Apple AirPlay client library for node.js
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node-airplay -- AirPlay client library for node.js

node-airplay is a client library for Apple's AirPlay remote playback protocol. It implements a simple AirPlay device browser using mdns and command interface.

Currently supported features:

  • AirPlay device discovery
  • Support for audio and video playback

Coming soon (maybe):

  • Photo playback
  • Robust error handling
  • Better device information formatting (supported features/etc)


npm install airplay
> var browser = require('airplay').createBrowser();
> browser.on('deviceOnline', function(device) {'http://host/somevideo.mp4', 0);
> browser.start();


With npm:

npm install airplay

From source:

cd ~
git clone
npm link node-airplay/

node-airplay depends on both node-plist and node_mdns. Unfortunately node_mdns is woefully out of date and has required many tweaks to get working, resulting in a fork.

If you're running node on FreeBSD (or maybe Linux) you may get errors during install about a missing dns_sd.h file. If so, install the Apple mDNS SDK:

tar zxvf mDNSResponder-522.11.tar.gz
cd mDNSResponder-333.10/mDNSPosix/
sudo gmake os=freebsd install



The browser is a discovery service that can be run to automatically detect the AirPlay-compatiable devices on the local network(s). Try only to create one browser per node instance, and if it's no longer needed stop it.

Create a browser using the createBrowser method:

var browser = require('airplay').createBrowser();

Attach to the browser events to track device discovery:

browser.on('deviceOnline', function(device) {
  console.log('device online: ' +;
browser.on('deviceOffline', function(device) {
  console.log('device offline: ' +;

Start or stop the discovery process:


If you are running a server you can use the built-in device list instead of maintaining your own via the events:

function myHandler() {
  var devices = browser.getDevices();


A device instance represents a single AirPlay device on the local network. Devices are created either through the discovery process or by direct connection. Each device has only a single control channel, and all methods are asynchronous.

Obtain devices using the browser API:

// Get all ready devices
var allDevices = browser.getDevices();
// Grab a device to play with
var device = allDevices[0];

TODO At some point, you'll be able to connect directly:

var device = require('airplay').connect(deviceHost);
device.on('ready', function() {
  // Ready to accept commands

If you are done with the device, close the connection (note that this will stop any playback):


Issue various device control calls. All calls are asynchronous and have an optional callback that provides the result - for most, it's an empty object if the call was successful and null if the call failed.

// Get the current playback status
device.getStatus(function(res) {
  // res = {
  //   duration: number, -- in seconds
  //   position: number, -- in seconds
  //   rate: number, -- 0 = paused, 1 = playing
  //   ...
  // }
  // or, if nothing is playing, res = {}

// Play the given content (audio/video/etc)
var content = 'http://host/content.mp4';
var startPosition = 0; // in seconds, startPosition, function(res) {
  if (res) {
    // playing
  } else {
    // failed to start playback

// Stop playback and return to the main menu

// Seek to the given offset in the media (if seek is supported)
var position = 500; // in seconds

// Reverse playback direction (rewind)
// NOTE: may not be supported

// Change the playback rate
// NOTE: only 0 and 1 seem to be supported for most media types
var rate = 0; // 0 = pause, 1 = resume

// Adjust playback volume
// NOTE: may not be supported