One of the great things about being a buddy of Erica Sadun is that sooner or later, she surprises you with an amazing app. [Ed: This is also known as “assault by beta testing” under Utah’s penal code.] Her BananaTunes beta evolves iOS-to-Mac video app BananaTV to the next logical step — it transmits full stereo music from your iOS device to your Mac.
Built around the recent AirPlay reverse engineering, Sadun promises that this capability will eventually be factored back into BananaTV, her iOS-to-Mac video app. For now BananaTunes allows you to bring your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to the office or a friend’s house and use its built-in iPod app AirPlay functionality to stream music to a Mac running this software.
BananaTunes is currently available as a limited-time beta app so that Erica can work out bugs as time permits. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 and 64-bit, so be sure that you know what you’re running before you try out the Mac app.
When BananaTunes becomes part of BananaTV, users will need to bring their own key.pem file for authentication. Want to give it a spin? Either download these two zip files off of Erica’s site and follow the instructions, or use this all-in-one installer package. Word of mouth is that the installer package works great but our standard TUAW paranoia mandates that we warn you that we’ve been unable to authenticate its contents. (In other words, use at your own risk, but it’s probably just fine.)
In my limited beta testing today, I found that BananaTunes worked very well with my iPad 2. Tunes beamed from my iPhone 4 experienced some garbling. This could be due to network traffic, so be aware that your mileage may vary. Then again, it was a 1950s Dean Martin recording, so he may have been gargling Scotch while crooning the tune I was listening to.
In the end, BananaTunes is a fun Mac app for when you want to control your music world from your iPad.