Forwarding Sound and Control from Mac to Mac

Yesterday I was asking around my long-suffering friends for two pieces of software.

The first request was for a piece of software which would allow me to use speakers attached to a mac as a set of AirTunes speakers — so they would appear as an output in iTunes on a second mac. The reason for this was laziness — I wanted to avoid fiddling with wires when changing the mac I was using for music.

The second desire was I also wanted something better than VNC for remote control of the second mac. VNC is slow and the screen sizes of the macs involved differ, meaning unwieldy scroll bars appeared in the VNC client. I wasn’t sure what a solution to this problem would be.

I was looking for something on Google today when a result caught my eye: SoundFly, described thusly: “Soundfly is a very little utility that just sends the audio of one Mac to another, using built-in Mac OS X Tiger technologies, and Soundflower.” Curious, I thought, very similar to what I was looking for yesterday. I’ve installed SoundFly and Soundflower this evening and it seems to be working well. It is unsuitable for video due to the lag inherent in forwarding the sound over a network, but is fine for audio.

The people being SoundFly offer two programs, the second being Teleport. Teleport allows you to control several macs using the keyboard and mouse of just one of them. You move your mouse off the side of one mac, and you start controlling another without pause for breath. In certain, reasonably common, circumstances this is perfectly suited to my needs.

So a random coincidental search result leads to a company with only two products, both of which address problems I have recently been trying to solve. Strikingly fortuitous.

Update: I wrote about the reasoning behind my search for these two pieces of software in a follow-up item, Untethering the MacBook.

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Untethering the MacBook