Can’t make AirPlay work with multiple destinations? Here’s why

Apple’s upgrade to its original AirPlay audio/video streaming protocol, AirPlay 2, lets you choose multiple audio destinations while listening to audio playback, like music or podcasts, or streaming video. However, some people have found there’s a catch: when they use the AirPlay selection dialog in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, or tvOS, they cannot select multiple devices. What gives?

AirPlay 2 requires that all devices selected are also AirPlay 2 destinations–they must be up-to-date and compatible. That set of devices is extremely large. Apple provides a list of AirPlay 2-certified receivers, speakers, and TVs. You might choose to route sound to TV speakers and a receiver, or a pair of HomePods in one room and remote speakers or even a MacBook Air in another.

However, you may find you can’t select another audio destination. The reason is due to compatibility:

  • If you pick an original AirPlay-compatible output device, you can’t pick AirPlay 2 destinations.
  • If you select an AirPlay 2 destination, you can’t select an original-flavor AirPlay audio output device.

I see this on my home network, as I have a several-year-old Yamaha receiver that still works perfectly well but has non-upgradable AirPlay destination firmware built in. I’d have to upgrade the receiver to take advantage.

At left, AirPlay lets me select multiple destinations after picking my Mac mini, as recent versions of macOS allow AirPlay 2. At right, selecting the Yamaha Receiver allows only a single selection, as the receiver supports the original AirPlay only.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Joey.

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Source : Macworld