Is Airplay Really That Big a Deal?

Senior Contributor

Look, I’m an Apple nerd. I’ve owned at least one Apple computer for at least a solid decade. And even I find Apple evangelism just a little annoying.

So when people start saying things like “Airplay is the greatest protocol since RSS”, it’s worth taking a breath and scraping away the hype.

First of all, longtime Apple users know Airplay all too well: it used to be called AirTunes and it was more annoying than Linux nerds arguing the technical details of distros. Apple has, indeed, greatly improved it; not only is it now something anybody would want to use, it streams video and photos as well.

On the other hand, it’s also not exactly revolutionary that you can put stuff from your iPad onto your TV wirelessly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s convenient, and Apple’s smart to do it, but it’s kind of something nerds have been doing for a solid decade just because they could. My former roommates and I watched “The Venture Brothers” on a big-screen TV streamed from one of our laptops all the time.

The column that inspired this complained about how hard it was to watch a web video on his PS3…something I’m doing easily while I write this. Hell, Sony just revamped their Crackle site to do this.

The real revolution, when it comes to Apple, is that it makes it incredibly easy for people who don’t understand technology to actually do this. That’s generally how Apple makes its money: taking a concept that’s old hat to people who like tech and packaging it as a revolution to people who don’t.

Which is why nerds hate them and why they’re worth billions…and why you can expect Airplay to get way more ink than it deserves.

[ via Business Insider]

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