Functionality is built into the Apple ecosystem to allow you to stream music from your windows laptop to your Apple TV. Unfortunately you have to play by Apple’s rules and that means using iTunes, which is fine if you use iTunes to manage your music but most of mine lives in the cloud on Spotify’s servers.
Whilst trawling the internet I came across a piece of software for Windows computers (a mac version is available too!) called Airfoil from a company called Rogue Amoeba (bonus points for having such a cool name!)
The software allows you to send any audio from your computer using the airplay protocol, meaning you can send to Apple TV, airport express and other third party devices. I downloaded and installed the Windows version of the software – there is a trial version which works for a limited amount of time before adding noise to your audio.
The software isn’t as fool proof as one might like, and it took some minor fiddling and changing of program options before I had my audio from Spotify streaming to my TV. A nice touch is that your desktop wallpaper (minus any icons and clutter) is shown on your TV screen.
I do have a Bose speaker dock but that means using an iPod/iPhone and sometimes you want to play music from your laptop. There are occasions when you might want to play audio from a different app for example internet radio, a Youtube playlist or a different media player. If this is you I can recommend AirFoil to you without hesitation – it is well worth the $25 (£16) purchase price.