0.1.2 • Public • Published


Yet another node.js rtsp/airtunes/airplay server.

What is this?

This server is meant to receive audio/video coming from Apple devices, or other emulated Airplay clients. It'll play any received audio data through the speaker module.

What is AirPlay?

At first, Apple created AirTunes, a server meant to receive and play back audio data. This was actually just a special kind of RTSP server, but only devices with the required key could talk to it.

That key has since been found.

AirPlay was the next version of this server, and now supported pictures, videos and screen mirroring.

For now, only audio is working.


You will need to install these system dependencies, on ubuntu/debian you will need to do this:

sudo apt-get install libavahi-compat-libdnssd-dev libasound2-dev

Using it

There aren't that many options for now, but starting a server is very easy:

var Rudeplay = require('rudeplay');
var options = {
    // Defaults to 'Rudeplay Server'
    name    : 'My Airplay Server',
    // Defaults to 1.0.0
    version : '1.0.0',
    // Defaults to 5000
    port    : 5000,
    // Defaults to a random mac address
    mac     : '4e:f8:ce:31:3b:21',
    // Maximum time allowed to wait for a retransmit
    // Fastest I've seen was 2ms, slowest +/400
    // Sometimes, it doesn't come at all.
    retransmit_timeout : 100
var server = new Rudeplay();


The reason RAOP/Airtunes/Airplay/... is so fast, is because it uses UDP packets to send audio data. UDP is a connection-less protocol. It just sends the packet, but doesn't know (or care) if it arrives.

That's why the data packets Airplay clients send start with a sequence number. If something doesn't seem to arrive, an Airplay server creates a "retransmit" request for that packet and waits for it.

This can be why Airplay sometimes "drops out" now and again: too much data getting lost and/or too much waiting for retransmitted packages.

Retransmits are normally quite fast: the server can create a request, send it out, and receive a response in 2ms (that's the fastest I've seen so far)

But sometimes it takes a lot longer than that. And sometimes, it just doesn't come at all.

In rudeplay you can set the retransmit timeout, so that it doesn't wait too long for packets and cause more dropouts. It's set at 100ms by default, you can lower it if you don't mind to miss some data. You'll hardly notice a single packet going missing, anyway.

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