Airtunes emulator, fork fixing a common problem which causes a 1-5sec playback interrupt, forked from mikejuni.
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What's the problem?

I've been using shairport on my Raspberry Pi for a while now, and sometimes after I while when I started the playback using iTunes on my Mac there are some interrupts, which causes the playback to stop and after 1-5 seconds it starts again, exactly where it stopped. After it happened once, it seems to happen at shorter interval, which is very annoying after a short time.

So I started googling around, but I didn't find anyone who had the same problem, so I started to discovering the source code to figure out what the problem is. So after some research i figured out the problem at hairtunes.c, when receiving a suspected resync packet, which causes the program to clear it's buffer and request to resend all packages. I just disabled this functionality which results in a lost frame, but that lost frame, which isn't even hearable is much less annoying than a 5 second playback stop.

Other changes

I'm using the embedded c version of shairport instead of the perl version, it seems to be more stable and you don't need to install perl and all the perl dependencies. The default configuration is now using alsa as the default audio backend and a software volume changer.


Avahi and pkg-config must be installed.

To configure the audio backend edit the Makefile.

Required libs:

  • openssl
  • libao when using the ao backend
  • alsa when using the alsa backend


./shairport --help

For Raspbian/Ubuntu users:

apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libao-dev libasound2-dev avahi-utils pkg-config
git clone && cd shairport

For Arch linux users:

pacman -Sy avahi openssl libao alsa-lib pkg-config
git clone && cd shairport


make install

You can use the shairport.init.sample (init.d/Raspbian) or the shairport@.service.sample (systemd/Arch Linux) to enable autostart raspbian at the system start.

Original Readme

ShairPort v0.05

James Laird April 13, 2011

What it is

This program emulates an AirPort Express for the purpose of streaming music from iTunes and compatible iPods. It implements a server for the Apple RAOP protocol. ShairPort does not support AirPlay v2 (video and photo streaming).

It supports multiple simultaneous streams, if your audio output chain (as detected by libao) does so.

How to use it

perl See for further information.

The triangle-in-rectangle AirTunes (now AirPlay) logo will appear in the iTunes status bar of any machine on the network, or on iPod play controls screen. Choose your access point name to start streaming to the ShairPort instance.


Big thanks to David Hammerton for releasing an ALAC decoder, which is reproduced here in full. Thanks to everyone who has worked to reverse engineer the RAOP protocol - after finding the keys, everything else was pretty much trivial. Thanks also to Apple for obfuscating the private key in the ROM image, using a scheme that made the deobfuscation code itself stand out like a flare. Thanks to Ten Thousand Free Men and their Families for having a computer and stuff. Thanks to wtbw.


Known Ports and Tools

Java: JAirPort RPlay.

Windows: shairport4w

OS X: ShairportMenu, a GUI wrapper as a menu widget MacShairport


  • 0.01 April 5, 2011
    • initial release
  • 0.02 April 11, 2011
    • bugfix: libao compatibility
  • 0.03 April 11, 2011
    • bugfix: ipv6 didn't work - IO::Socket::INET6 is required too
  • 0.04 April 12, 2011
    • cross-platform count_leading_zeros under GCC - will now compile cleanly on ARM and other platforms
  • 0.05 April 13, 2011
    • error-handling cleanup in the Perl script including more meaningful error messages, based on common problems seen