Sometimes we talk about what companies Apple should buy. Well, maybe it should hire TUAW’s Eric Sadun — or buy too great apps that he’s developing: AirPlayer and AirFlick. Both are in alpha testing and both make a great complement to Apple’s AirPlay technology.
AirPlay lets you stream music, photos and video from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch directly to the Apple TV. Unfortunately, you can’t stream media from the iOS device to your Mac or from your Mac to the Apple TV with AirPlay.
AirPlayer (http://www.tuaw.com/2010/12/14/hacksugar-mac-based-airplay-service-allows-device-to-mac-playba/) lets you stream content from your iOS device to your Mac. Eric says that what AirPlayer does is create and advertise a custom Bonjour AirPlay service/app on the Mac that pretends to be an Apple TV. Bonjour is Apple’s zero configuration networking solution for allowing devices and applications to communicate with each other over local area networks. By interacting with iOS devices the same way that Apple TV does and providing the same kinds of services and feedback, AirPlayer allows you to use your iDevice’s built in AirPlay support to send video to your Mac.
Eric has also created AirFlick, which lets Mac users to stream video content to their Apple TVs. AirFlick works by transforming your Mac into a web browser, the same way AirPlay works on your iPhone or other iOS device. For Mac-based files, AirFlick tells your Apple TV to connect to a local URL and serves the data that the Apple TV plays back. So long as those files are in a supported format such as mp4, m4v, mp3, etc., the Apple TV can read and display the file data.
We need AirPlayer and AirFlick on the Mac, so I can’t wait until they’re out of testing. We also need a way to stream FROM our Apple TV to iOS devices and/or our Macs.
Maybe Eric is working on that, as well.
— Dennis Sellers