Signal 1.6 - Improved AirPlay Speaker Control

September 14, 2012

I’m happy to announce the release of Signal 1.6, featuring significantly improved AirPlay speaker control. Ever since AirPlay support was introduced in Signal 1.1 I have been looking for a better way to do it. The original implementation worked, but relied on UI scripting and was pretty fragile. Each iTunes update required some tweaks to keep it working, and if you clicked things in the wrong order it could result in iTunes displaying a dialog that you would have to manually dismiss.

The new version adopts the DMCP protocol used by Apple’s Remote app. Although not officially supported this interface is faster, more accurate, and does not suffer from the modal dialog issue. Best of all it allows Signal to know which speakers are active, and this information is now displayed in the web interface and a new version of the RTI driver. The driver features a new two-way list that is populated with available AirPlay devices and sets the marked state for all active devices in the list.

When you first launch the new version of the Signal server you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Enable speaker control”. Check it and you’ll be guided through a pairing process to gain access to the iTunes DMCP interface. Once finished speaker control features will be available to all remotes. If the pairing is ever removed in iTunes the checkbox will automatically uncheck, just hit it again to establish a new pairing.

The 1.6 release also supports user extensions to content exposed through the web server. This allows you to create a custom version of the web interface or add additional files that may be needed for device compatibility. Anything placed in ~/Application Support/Signal/Web on a Mac or %LocalAppData%\Alloysoft\Signal\Data\Web on a PC is automatically exposed.

Check out the release notes for the full list of changes and grab the update from the downloads page.