AirTunes - music without wires

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Graham Perks, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Graham Perks

    Graham Perks Second Unit

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    For anyone with an mp3 collection, this looks seriously useful:

    http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

    Now I can play music through my stereo while working on my laptop, via iTunes! This is something I've wanted for quite some time. No more suffering laptop-quality speakers. No more hunting for the CD I want to put into the CD player. I just click the song/album/playlist I want played and it's automatically streaming.

    For audiophiles, CDs can be losslessly ripped and play via AirTunes losslessly.

    I can be lounging with my laptop, have a tune running through my head, hit the iTunes Music Store to buy the song and having it playing through my HT speakers in just seconds. Awesome!!

    Not only that, I can get a second Airport Express (for a different location), plug my printer into it, and save myself having to boot up the PC just to print from my laptop.

    What a very clever and useful device!
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I was pretty jazzed when they released it, but the lack of any sort of remote control of iTunes was a deal breaker for me. Note: I understand your application, but a laptop is a bit more of a remote than I would like!

    Unfortunately, my PC is upstairs while my HT rig is downstairs.

    I am now looking at the Roku Soundbridge, but that seems to be vapor-wear at the moment.

    I kind of hope Apple recognizes the need for some way to access and control iTunes remotely....basically an Apple version of what the Soundbridge is said to do. I have to think that there are enough folks with PCs that are NOT close to the HT to make it a worth while market.

    Man, I would be all over it like a cheap suit.

    BGL
     
  3. Graham Perks

    Graham Perks Second Unit

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    I'm guessing they'll do something like a remote, maybe with the next iPod. You can of course still use your HT remote to control volume. I won't need a remote to switch tracks; I'm working on the Mac so iTunes is a click away.

    If your computer is anywhere near the HT speakers, this is an awesome device.

    It completely obsoletes my CD collection! They're all as good as AOL coasters now :)
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Yeah, I placed my order already. I was looking at the Squeezebox for awhile, but just couldn't justify the expense. I don't need remote control. My HT set-up and computer are only in the next room. Looking forward to finally integrating my MP3s!
     
  5. Graham Perks

    Graham Perks Second Unit

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    I picked up an AE a couple of days ago. Works great!

    I have no need at all for CDs any more. They're sitting on my shelves gathering dust!

    My laptop has most of my music on it (and all that I listen to - about 15GB worth). Now when I'm working away and I want to listen to some music, I skip to iTunes and play it, and out of my stereo it plays. Playlists etc. It's awesome!

    I need to try streaming music from another machine too, but I think it will work.

    A small set up glitch (my laptop connected to the AE network rather than the main wireless network at first), but that was easy to fix.

    Very happy. I got the last of five at my local CompUSA - and these five weren't out front, you had to ask the manager for one!

    With 80,000 pre-orders, Apple has a nice big hit on their hands again.

    The only downside is that my 15GB iPod is just about full and I will have to upgrade soon :)
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    My experience so far - not so great. I'm hoping it was just the unit I got.
     
  7. MarkusP

    MarkusP Stunt Coordinator

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    Cameron - can you elaborate? I'm looking to get an AE but I would need to buy it on ebay as its not released in Canada yet.

    Thanks,
    Markus
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The AE had trouble getting an IP from my router. I did everything right - turned off WEP and the access list, just to be sure. Finally had to plug it in with ethernet, which allowed me to actually see the unit in the configuration utility, but then I kept getting an error message that it couldn't access the base station when I wanted it to accept the configs. I worked on it for four or five hours and then called Apple Support. Ran through the same deal with the rep and finally he offered a replacement.

    BTW running Windows XP with a Netgear wireless router.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Cameron:

    I haven't used the AE, but is it possible to assign a static IP address to it? If so, I would think that would solve your problem. Just make sure the first three sets of numbers are the same as the router's address and that no other device is using the last set of numbers you give it. Also, make sure it is on the same subnet (should be by default).
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I received my replacement in a speedy manner and my current conclusion is there's something funky with my computer setup. I am able to configure it on my work PC, although I don't have a wireless network available to confirm its functionality there. On my home computer it sends back an error message no matter what I do. A computer tech friend is going to help me delve deeper into it next week and may ultimately buy it off me if it won't work on my system.
     
  11. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I had the chance to try it with a Mac G4 with an Airport Extreme card and it configured and set up without a hitch.
     
  12. CapnSharpe

    CapnSharpe Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Finally got the Aiport integrated into my system. My network friend was able to configure the device using his wireless laptop. Essentially he joined the network being generated by the device then configured it with a static IP compatible with my router. Works great now! Unfortunately, going to WPA security eliminated my ability to use the wireless adapters for my XBox and Replay. So I may pick up a DLink g820...
     
  14. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Agent

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    I was using my new AE from a hotel room for the first time this weekend, and had a lot of trouble getting it to work. Every time I connected it to the hotel DSL router and pulled up the config I got an error message stating something like "The AE does not appear to be connected". After messing around with it for awhile I finally found a config setting that allows you to change the ethernet port speed. It was set to "auto", but I manually changed it to 10Mb and lo and behold, it finally worked. It seems like there might be a problem with the AE's ability to auto-sense the port speed.
     
  15. John Kilroy

    John Kilroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep, it is tricky to set up in Windows. The Setup Assistant doesn't work in Win2K, so if this is your OS, you are in for an adventure. Finally got it setup on my ither (XP) machine, but it is not wireless, so I had to connect it directly via Cat5e. Then I took it to it's final resting place by the audio rack and re-configured it. Then my router crapped out and had to be reset, which meant I had to re-re-configure the AE.

    But it is totally worth it, to be able to sit outdoors in the summer kitchen with my laptop, smoke a Cuban, and run a nice jazz mix through the audio system = priceless.
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    It IS nice, but I'm missing what I thought I wouldn't - remote control of the playlist. It's not a big deal, but it would be nice to be able to skip ahead at times.
     

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