Making AirPlay work with Chromecast Devices

Screenshot of my Google Home speakers showing up under the AirPlay selection list within Apple's Music app in macOS.

This is another quick post in which I want to share and praise a new tool/service I’ve been using.

Continuing from my previous efforts to get non-apple devices to work with Homekit, I decided to make my Google Nest/Home speakers work with AirPlay.

I’m leveraging the open-source project philippe44/AirConnect to accomplish this feat. The README file is filled with information that I highly recommend at least skimming. The quick TL;DR on what this does, straight out of the README, is:

AirConnect can run on any machine that has access to your local network.

It does not need to be on your main computer.

It will detect UPnP/Sonos/Chromecast players, create as many virtual AirPlay devices as needed, and act as a bridge/proxy between AirPlay clients (iPhone, iPad, iTunes, MacOS, AirFoil …) and the real UPnP/Sonos/Chromecast players.

I run AirConnect from my Unraid server (using this docker container 1activegeek/docker-airconnect) and it was pretty much a painless addition for me. I was quickly able to see new devices appear as compatible AirPlay devices.

There is a known limitation with AirConnect, which is that there are a few seconds of delay when switching tracks. Overall, it doesn’t bother me too much but it is worth knowing about.