Setting up an analog RDP server on Mac OS X (resolving audio transmission problems)

    What is this article about?

    I want to talk about how you can achieve remote transmission of system sounds (in addition to images) on Mac OS X. As you know, image transfer and remote control of a Mac computer are easy: you check the “general screen” checkbox in the “sharing” settings ", Put the password on VNC, connect using any VNC client (for example, RealVNC in the" Full colors "mode) and that’s it, you can work. The same can be said about SSH: check the box “remote login” and get access via SSH.

    Checkmarked :)

    What about the sound?

    Sound transmission is not provided by default on MacOS X. At least I have not found simple ways to enable it. Therefore, I suggest transmitting the sound separately. Using some third-party program, which, for example, can be the server of an Internet radio station. I found several such programs, and one of them is Nicecast . It is paid, unfortunately, but the trial version only includes noise after 20 minutes of broadcast, otherwise it works as well as the full one.

    What does this program give?

    With Nicecast, you can broadcast the sound of a specific application (iTunes, Quicktime), microphone sound, and system sounds . The last item requires the installation of the Soundflower library, but it is included in the distribution, so there should not be any problems with the installation (you can uninstall the library from the Nicecast -> Install Extras ... menu item). In the main window of the program, click on the Share button, and select "System audio", the program will automatically suggest installing the soundflower driver. After that, you can start the broadcast by clicking “Start broadcasting”.



    In fact, you can already get started by launching any of the players that support the connection to the URL. Open http: // your_ip_address : 8100 / listen.m3uon another computer, then connect to your computer via VNC. You will most likely experience some delay in sound transmission, usually a couple of seconds. Set the minimum (but not zero) buffering of the Internet stream in your player, and the delay should drop to ~ 0.5 sec. I want to note that on a high-speed LAN, sound is transmitted very smoothly, without jerking, as is usually the case with RDP. You can also play games like Civilization or SPORE on a remote computer if you have a fast enough network [usually 100 Mbps is not enough for games :(].

    Access limitation

    You may have a question - how to prevent everyone from listening to the sound on your computer? The answer is as follows: in the top menu, you can select Window -> Show server, or simply press Cmd + 2, and the server management window will appear in front of you.

    If you need simple protection, just put the number of listeners at 1 person, and turn on Nicecast after you log in to your computer via VNC. If you want more sophistication, you can specify only as the IP address of the server and connect to the sound server using the SSH tunnel (remember, we turned on the SSH server :)? In this issue there is an example of creating SSH-Tunnel.


    For those who wish, I recorded a 14-minute screencast explaining and demonstrating what was written above.

    Quickcast screencast

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