How to AirPlay audio from your Mac to HomePod

One piece of FUD I encounter again and again is that you can’t play competing streaming services, such as Spotify, on your HomePod.

There is an element of truth there, as Apple Music is currently the only first class citizen on HomePod. But you can AirPlay pretty much anything you can play on your Mac or iOS device to HomePod. Even Spotify.

What you lose when you AirPlay to HomePod is the ability for Siri to control the music. Though you can ask Siri to change the volume (“Siri Volume 25” to set volume at 25%, for example), you can’t get Siri to pause playback or skip to the next track. With AirPlay, you’ll need to use your iPhone or Mac to control the flow.

I wonder what magic is cooking for AirPlay 2. Will AirPlay 2 give Siri the ability to control track flow? If so, will Apple enable that gift for Spotify?

For the specifics of AirPlay on your Mac, MacRumor’s Juli Clover has your back.

  • Caleb Hightower

    Careful not to get your hopes up too high Dave.

    I once imagined the nearly unlimited potential for Apple TV, Apple Music, MacPro & Thunderbolt Displays only to be thoroughly underwhelmed.

    Apple’s “your gonna take what we give you, and you’re gonna like it” approach to design is their modus operandi. But without Job’s unique intuition genius steering their Agile method, it’s been a rather crapshoot.

  • Glaurung-Quena

    It’s not FUD.

    If music that has not been blessed by Apple is a second class citizen on the Homepod, then if most of your music is not so blessed, why would you want to buy a Homepod instead of a generic dumb speaker?

    For the cost of a homepod I can get an Amazon Echo Dot and a high quality pair of bookshelf speakers, and experience zero loss of functionality for the purpose of playing my library of CD ripped music.

    • Biansta

      go for it mate.

    • it certainly is FUD. as an airplay speaker it serves as an endpoint for any content you wish to beam at it, spotify or otherwise. i’ve purchased other airplay wifi speakers for this exact same use case and it has never, ever been a problem.

      i don’t ever ask siri to play music even on my iOS devices as using the screen lets me browse and pick just exactly what i’m in the mood for in a way that voice commands does not.

      nobody called about this supposed problem until two weeks ago.

  • Tom_P

    “you can’t get Siri to pause playback or skip to the next track.”

    Actually I don’t think that’s true. Looks at this video

    At 4:00 he demonstrated you can skip the track. If that’s true I suspect all the basic functions (Play, Pause, Skip forward/backward, Volume up/down) should work.

  • Khurram

    Maybe I should start writing articles about insights that linger in my mind about the FUD surrounding Apple products. Blogs, reviewers and websites just publish anything these days to get the views and clicks.

    On this particular topic, Apple Music is a second class citizen on Android with Google Assistant too. Try asking Google Assistant to play a song via Apple Music. It won’t on my secondary Android device running Oreo. Even to be able to use Google Music in its free version, you can’t ask Google Assistant to play tracks. You have to do it manually.

    I don’t have Spotify Premium, but I haven’t tried Google Assistant to play Spotify Freemium. But I doubt that would work too.

    The point is, folks just need to calm down with the bashing and just level the playing field. It seems Apple is held to a completely different standard as compared to other companies.

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  • komocode

    i couldn’t figure out hiw to airplay from my watch. then apple support told me that the watch didn’t support the homepod

    • I don’t know how wise that would be anyway. I don’t think the battery on the Apple Watch is really designed for continuous WiFi transmitting.

      I’m a bit surprised the Apple Watch doesn’t fake it by getting the iPhone to do it, though.

      • komocode

        well it doesn’t have to be constantly streaming. it could act as a remote for Apple Music and the HomePod can stream it directly. Similar to how you can control the homepod via control center on the iphone and it doesnt stream over airplay

        • I didn’t realize it didn’t work as a remote, either, but it should have been obvious from what you were saying. Next version, probably.

        • Tom_P

          That makes sense. Seeing as HomePod still missing some of promised features, let’s hope this will come at a later update.