SoundWire PC-to-PC Audio Transmission Using Virtualization

You can use SoundWire to send any music or audio from your PC to one or more other PCs or Macs. The server machine running SoundWire Server can be Windows or Linux, and the client (Android where you listen to music) can be Windows, Mac or Linux.

Android Emulators

Android emulators like Andy and BlueStacks provide a simple way to run Android apps on Windows PCs and Mac OSX. Andy supports the Google Play Store and works with SoundWire free or full version. You can get it here (click on "download" at the top):
www.andyroid.net

Installation takes a few minutes and several gigabytes of disk space, but once it's running simply install the SoundWire app as you normally would using Google Play. If you've purchased the SoundWire full version be sure to log in with the same Google account used to buy SoundWire.

The latest versions of BlueStacks also support Google Play, download the BlueStacks Android emulator here:
www.bluestacks.com

Android-x86 Project

If Andy and BlueStacks don't work on your PC, or you want to use Linux, follow the instructions below. You won't be able to use the SoundWire full version because Google's Play Store is not supported (SoundWire free version is pre-installed). If you have a fairly fast 64-bit PC try VirtualBox first. If you have an older 32-bit PC or audio is not stable with VirtualBox then use VMWare Player 3.1.6.

Download the Virtual Machine Disk Image

GeorgieLabs has prepared a virtual machine hard disk image containing Android Ice Cream Sandwich and SoundWire free version. Download it at this link. After downloading unzip the file to obtain the virtual disk image (.vmdk).

VirtualBox Instructions

  1. Download and install Oracle VirtualBox.
  2. Run VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine (press New button).
  3. Enter a virtual machine name, e.g. "Android".
  4. Select operating system "Other", version "Other/Unknown", click Next.
  5. Change the memory size to 512 MB, click Next.
  6. Select "Use an existing virtual hard drive file"
  7. Click the browse button and navigate to where you put the uncompressed virtual hard disk image you downloaded (.vmdk), click Next.
  8. Click Create.

Note: If you're installing VirtualBox on a computer that will be used to run SoundWire Server be aware that this can break the "auto locate" feature (IP multicast) unless you do an additional step. The Virtualbox installer creates virtual network interfaces which can prevent IP multicast from working, even if Virtualbox is not running. To fix this disable the VirtualBox host-only network as follows (Win 7/8):
Control Panel > View Network Connections > right-click on "VirtualBox Host-Only Network" (or similar name) > Disable

(Continue reading below at "You're Ready to Run Android".)

VMWare Player Instructions

  1. Download and install VMWare Player. The latest version of VMWare Player requires a 64-bit computer, but you can use version 3.1.6 on older 32-bit machines.
  2. Run VMWare Player and create a new virtual machine (Player > File > New Virtual Machine...)
  3. Select "I will install an operating system later", click Next.
  4. Select Guest OS "Other", version "Other", click Next.
  5. Enter a virtual machine name, e.g. "Android", click Next
  6. Select "Store virtual disk as a single file". Size doesn't matter, you'll be deleting this disk. Click Next.
  7. Click "Customize Hardware...", change the memory size to 512 MB. You can leave all the other settings the same.
  8. Click Close, then click Finish.
  9. Select your new virtual machine, then click "Edit virtual machine settings". Select the hard disk and click "Remove".
  10. Click Add, Hard Disk, click Next, choose IDE and click Next again, select "Use an existing virtual disk", click Next.
  11. Browse to where you put the uncompressed virtual hard disk image you downloaded (.vmdk). If it asks about converting formats click "Keep Existing Format".
  12. Click Finish, click OK.

You're Ready to Run Android!

Click "Start" / "Play virtual machine". After Android boots up click in the virtual machine window to gain control and unlock the screen. SoundWire free version is preloaded plus a few other possibly useful apps. The rest of the system configuration comes from the Android-x86 project. Click on the SoundWire icon to start the SoundWire Android app. Note: The boot should be quick but occasionally can hang; if it shows the Android logo for more than a few seconds then turn off the virtual machine and try again.

On your server computer, go to georgielabs.net to download the server (if you haven't already). Now use SoundWire as you usually would. Unfortunately there is no way currently to run SoundWire Full version on the x86 emulator, so the x86 version provided on the virtual disk image allows multiple server connections. This means you can send music from one server to several PCs.

Possible Issues When Running SoundWire Under The Android-x86 Build

The x86 Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS running under VirtualBox/VMWare should be considered Alpha or developer build quality, lots of things probably don't work. If you have problems, use the Android browser to check if the internet connection is working. To check if sound is working you should hear clicks when opening apps.


Thanks to the Android-x86 Project, www.android-x86.org

Back to the GeorgieLabs main page