second Airport Express in room B, is there a way to set it up (as well as the jukebox) so that it can receive and play its own unique music stream ("stream B"), separate from what's going on at the Mac mini, or in room A, which is playing stream A?

To accomplish this, I would be happy to buy a copy of Rogue Amoeba's AirFoil if it will allow sending multiple, separate audio streams from one computer to the multiple wireless bridges, while using the Remote app (or a Rogue Amoeba equivalent for iOS). However, it is unclear to me from their site documentation, whether that is possible or not.

I'd prefer to give the points to an answer that solves this problem. If you don't know if it can be done, or do not think it can be done, please allow others to answer. I appreciate your help.

Thanks for your advice.

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You can't really say that people who say that it can't be done shouldn't answer the question. If it can't be done, that's actually an answer. – Wuffers Mar 17 '11 at 22:49
I definitely can't stop you from answering, but I'd obviously prefer to give the points to someone who can solve the problem, instead of the default case where the points are given to whoever would answer first. – Alex Reynolds Mar 17 '11 at 23:01
Oh, ok. You certainly don't have to give points to whoever answers first, of course. – Wuffers Mar 17 '11 at 23:08
Just award the bounty manually once a positive answer shows up. – Daniel Beck Mar 18 '11 at 7:02
Unless the SO code has changed, the bounty will get awarded to whoever answers first, if I don't award it myself. – Alex Reynolds Mar 18 '11 at 8:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The thread Airport Express Question suggests using two user accounts and enabling Fast User Switching.

It claims that if you have two log-in accounts on a single Mac, then you can have two copies of iTunes running, each one pointing at a different Airport Express.

It is unclear how the iOS Remote app will function in this setup, so you will have to try and see.

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Maybe I could have iTunes pointed to the same library, though I don't know how updates will be handled. This might be worth investigating, thanks. – Alex Reynolds Mar 18 '11 at 8:09
Thanks for accepting my answer. It just seems that the bounty was lost. – harrymc Mar 25 '11 at 7:01
I had at least 24 hours or more to give that bounty to you, so I don't know why that option disappeared. Perhaps there is a bug in SO code? From the comments above, it sounds like the bounty system has changed since I last used it. – Alex Reynolds Mar 25 '11 at 7:21

I am currently playing two different audio tracks, one to an AirFoil speaker (but Airfoil supports Airtunes devices too), one to an AirPort Express base station.

  • Open iTunes and select a remote speaker there.
  • Open another application, e.g. VLC or Quicktime Player, and start playing something else there. Select your other remote speaker there.

The computer will be silent (unless the internal speakers are explicitly selected), and the remote speakers play two different tracks.


  • You cannot open two independent copies of iTunes (without doing what harrymc suggests), and a single iTunes instance cannot play multiple different tracks in parallel, so you'd need to do what harrymc suggests to use iTunes for all streams. You can create a playlist in iTunes, right-click it and select Export... in m3u playlist format. Open this file with VLC.
  • A remote speaker is an exclusive resource. You cannot play two different tracks on the same remote speaker (but why would you?)

You can even run two instances of Airfoil in parallel without issues. Open Terminal and enter

open -n -a Airfoil

to open a new, independent instance of it, with its own Dock icon. (Doesn't work with iTunes though -- even opening the iTunes binary directly doesn't give a second instance for the same user).

It looks like this (better believe that iTunes is currently streaming to Musicbox):

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I'm actually looking for a way to do this without all the extra work, where my library is shared from one place (iTunes). It sounds like Airfoil is not capable of doing this, but thanks for taking the time to answer. – Alex Reynolds Mar 18 '11 at 8:07
@Alex Then you require multiple iTunes instances, which is not possible with a single user account, at least not on OS X. Regarding "extra work", you mean you don't want to start two programs (one you suggested yourself) and click twice? – Daniel Beck Mar 18 '11 at 8:13

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