Apple’s AirPlay system is supposed to be another example of the company charging manufacturers for access to its exclusive club, but some recent hacking has opened the streaming system for anybody interested. Developer James Laird reverse-engineered the private key Apple uses in the AirPort Express, and used it to cook up an emulator app called SharePort.
SharePort allows you to stream music from iTunes to third-party software or – if a manufacturer decided to jump on and use the private key – hardware. Previously it was possible to stream in the other direction, to an AirPort Express, but not vice-versa.
Whether Apple will be content to let this key tomfoolery continue remains to be seen. It seems unlikely to affect the number of collaborators wanting to license the AirPlay technology for use in products, since that also lets them brand their kit as compliant, but it will perhaps mean more software projects using the system.