Stream Anything to an AirPort Express Using Airfoil -- Rogue Amoeba has released the first version of Airfoil, a program that can take the audio output of any program under Mac OS X and stream it using AirTunes to an AirPort Express's audio output jack. It's a simple piece of software that will delight all AirPort Express owners who want to stream audio from applications such as QuickTime Player, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player. However, due to latency between Airfoil and the AirPort Express, audio and video will not be synchronized, such as when playing a DVD and sending the audio to a home stereo; Rogue Amoeba has posted a possible workaround that's worth trying. There's no guarantee that Apple might not step in and update their AirTunes software to disable Airfoil, but it doesn't seem to fall into the category of things that Apple believes is detrimental to their products, contracts, or partners. The software costs $25, but Rogue Amoeba is offering it at an introductory offer of $20 through 31-Mar-05. [GF]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
Published in TidBITS 769.
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