Fix for error -15000 Remote speakers on iTunes / Windows 7

So, just to be clear: this is not about iTunes on MacOSX, it’s only about iTunes 10 on Windows 7. It might work on Windows Vista, but I have no PC with Vista to test. It might help on versions earlier than iTunes 10 (I read the version 8 already had the problem), but I haven’t tested that.

The problem is the following: while it used to be possible (in older versions of iTunes), your iTunes  might not stream the music to an Airport Express / Apple TV (the feature they call ‘Airtunes‘), and every time you try, iTunes will come back with an error ‘An error occurred connecting to the remote speaker (…). An unknown error occurred (-15000).‘. What is happening is that the Windows Firewall is blocking the UDP connections for Airtunes (ports 6001-6003 if you’re asking). For some reason the old firewall rules for iTunes don’t work with the new version.

How to fix this: only if you’re not afraid of diving into your PC’s configuration. If you’re a novice or feel unsure, ask someone more knowledgeable to do it for you. Check if the person knows what a firewall is used for. “Security” is a too general answer.

  • Go to the control panel for Windows Firewall (Start  / Control Panel / Security / Windows Firewall)
  • Go to the ‘Advanced settings’ and look for the ‘Inbound Rules’ (I know, for me iTunes sending music to somewhere else sounds like outbound, but still, it’s the inbound you need).
  • Look for a rule called “iTunes” (there might be several) and see if it talks about UDP ports, not TCP. The ‘Protocols and Ports’ page should look like this:
  • Now go to the ‘Advanced’ tab. Your rule will specify only ‘Public’ under the profiles. Also check the ‘Private’ profile. Don’t touch the rest.
  • Close all your tabs and windows for the Firewall.
  • Try to connect to the speakers in iTunes. It should work.

How did I find this? I was unnerved enough to look for a while and I checked how the demo version of Airfoil (in short: stream any audio to your Airport Express/AppleTV, not just from iTunes, costs 25$) deals with the Windows firewall.

Hope this helps some people like those writing on various forums.

So, now that I have the music from my laptop playing in my kitchen again, I can continue making my soup. Broccoli, thank for asking.

64 thoughts on “Fix for error -15000 Remote speakers on iTunes / Windows 7”

  1. this worked PERFECTLY, and right before a big party i’m hosting tonight too.
    thanks a ton for posting, great timing… i owe you a beer!

  2. My God….thankyou so much. I’ve had this problem ever since updated to itunes 10 and my Zeppelin was basically redundant.

    Anyway, I can confirm that this fix works for Vista however, to open up the Advanced settings the user needs to go through Administrative Tools then open up Windows Firewall with Advanced Settings. Thanks again.

  3. Brilliant! Just wanted to thank you for posting this. Found this after many many many many Google searches and this did the trick in about 90 seconds.

    Have been trying to figure this out for the last two days nonstop. Airtunes had been working fine from my XP machine but for some reason had stopped working from my Windows 7 machine and I could not figure this one out as it had been working in the past. Working perfect now!

    Thanks again!

  4. Worked great!!! Just got a Netgear N router and it shut down my airport communication with the receiver. Not intimidating at all. Thanks!!!

  5. It worked like a charm! I’m running Vista and visited Apple for support and found none. If only Apple’s crampy support discussion was as good as your’s… Thanks!

  6. Perfect; i couldn’t do it on my ow. but with the help of a friend it worked out perfectly. i’am running vista!

  7. Thx a lot. This resolved my problem, but as a few others (I would guess) I did alter my firewall setting by clicking everything back to standard values. Not a wise thing to do…
    However, I’m up again but now my Remote app can’t find my library. Am I wrong in thinking this is the same sort of problem. That my Remote app does not get through my firewall? How can I fix this? Do you have a clue?
    I’m running Vista unfortunately!


    In a rainy Stockholm

  8. Problem solved. Went to firewall settings and added Remote application to the exceptions list. Easy as that! The Remote app had been erased from the list when I did my “return to standard values”.
    Hope this will help someone.


  9. Thanks a bunch. I was ready to jettison my PC with the Win7 ball & chain and buy a Mac Mini to resolve this.

  10. THANK YOU!!!! In Vista I had to use the “Add Port…” button on the Exception tab – added “iTunes6001” for UDP port 6001, then two others for 6002 and 6003 – a little clunkier than your Win7 solution, but it worked and I couldn’t have done it without your excellent description!

  11. Fantastic, thanks. For Vista just go – control panel, administrative tools – firewall and then follow the EXCELLENT guide – worked first time!
    I knew if was a firewall issue as the error vanished if I turned Windows firewall off….. very happy now!

  12. Thanks, I have been having this problem with my Apple TV (2cd gen) for two weeks. I knew it was the firewall that was causing the problem but didn’t know how to fix it. BTW Apple tech support should read this post!

  13. vista’s firewall controls look a lot different than in win7. i used the ‘add port’ option to add udp port 6001, then again for 6002 and 6003…and then read to the bottom of the thread and saw that CD had done this too. sooooo, it worked for both of us. 🙂

  14. Thank you VERY MUCH!!! I am running Vista and have always streamed to my high end speakers in the family room through my Apple TV. I searched and searched though Apple with no luck. I added ports UDP 6001-6003 just as CD mentioned above and it worked like a charm!! My wife thinks I’m a genius now! 🙂

  15. After an hour of trying to figure out my problem, and search results only generating useless information about MAC OSX updates blah blah blah, This solved every problem withib 5 minutes. Thank you very much.

  16. Awesome!! What a relief it works. I could not figure out why my Airfoil worked through my Extreme and Express but not through I tunes. I have Vista like some of you, and Craig suggestion really helped too.

    Thanks again

  17. You are a genius! I don’t know how much trial and error it took for you to find this but THANK YOU! I was deep into more arcane attempts to resolve this before I found your fix.

    Thank you!!

  18. I am not sure how this got missed in the installer. This was a big life saver!! Thanks for the post, it worked flawlessly.

  19. just going to repost this note:
    “I can confirm that this fix works for Vista however, to open up the Advanced settings the user needs to go through Administrative Tools then open up Windows Firewall with Advanced Settings.”

    and say THANK YOU!

  20. You sir, are a champion! Worked swimmingly, and if you are using crappy Vista make sure access the advanced settings through Administrative Tools as mentioned by a couple folks before.



  21. I followed this advice and it did not work but I altered the option under ‘Program and Services’ in the ‘iTunes Properties’ page and selected ‘All programs that meet the specified conditions’ and it now works.
    Thank you very much for leading me down the right track.

  22. man..thank you so much..i just got this for christmas and i could not figure out what was going on..

  23. thank you very much. the airport express stopped working when I updated to iTunes and I was pulling my hair out trying to get it to run.

  24. I didn’t have a rule for UDP ports so I just made a new rule and it worked!

    (on Win 7.. just updated to iTunes 10.1.1)

  25. Oh my God, thank you, my New Year’s Eve party is saved. This worked for me on Vista, although I had to change that particular iTunes rule (there were 3) from Block to Allow, in addition to your advice. Thanks again!

  26. Excellent, works with Vista but must go through Administrative Tools. Then Windows Firewall with Security. Then Inbound. Select itunes. Then advanced tab and check the box marked private and public (already checked) apply and close all boxes. You then must restart itunes.

  27. Thank you so much for this help. I’ve had this problem for a few days and hadn’t been able to find anything of help (even from Apple) until I came across this article. I followed the directions exactly, and it fixed the problem. One thing I’d note is that in “Inbound Rules”, in addition to rules listed for iTunes, there are also rules listed for Airport Utility, which I almost started altering because they showed as blocked. However, I just stuck to the instructions as listed in the article by altering the iTunes rule only, and I was fine. No need to touch the Airport Utility rules, even though it was tempting due to it being listed as blocked.

  28. Thanks alot! worked perfect! tried searching everywhere and your explanation was 10/10!

  29. WOW: l’Airport ha ripreso a funzionare perfettamente (trasferendo la musica dall’iTunes al mio stereo) dopo che ho aperto le porte UDP 6001, 6002 & 6003 nel Windows Firewall, sezione “avanzate”.

    Grazie mille per il tuo suggerimento perfetto e cari saluti dal piovoso Berlusconistan..

  30. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you.

  31. Seriously, what do I owe you? Bottle of wine? Give me your address and I’ll send it to you. Thanks for the diligence in problem solving and then for the generosity in sharing. Hope the soup was delicious.

  32. I want to hug you. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    If you’re ever in SF, let us know. My wife and I will cook you dinner.

  33. Very cool of you to figure this out. Just got a refurb ATV 1st gen and this had me perplexed. It doesn’t help that the Windows firewall settings are pretty arcane to try to muck with. UDP port blocking is often problematic in router firewalls too. Thanks again.

  34. THANK YOU!!!!!

    I’ve been flustered by this error for months and I would always get too aggitated in trying to navigate Apple’s support pages. None of their information on this error was recent or applicable to Windows 7.

    Does that happen to be a broccoli-cheddar soup by any chance does it?? 🙂

  35. Thanks! This worked a charm to remove that error message from iTunes!

    However, it stopped my iPhone Remote app from communicating with iTunes.

    It seems you need to have 2 rules in the firewall. One allowing the UDP connection and the other allowing TCP. I copy/pasted the rule and changed one to TCP and I’m now streaming from iTunes to the Airport and controlling it with my phone 😀

  36. thank you SO much worked the second i hit play! i have been so mad that i cant use this feature and you helped fix it!

  37. Actually thank you from the bottom of my heart…

    If you are using Vista, like me, this is half the solution but a really good start… as for the rest:

    Open Firewall by Start; Control Panel; Administrative Tools; Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

    Follow the above instructions for all listings for iTunes, AirPort, AirPort Utility and Bonjour… make sure you follow the above for all of these and set them to private and public.

    Now, on the right hand side, create a new rule:
    Select Port, the UDP, Then type ‘6001’. Call it whatever you want, I’ve called my iTunes6001…

    Repeat the above for 6002 and 6003… Then re-visit iTunes… magic 🙂

  38. I can’t thank you enough. I have been playing with the IPv6 postings and obviously they were of no help. This was a great find. Thanks again for doing the research and helping out the rest of us.

  39. Haha. We just got a new Netgear WNDR3700 as our household router and while it’s a beauty, I still wanted to use my AirPort express in some capacity – for AirTunes, mostly so I could use it in my daughter’s room. I got the Airport to work as a client on my wireless network easily enough, but the AirTunes solution still eluded me. Now everything works! Thanks for this tip, it’s a beautifully accurate solution.

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