New tunes with old (android) phones

Shiny!!!   3 years ago... maybeOld phone, New Tricks!

What to do with an old phone? And by old, I mean the first Android phone (and maybe first smartphone) you’ve ever owned. Maybe you have replaced it with a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Nexus (a personal favorite of mine), or a new HTC One X (I envy you), an iPhone 4s that comes with a digital friend, and if you are lucky you have a Samsung Galaxy S III on order. I got a Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T about 6 months ago and have had a Sprint HTC Hero in a drawer since then. Sounds like it’s a good candidate for a weekend project!

I’m lucky enough to have a back porch on my apartment and it’s great in the summer, but it’s missing some music and I have a nerdy solution. How about AirPlay running on your old phone used to receive music via WiFi from your new phone to nerd up the back porch?

I have a New iPad and a Galaxy S II while my wife has a iPhone 4S, all three have plenty of music to share but have small crappy little speakers. The Apple hardware is compatible with AirPlay out of the box but you’ll need some software to get the functionality from an Android phone. For this project I want to turn my old phone into an AirTunes Server and connect a set of speakers via the head phone jack so that I can listen and control my music wirelessly. This site has a great list of Android Apps that have AirPlay built in so that you can enjoy the tunage around the house.

Quick Nerd Lesson: Server refers to the point where a Client will connect to with its data. In this case, the client (your new phone or a computer) will send audio to the server (your old Android phone) running AirBubble.

AirBubble Marketplace LinkSo grab your old Android phone, turn on the WiFi, and connect to your network. Then use Google Goggles, take a picture of the QR code, and download AirBubble. Or find it here and send it to your phone.

When you start your newly install App, pick an accurate name for it by touching “Network name”. This will be the identifier for your AirPlay clients. Once it’s installed you’ll have an icon in your notification area to let you know it’s running. Just connect a pair of speakers to your old Android phone (I bought a pair of $20 computer speakers) and enjoy! Just make sure to keep your phone plugged in as all this WiFi traffic will kill the battery quickly!

Running and Config

And There we go! Point your AirPlay Music Apps (including iTunes on your desktop / laptop) to your new AirPlay Server enabled phone and enjoy the music.

There are several Application for your phones and desktops that are AirPlay enabled so search for them and enjoy the new functionality.


tl;dr version:

Pickup old Android phone
Connect speakers and charger
Connect to Wifi (you can put your phone into airplay mode then enable wifi)
Download AirBubble from Google Play
Point AirPlay software to AirBubble on old phone
Drink beer and enjoy!

Timmy O

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One Response to New tunes with old (android) phones

  1. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made here.

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