The laptop is a Mac The music server is Ubuntu. Music is stored on the server and the audio comes from the server. The laptop is just to control things.

Tried Airfoil. Despite the inefficiency of running the mp3 to my laptop and then the audio back to the server, this worked for a while. Then I tried to assign my server a manual IP address. After that it stopped working (even after switching back to DHCP-assigned IP) and has never worked again.

Something like ESounD might work but I can't find a way to install that on the Mac without Macports (which would pull in and compile 7 billion other packages just to do so). I don't use Macports and don't want to install it just for one single purpose.

I tried using VLC's http interface and that was clunky, unreliable and didn't work with it's own media library.

I tried various DNLA/UPnP setups but none of them worked properly (the problem was often the size of my music collection. They seem like they've never been tested past a few 1000 tracks)


Any other ideas? Anyone know how to get ESounD working using homebrew or how to manually compile it?

Is there an alternative to Airfoil or ESounD? Or something similar to VLC's HTTP interface that actually works?

  • If you want to listen to music stored on the server on your laptop's loudspeaker, look at this question. But if you want to play music locally on the server, forget forwarding sound over the network and run a music player on the server instead, using graphics forwarding such as with ssh -X. – Gilles Aug 29 '10 at 21:25

I often ssh into my ubuntu box (with ssh -X) and run audacious to listen to music. The UI shows up on the laptop but the sound comes out of the ubuntu box. This is under windows with cygwin xserver but mac has an xserver I believe.

  • Being a Lunix newb I didn't think of that and I didn't expect it to be so damn easy. I can now run any GUI app I like. :) – andybak Aug 31 '10 at 8:25

I believe that mpd is what you're looking for. The player itself is a daemon that runs on the server, and is controlled by a client (mpc, as a default). The client can be run on the server via ssh, and I believe that it can also be run on a separate machine. Setting up mpd is a bit of a pain, but it's worked well for me.


I think that a good solution would be to run MPD (Music player daemon) on the Ubuntu machine and either a browser based client such as Music Player Minion within Firefox or a stand alone client such as Theremin.

Here is a more complete list of clients for you to have a look through - there is a good chance that there is a better one for you.

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