Send Audio-Only To Apple TV Via AirPlay In Mountain Lion

Send Audio-Only To Apple TV Via AirPlay In Mountain Lion

The other day, I was goofing around with one of the slick new features of OS X Mountain Lion, AirPlay streaming from my Macbook Air to my Apple TV. I played some videos to my LCD TV right from the laptop, and then sent Diablo III up there as well. All worked well.

Then I wanted to get back to some writing, so I figured I’d send some music from iTunes over to my Apple TV, using the same AirPlay menubar icon that I’d sent the video over with. While I could hear the music from my TV, the Apple TV also displayed my computer screen. I didn’t want that, so I stopped AirPlay screen streaming, and clicked the button in the lower right corner of iTunes, and chose my Apple TV as an external speaker, like I’ve been able to for a while.

Turns out, there’s an easier way to do this, and one that doesn’t rely on iTunes.

We’ve told you how to change audio settings right from the menu bar before, but now, with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, you can send audio right to your AppleTV or other AirPlay capable device from the menubar as well.

Simply hold the Option key down when clicking the Volume settings icon in the menu bar, and you’ll get the option to send the audio to an Apple TV or other AirPlay-enabled device, as well as all the older options from earlier iterations of OS X.

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  • rlseafor

    I see everyone talking about this and was told that this works with 3rd party music apps as well (i.e.: Spotify). But when I turn on my Apple TV and launch Spotify, then option click on the audio, I do not see my Apple TV or Airplay. Now I wonder if this only works post-2011 MBP just like the Airplay video? I have an Airport Extreme, Apple TV 2, and 2010 MBP (Core 2 Duo).

  • Rob LeFebvre

    I see everyone talking about this and was told that this works with 3rd party music apps as well (i.e.: Spotify). But when I turn on my Apple TV and launch Spotify, then option click on the audio, I do not see my Apple TV or Airplay. Now I wonder if this only works post-2011 MBP just like the Airplay video? I have an Airport Extreme, Apple TV 2, and 2010 MBP (Core 2 Duo).

    Do you have Mountain Lion? What do you see in your audio options when you Option click on the volume menu bar icon?

  • rlseafor
    I see everyone talking about this and was told that this works with 3rd party music apps as well (i.e.: Spotify). But when I turn on my Apple TV and launch Spotify, then option click on the audio, I do not see my Apple TV or Airplay. Now I wonder if this only works post-2011 MBP just like the Airplay video? I have an Airport Extreme, Apple TV 2, and 2010 MBP (Core 2 Duo).

    Do you have Mountain Lion? What do you see in your audio options when you Option click on the volume menu bar icon?

    Yes I am on Mountain Lion. All I see is output device and input device and then sound preferences. I just updated my Apple TV so I will retry when I get home…

  • bcassidy

    When I do this, I get mirrored video. How do I do it without the video?

  • AdamNJ77

    I have tried this on ML on a MBP Retina, and it always outputs video too (I am selecting Apple TV from the volume icon with the option button)

  • MarkEGiles

    To stream just audio from Mountain Lion to your Apple TV, first ensure AirPlay Mirroring is off, then open System Preferences > Sound > Output and select Apple TV.

    Option clicking the Speaker icon seems more intuitive though, especially since the AirPlay icon provides the option to mirror, making them redundant.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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