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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?? :-)

  5. 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 :D

  6. 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!

  7. 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 :-)

  8. 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.

  9. 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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