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MagicPlay: the Open Source AirPlay

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the does-not-involve-shivan-dragons dept.

Music 177

New submitter JonLech writes "Ever since Apple launched AirTunes in 2004 (later renamed AirPlay) they have remained unchallenged in the Wi-Fi music streaming market. With various manufacturers releasing AirPlay-only Wi-Fi speakers, Android and other non-Apple device users have been left out in the cold. Today that changes with the release of MagicPlay, an open standard for music streaming (think 'HTTP for music') with a BSD-licensed open source reference implementation that any app developer or hardware manufacturer can integrate into their products. For the Linux fans out there, I've written up some instructions on how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a MagicPlay device."

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177 comments

its not news yet (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#44170991)

If there isn't wide spread hardware adoption, its a useless 'standard'

Re:its not news yet (4, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 10 months ago | (#44171213)

You are implying that you would like hardware manufacturers to make a de-facto standard by selling devices first, and then open it up.

This is the route AirPlay went so far, and where all vendor lock-in happens.

A standard allows multiple parties to come together (hardware vendors, software devs, sellers) and have a common ground / interface, so everyone knows what they are talking about. So progress on spreading a open solution should be accelerated by defining a standard first.

Re:its not news yet (4, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#44171273)

I'm implying that declaring "the new standard in xyz" is not news worthly unless it is actually picked up and implemented by more than a handful of irrelevant people who made a pretty website and metioned the Raspberry Pi.

The summary goes on to talk about only being able to buy AirPlay speakers. Where can I buy MagicPlay speakers? Nowhere? thought so. Not really a standard then is it? It's not recognised by any standards institutes. It's just someones pet OSS project at the moment. Because its open, they're declaring it a standard.

Re:its not news yet (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 10 months ago | (#44171513)

Where can I buy MagicPlay speakers? ... Not really a standard then is it? It's not recognised by any standards institutes. It's just someones pet OSS project at the moment. Because its open, they're declaring it a standard.

I think you can already use it if you have a media center setup (connected to speakers), and then stream from laptop & phone.

Re:its not news yet (5, Insightful)

TigerTime (626140) | about 10 months ago | (#44171545)

Slashdot.org is not a newsfeed for Pintrest and Best Buy shoppers. It's for technical people that are interest in geeky stuff that may or may be available at your local retailer yet.

All standards come out long before actual products. 4K TV? 802.11ac? MiraCast? All these are technologies that are built on standards that have just been introduced in the last couple years. Yet people on here have been talking about them before products are actually introduced? Why? Because this is a fucking website geared toward shit like that.

Re:its not news yet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171759)

But what good is knowledge if it is not wrapped in a consumer product!?

Unbelievable.

Does this attitude stem from the fact that "geek" now includes a vast swath of electronic entertainment consumers who have no interest in how things work under the hood? Or is it the impulse to piss on anyone who tries to do something that is not immediately amenable to generating profits?

Re:its not news yet (1)

MindPhlux (304416) | about 10 months ago | (#44172111)

this is idiotic

you do know like basically most every network-enabled device also had firmware that is updatable right?

I'm not saying it will actually happen, but saying that sony couldn't add support to all their receivers and TVs with a firmware update is silly.

Re:its not news yet (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171939)

A standard allows multiple parties to come together (hardware vendors, software devs, sellers) and have a common ground / interface, so everyone knows what they are talking about. So progress on spreading a open solution should be accelerated by defining a standard first.

OK, let's write up the business plan. Pick an existing, successful, and widely implemented technology. Come up with an alternative.

Approach a venture capitalist with your business plan that includes the phrases "and all the consumer has to do is buy a Raspberry Pi and roll their own homebrew adapter" and "will have a subset of the functionality of the existing, successful product".

Let me know how big of a check they write you.

Re:its not news yet (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172103)

Except that it's not even an alternative yet, as it doesn't do video...

Re:its not news yet (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44172149)

Right. I think I said something like:

and "will have a subset of the functionality of the existing, successful product".

Re:its not news yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171385)

If there isn't wide spread hardware adoption, its a useless 'standard'

And unless it's a 'standard', it won't get adopted .

Catch-22.

Miracast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171387)

Seems like Miracast will be much more likely to be the alternative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracast

Re:its not news yet (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 10 months ago | (#44172137)

This is slashdot. It is supposed to be a site about up and coming technologies, not just about established technologies.

What about UPnP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44170997)

I'm confused as to why UPnP/DLNA isn't up to this task?

Re:What about UPnP? (3, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | about 10 months ago | (#44171087)

Bingo! urn:upnp-org:serviceId:AVTransport & urn:upnp-org:serviceId:ContentDirectory already provide this... and have been implemented in quite a few devices & OSes.

Re:What about UPnP? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171145)

UPnP AV is one of the most awful standards ever developed. I don't know about the AVTransport spec, but the rest of it is just horrible crap.

Never Ever Bloody Refer To UPnP AV As A Good Thing.

Re:What about UPnP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171883)

That's not a streaming protocol (it serves up files over HTTP). It also does not support synchronized streaming to multiple speakers.

Just because it's there doesn't mean it'll be used (1)

tumnasgt (1350615) | about 10 months ago | (#44171001)

While it's great an alternative to AirPlay had been released, I doubt it'll get much support from accessory manufacturers unless the likes of Samsung decide to integrate it with their phones.

accessory manufacturers are desperate (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44171277)

While it's great an alternative to AirPlay had been released, I doubt it'll get much support from accessory manufacturers unless the likes of Samsung decide to integrate it with their phones.

Right now Apple accessories that used to be *everywhere* are increasingly only seen as sad sale items, in those wire bins by the counter collecting discount stickers, after Apple shafted its customers with another proprietary connector...at least they get to give *more* money to Apple...and they do need it, avoiding paying any tax in the UK much of cost them a small fortune in..accountants.

Accessory Manufacturers are desperate to tap into none apple products simply because they outnumber Apple products six times. Recently I am seeing those same shelves occupied with Apple products filled with those with *open*(yes I am playing hard and loose with the word-Pretend your reading this on Ars) standards like Bluetiooth, USB...and even old 2.5mm Headset Jack.

The days of the iPod are over...any Apple proprietary anything (protocol stack/suite; connector...seriously anything) is a strategic disadvantage on their part.

Re:accessory manufacturers are desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171365)

+1: Funny. I knew there would be a humorous post in this thread.

Re:accessory manufacturers are desperate (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 10 months ago | (#44171639)

It is quite funny how some people, such as the guy you're responding to, honestly seem to believe if they just wish something hard enough it'll become the truth. There also seems to be a Wikiality component involved.

Re:accessory manufacturers are desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171987)

Didn't you hear? iPods have no wifi and less space than a Nomad, lame. Also Microsoft are dying, Apple are dying, Google do no evil and it's the Year of the Linux Desktop!

Re:accessory manufacturers are desperate (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#44171875)

Yes, if only iPod wasn't the number 1 music player.
Or if the iPhone wasn't the number 1 smartphone in the US.
Or if the iPad wasn't the only tablet being sold in volume.

It's so sad!

Incompatible with AirPlay? (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#44171027)

If it's not compatible with AirPlay what's the point? My Linux music server already supports AirPlay, so does my MythTV, so does my iPhone. Why do we need yet a different new standard, especially if it doesn't work with existing devices?

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 10 months ago | (#44171051)

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] .

Wish idiots would understand how to quote (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44171157)

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] .

The joke is about creating a standard to replace multiple incompatible standards...simply adds to the standard. This is about pragmatism; its about creating an open version of Apple Inc proprietary protocol stack/suite.

Re:Wish idiots would understand how to quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171891)

You might want to go back and read the GGP.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171057)

Right. Because once you have one of something there is never a need for an alternative

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (5, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | about 10 months ago | (#44171115)

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

There are people who's media world doesn't revolve around an iPhone. And while there are various stop gap measure for those users - including using AirPlay in unauthorized ways - it is still a proprietary protocol, and this is Apple so we know they will release the lawyers when the time comes.

I actually find it remarkable that I should have to argue that an open standard that does something like AirPlay would be a good thing if it were done right and caught on.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171151)

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

There are people who's media world doesn't revolve around an iPhone. And while there are various stop gap measure for those users - including using AirPlay in unauthorized ways - it is still a proprietary protocol, and this is Apple so we know they will release the lawyers when the time comes.

I actually find it remarkable that I should have to argue that an open standard that does something like AirPlay would be a good thing if it were done right and caught on.

Except this only does what AirPlay did 9 years ago, today AirPlay can do a lot more.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (3, Informative)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171249)

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

There are people who's media world doesn't revolve around an iPhone. And while there are various stop gap measure for those users - including using AirPlay in unauthorized ways - it is still a proprietary protocol, and this is Apple so we know they will release the lawyers when the time comes.

I actually find it remarkable that I should have to argue that an open standard that does something like AirPlay would be a good thing if it were done right and caught on.

You are 100% correct in everything you say. But he still has a point.

Being Apple compatible is the "sexy" thing to do in the manufacturing world these days, and this is all rather useless if you can't go to Best Buy and pick up a device that supports it.

Add to that the fact that there is an existing standard that can already do this stuff (UPnP/DLNA), and do it better. And those standards actually have some device support, although the implementations all seem like they were a quickly hacked together afterthought.

That said, being outside of the Apple world, I have found that Plex media server + Roku + Plex Android app handles all of my media streaming needs just fine.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171353)

To the best of my knowledge, DLNA does not support the AirPlay behavior. DLNA provides a fairly generic menu-based system to browse advertised media libraries, and to allow clients to request a file be streamed. It's not a bad system, though the fact that it's broadcast-only is annoying for anyone with non-flat network.

But I'm not aware of any DLNA component that allows a system with local media to select an advertised client and force it to start playing a stream. Unless I've missed something DLNA doesn't even require clients to advertise, let alone to allow remote control.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171445)

But I'm not aware of any DLNA component that allows a system with local media to select an advertised client and force it to start playing a stream. Unless I've missed something DLNA doesn't even require clients to advertise, let alone to allow remote control.

It's definitely part of the spec. I've even found a few android apps that implement the "remote control" part, as in using your phone to tell your TV to play a movie stored on your file server in the basement.

What's unfortunate, is that to I've not been able to find examples of all 3 components (server, player, controller) that are anywhere close to being a workable setup. Unless you count Plex, which does do all 3, but unfortunately doesn't seem to play nice with non-Plex DLNA apps.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (2)

aXis100 (690904) | about 10 months ago | (#44171469)

A DLNA device can be both a client and a server, and you can instruct servers to play content you have chosen. I'm pretty sure I've done this XBMC's DNLA implementation, controlled from my PC.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171659)

To the best of my knowledge, DLNA does not support the AirPlay behavior.

I should probably clarify my original post.

When I said that DLNA "does it better", I was referring to the fact that it also handles video while MagicPlay is at this point music only. I didn't mean it more closely mimicked AirPlay behavior.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#44171359)

I actually find it remarkable that I should have to argue that an open standard that does something like AirPlay would be a good thing if it were done right and caught on.

So like DLNA? That we already have and is widely supported.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171915)

Except DLNA, unlike AirPlay and Sonos, do not support synchronized audio streaming. In fact, it's not a streaming protocol at all. With DLNA the original source files are served up over HTTP which means you're screwed when the DLNA device you bought doesn't support the codec needed to play a particular file.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44172171)

Except for the fact that there are some VERY well done DLNA servers that handle real time transcoding just fine, and do it based on the formats that the playing device supports.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171369)

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

A fact irrelevant to all but a niche group of nerds. Come back to us when you have broad manufacturer support not some attribute that next to no one cares about.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171409)

HDMI is proprietary too, but I'd have a hard time arguing that a competing open standard would improve the current landscape.

Poor Analogy (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44171655)

HDMI is proprietary too, but I'd have a hard time arguing that a competing open standard would improve the current landscape.

The HDMI Founders are Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic/National/Quasar), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson, RCA and Toshiba.[15] Digital Content Protection, LLC provides HDCP (which was developed by Intel) for HDMI.[16] HDMI has the support of motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney, along with system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) and CableLabs unlike AirPlay (previously called AirTunes when it was for audio only is a proprietary protocol stack/suite developed by Apple Inc.

Did you spot the chasm of difference between the two.

Re:Poor Analogy (0)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171709)

Did you spot the chasm of difference between the two.

Nope. I can walk into Best Buy or Walmart and purchase AirPlay and HDMI devices. In neither store can I find MagicPlay/HDMI-open-alternative devices.

Do you see the glaring similarity?

Re:Poor Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171747)

No, not really. Both are standards with tons of 3rd party implementations.

Re:Poor Analogy (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172169)

Developed by apple. Supported by a big list [wikipedia.org] including a bunch of open source implementations. Tell me again how I should give up something that works, screw around wtih beta software that doesn't support the same feature set and potentially re-purchase hardware to operate with this new protocol?

And if your argument is "but Airplay is proprietary!" then try again. Outside of slashdot, very few people in the real world actually care, and are more than willing to pay the couple of dollars per device if require for the functionality.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#44171419)

Um, because AirPlay is proprietary.

So is SMB. So are Skype and Google Hangouts. So is MP3. And yet all of those have alternatives based on open standards.

Thing is, open standards are all well and good -- but if nobody uses them, who gives a shit?

SMB alternative (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#44171637)

True, FTP and NFS are open alternatives to Server Message Block to an extent. But what's the open alternative to Super Mario Bros. and Super Monkey Ball?

Re:SMB alternative (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171857)

True, FTP and NFS are open alternatives to Server Message Block to an extent.

NFS, eh, sorta, but it's a stretch. FTP? Not even close.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172143)

So is MP3, h.264, Active Directory and GIF. None of those are going away any time soon. You can either accept that and deal with it, or invent a new incompatible and functionally incomplete (no video) standard that nobody uses and thus, nobody will use.

Re:Incompatible with AirPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44172243)

This is how far Slashdot has fallen. Open standards aren't important, some douchbag's iPhone is.

Incompatible with Upnp (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44171139)

If it's not compatible with AirPlay what's the point? My Linux music server already supports AirPlay, so does my MythTV, so does my iPhone. Why do we need yet a different new standard, especially if it doesn't work with existing devices?

I don't think you understand (Well actually I think you do) from Wikipedia "AirPlay (previously called AirTunes when it was for audio only[1]) is a proprietary protocol stack/suite developed by Apple Inc. that allows wireless streaming of audio, video, and photos, together with related metadata between devices."

I find it somewhat ironic that your defending Airplay...against more open standards like UPnP or DNLA...as someone who uses MythTV SMB works better...but then you have an iPhone and Apple stuff *only works* with their proprietary garbage. Personally I hope this...and Airplay die a death.

Re:Incompatible with Upnp (2, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172193)

Because Airplay does so much more than UPnP or DLNA. Whether you like apple or not, i can start playback on one device, move it to another mid-steam and not skip a beat. It does video. I can use it to do desktop mirroring.

Whilst nerds on slashdot bitch about "proprietary garbage", real people are actually using and enjoying technology like this that has compatible hardware on the shelf (not just from apple) and actually works.

Xbmc still wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171065)

Xbmc and phone based remote apps do the job. wifi speakers are overkill.

Re:Xbmc still wins (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171729)

I'll agree that I haven't found much of a use case, for myself, for wifi speakers.

But my bluetooth speaker gets enough use that I bought a higher amp charger for it so it would have less downtime. I love that thing.

Lots of protocols for music over the network (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 10 months ago | (#44171107)

There are lots of protocols to play music over the network. This summary suggests there was none but AirPlay.

Re:Lots of protocols for music over the network (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171207)

It's already dead, unless Google themselves back it and get device manufacturers on board. I have a Yamaha audio receiver that already does DLNA and airplay, what niche does this fill? There's no way that AV receiver is going to get a bios update to support this, and there's no way I'm re-buying $1000 of equipment that already supports 4k resolution so I can have maybe 1 more format be supported. Linux already supports Airplay, this is typical ideological chest beating over open standards. Reinventing something that already works on Linux and Android is stupid and why Open code is having such trouble gaining adoption. You have to lead in innovation not play catch-up to the big boys. Don't try to get airplay remade, rather try to make 3d content stream,or something else that hasn't been done by the competitors.

Re:Lots of protocols for music over the network (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171779)

Mod this up +100, AC or not.

Re:Lots of protocols for music over the network (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172227)

Agreed. Beta software with zero hardware support partially solves solved problem (no video)!

I like open standards as much as anyone, but the ship already sailed (9 years ago), and there are already open source implementations and quality hardware to support a working (and it works well, at that) protocol.

Spend development resources on something that ISN'T solved.

This is a bit of a problem with open source in general from what I've seen in the past 18 years. No, we don't want a brand new replacement for some half baked media player in our new desktop that does almost the same stuff, with a different UI and different bugs.

As with starting a new thread when forum posting - use the fucking search engine. If a problem is ALREADY SOLVED (even partially, or in progress), then contribute to the existing project and make it better, rather than starting over and reinventing the wheel for the 50th time.

Re:Lots of protocols for music over the network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171859)

Besides AirPlay and Sonos (both proprietary), which protocols support synchronized audio streaming over WiFi?

Re:Lots of protocols for music over the network (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44172043)

I have only been able to find two systems that play synchronous music, both proprietary. The first is Airplay and the second is Sonos. Everything else that I've tried plays out-of-sync to multiple speakers. Airplay has been cracked and there are Android clients for it. Airport Express wall warts are under $100, so I have gone that route for now. I am excited by the potential here with an open competitor. I believe some people have experimented with making UPnP synchronous, but have not run into any practical implementations.

Good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171113)

Android users have been left out in the cold.

Hey, this sounds like a good thing!

Already dead on arrival. (5, Insightful)

DMJC (682799) | about 10 months ago | (#44171217)

It's already dead, unless Google themselves back it and get device manufacturers on board. I have a Yamaha audio receiver that already does DLNA and airplay, what niche does this fill? There's no way that AV receiver is going to get a bios update to support this, and there's no way I'm re-buying $1000 of equipment that already supports 4k resolution so I can have maybe 1 more format be supported. Linux already supports Airplay, this is typical ideological chest beating over open standards. Reinventing something that already works on Linux and Android is stupid and why Open code is having such trouble gaining adoption. You have to lead in innovation not play catch-up to the big boys. Don't try to get airplay remade, rather try to make 3d content stream,or something else that hasn't been done by the competitors.

Re:Already dead on arrival. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171447)

You do realise that most media centres run XBMC, which would have no problem supporting this standard.

Re:Already dead on arrival. (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 10 months ago | (#44171801)

You do realise that most media centres run XBMC, which would have no problem supporting this standard.

HUH???

"MOST" media centers run a cable or satellite box. The "geeky" consumers *might* have a Roku.

XBMC is about as niche as you can get. Probably the only thing more niche would be MythTV. (Ignoring a bunch of also-rans that have about 7 users each.)

Re:Already dead on arrival. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 10 months ago | (#44171879)

You do realize media centers running XBMC have AirPlay support already, right? And they actually support video and audio, where as this only supports audio.

I've had a Raspberry PI running XBMC with airplay support for at least a year, why would they want to downgrade to something that doesn't support video?

Open-ness is the point. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171489)

Reinventing something that already works on Linux and Android is stupid and why Open code is having such trouble gaining adoption.

Maybe "adoption" is not the point (especially when "adoption" means another avalanche of redundant consumer goods).

The point is the principal of creating a standard can be the basis of understanding the technology and extending its capabilities that is open to anyone rather than locked up in some corporate lawyer's file cabinet.

Re:Already dead on arrival. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171723)

Haha you waste your money on crap that sounds woody or purple.

Re:Already dead on arrival. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44172051)

"Linux already supports Airplay" is a nonsensical statement. What is this Linux product you speak of? Just because geeks can hack together a working AirPlay solution in their basement doesn't mean it's of any relevance to the mass market (where a company could get sued for using Apple's proprietary protocol without authorization). Can you point to an Android phone from Samsung or HTC that supports AirPlay? Can you point to to a WiFi speaker from Bose that works with an Android phone?

DLNA Called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171229)

And wants their features back.

My uncle has a PS3 and his laptop hooked up together no problem. My 5 year old laptop also has no problem streaming to any DLNA compatible device.

Re:DLNA Called (1)

slaker (53818) | about 10 months ago | (#44171609)

DLNA interoperability can be surprisingly poor and using DLNA means using bandwidth-inefficient MPEG2 video and crummy stereo audio, which is kind of a let down if you have decent source files to work with.

okay.jpg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171467)

Got my hopes up, thinking it'd let me mirror into desktops/laptops. There's software out there that does it, but that idea is almost as stupid as the "suggestions" that tell mac users to shell out $60+ when they ask about a Volume Mixer equivalent.

No specs? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#44171521)

The docs directory on github is essentially empty. If they can't even provide a formal specification they are no better than reverse engineered versions of airplay. What a fucking joke.

Specifications vs Code (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44171679)

The docs directory on github is essentially empty. If they can't even provide a formal specification they are no better than reverse engineered versions of airplay. What a fucking joke.

Unfortunately I and I suspect most here are in the camp of understanding *code*(especially if its well designed) over a *formal specification*, and had a working implementation. The whole point of Airplay is to replace it, because its a proprietary protocol stack/suite developed by the most litigious company on the planet.

Re:Specifications vs Code (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#44171731)

Unfortunately I and I suspect most here are in the camp of understanding *code*(especially if its well designed) over a *formal specification*, and had a working implementation.

That's a little hard to parse - are you trying to rationalize standardization without a formal spec? Code is full of bugs and idiosyncrasies - it is in no way a reasonable basis for a standard.

Re:Specifications vs Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171941)

Code is full of bugs and idiosyncrasies - it is in no way a reasonable basis for a standard.

It may or may not be, depending on the code.

The existence of a formal specification is not necessarily the basis for a standard either.

The Constitution is a specification, and various laws throughout the US are code that is (effectively) based on this specification.

All are full of bugs and idiosyncrasies.

Re:Specifications vs Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171981)

You must be tripping. Laws are not software, not even close.

Re:Specifications vs Code (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172345)

A specification shows intent. Code shows whatever random joe coder interpreted as how he thinks the spec should work. No spec means that the design hasn't been formalised and thus, there is no testing possible to validate that it is correct and complies with the standard. It is a fact of life that coders write bugs.

Relying on an initial version of a bit of code to hold up as your "spec" is only going to end in tears eventually.

Re:Specifications vs Code (1)

brantondaveperson (1023687) | about 10 months ago | (#44172031)

Unfortunately I and I suspect most here are in the camp of understanding *code*(especially if its well designed) over a *formal specification*, and had a working implementation.

Well I'm certainly not. Documentation is invaluable. You know what we don't need? More re-implementations / re-imaginings of existing things (protocols, new languages, etc etc). You know what we do need? More and better documentation - and possibly better tools too.

Also I don't understand your use of the term 'Unfortunately' here. Are you saying that your position here is unfortunate? And if so, why don't you change your position? Or are you saying that it's unfortunate for those that do think documentation is a good idea, in which case I agree with you.

Re:No specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171741)

You sound like a marketing scumbag. Or are you the guy that delivers specs to the developers because developers can't talk to users?

You're pointless and unnecessary.

Re:No specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171749)

You are obviously interested in documentation of this project. Go fucking write the fucking specification then! It's an open source project which means interested people contribute. Another option is that you can stick with your proprietary white and glossy expensive black boxes.

Re:No specs? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#44172017)

You are obviously interested in documentation of this project.

Yes, I wanted to know how many channels, what resolutions, what formats and what sorts of latencies "maigcplay" could handle. So I went looking for documentation and found no answers.

Go fucking write the fucking specification then!

If the developers don't care enough to document their own protocols, I sure as fuck ain't going to do for them. Chances are its full of holes anyways, anyone who codes without a plan ends up with crap.

UPNP AV (3, Interesting)

AceJohnny (253840) | about 10 months ago | (#44171611)

There's already a competing open standard. [wikipedia.org]

It's what I use with my android devices (via BubbleUPNP [google.com] ), XBMC and my Squeezebox.

Re:UPNP AV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171943)

UPnP doesn't support synchronized streaming to multiple speakers (a major selling point for AirPlay and Sonos). In fact, it's not a streaming protocol at all. With UPnP the original source files are served up over HTTP which means you're screwed when the DLNA device you bought doesn't support the codec needed to play a particular file.

How is this new? I have Subsonic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171671)

What does this do that Subsonic doesn't? I can run Subsonic server on pretty much any platform and then stream to many different devices over 3g or Wi-Fi. Works great on any smartphone or laptop I've ever used, either through the web browser, or through a custom app.

I can't imagine that implementing on speakers or on an RP would be very hard.

What does this do that's different? Sounds like re-building the wheel and trying to generate hype to me.

Re:How is this new? I have Subsonic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171717)

Wait - nevermind... MagicPlay/AirPlay implement the exact opposite of what's actually useful. I'll stick with Subsonic.

My raspberrypi already does this ... better (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 10 months ago | (#44171797)

For the Linux fans out there, I've written up some instructions on how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a MagicPlay device.

... My RaspberryPI has AirPlay support ... audio AND video ...

Great that its a BSD licensed alternative, but being that non of my devices will ever support this protocol, but they all support AirPlay, this is going to have a hard time gaining traction until it does what AirPlay does. Until then its just another silly protocol to do what we already can do, and do it better than this.

Not an AirPlay competitor... (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 10 months ago | (#44171823)

Oh good! An AirPlay competitor! I wonder what video codec they used... Lemme just look through the code and...

Oh. It seems it doesn't support video at all. Not really an AirPlay competitor then...

Re:Not an AirPlay competitor... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171979)

AirPlay is a marketing name for 3 different protocols: AirTunes (RTSP-based music streaming protocol), AirPlay (video files served up over HTTP) and AirPlay Mirroring. Guess which use case is the most popular.

What a bunch of jerks... (0)

bitMonster (189384) | about 10 months ago | (#44171899)

What a bunch of jerks you guys are. This is by DVDJon. Show some respect. To all the people that are going on about UPnP and DLNA, I don't think those do synchronized playback.

For a streaming protocol... (1)

chrylis (262281) | about 10 months ago | (#44171935)

the site is remarkably content-free. In particular, is this just a nice implementation of SAP/RTP, and if not, why? Even AirPlay is just RTP with an obnoxious (and broken) encryption on the payload.

Logitech Media Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171973)

What does MagicPlay offer that Logitech Media Server [mysqueezebox.com] doesn't?

LMS is free software (GPL), can stream via LAN or WAN, can synchronize streams between multiple clients (e.g. to sync playback in multiple rooms), has a variety of clients (both hardware and software) available for playback and server control, is supported out-of-the-box by various Logitech products, is cross-platform (it's written in Perl), has numerous plug-ins available...

Can anyone point out what advantages (if any) MagicPlay has over Logitech Media Server?

Shairport. For RPi and XBMC already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44172075)

They implement the Airplay protocol nicely, so what's the deal?

so... (0)

smash (1351) | about 10 months ago | (#44172093)

.... not compatible with Airplay = non-starter. Like it or not, there is an absolutely huge Airplay userbase already, and you're quite unlikely to get those users to give up their devices. Personally, I'm not about to go integrating another protocol at home simply to cater to a few open source devices that I don't even own yet.

If they worked with airplay, I might consider them - for those who haven't used it before, it just simply ROCKS to be able to stream audio or video on one device (e.g., AppleTV, then pick up the iPad or iPhone, walk to another room and continue watching (say, while I go grab a drink), then flick back to the TV when I return - totally seamlessly and without losing my place, etc.

Given there are already open source implementations of Airplay out there, I'm not sure what the usage case for this is? It doesn't even look to do video?

Sonos (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 10 months ago | (#44172259)

It's basically Sonos... from 8 years ago, except open source and without the hardware. Apple Airplay is great for video, but the Airplay Extreme audio players are a kludgy joke compared to Sonos. You want something that just works today get a Sonos. Yeah, Sonos is not cheap, but I feel that the price premium was paid in full and then some with all the updates and feature enhancements. I'm using hardware that's 5 years old now and it's still rock solid with all the features and services a new unit would have.

I will give kudos to Logitech Squeezebox. They don't make them anymore and they weren't as fancy as Sonos, but they were a solid product they killed before it's time.

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