iPod for multi-room playback
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’m thinking about buying an iPod, partly because it seems to be a good solution for a home stereo system. I’m looking for an affordable way to have access to my iPod’s music in at least three rooms in my house. I would be willing to take my iPod from room to room, but the ultimate solution would be to have the iPod located centrally and be able to use it remotely from each room. Does such a solution exist?
Also, which speakers do you recommend? I have heard good things about Harman Kardon and Klipsch.
A: We use our iPods in exactly the way you describe: this column’s author, for example, has two 40 GB iPods, one for classical music and the other for everything else (rock, jazz, ambient, electronic, etc.), and uses them to provide music to multiple stereo systems. Connecting the iPod to the stereo with a basic mini-din to RCA cable lets you play music from the iPods through speakers, and you can naturally connect the iPod to any self-powered speakers as well.
But that’s not the only way you can do it. If you have a wireless network, you can use an Apple AirPort Express, together with iTunes, to stream music from your computer to a set of speakers. The AirPort Express has a mini-din jack so you can connect it to a stereo, or to self-powered speakers, and iTunes streams your music to the AirPort Express. If you want to go all the way, you can buy several AirPort Express units and set each one up in a different room, using iTunes on your Mac or PC to play music to any of them; just select the appropriate AirPort Express from iTunes and start playing music.
Another solution could be to use a FM transmitter connected to your iPod. With a device like this, you could send music from your iPod over the airwaves to your stereo, using a FM frequency that is not occupied by a radio station in your area. If you go to our reviews page, and scroll down to FM Transmitters, you’ll find information on most of the currently available models.
If you want to remotely control your iPod, as you suggest, you could use TEN Technology’s naviPod (see our review here) or Griffin’s AirClick Remote (see our review here). But these devices are only useful for such things as skipping tracks, changing volume, and pausing or playing your music. Since the iPod is a portable device, it’s just as easy to control your playback from the iPod. You can also see our new review of TEN Technology’s new naviPlay Bluetooth wireless system, which includes a roundup of other upcoming Bluetooth devices that can spread your music wirelessly.
As for speakers, we highly recommend JBL’s Creature speakers (see our thoughts about these here). These tiny satellites and subwoofer provide the clearest sound we have heard at their price point. The upcoming Klipsch iFi speakers will also be excellent, but will set you back a bit more. (Read about these speakers in our
roundup of new products for the iPod. A hard-to-find splurge option would be the Eclipse 307, which the company touts as the Rolls Royce of mini speakers. Unfortunately, you’ll likely pay more than the cost of your iPod for this stylish setup.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple’s exclusive audiobook deal with Audible ends in Europe following EU antitrust scrutiny
- Nintendo officially announces Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS, coming Feb. 2
- Rumor: Apple working on second-generation Apple Pencil
- GarageBand 2.2 adds Logic Pro X integration, Alchemy synth, Multi-Take Recording
- FTC files complaint against Qualcomm citing royalty deal with Apple
- India mulling manufacturing regulation changes which could woo Apple
- Apple Music creative team discusses the service’s exclusives, future
- Apple raising UK App Store prices by more than 25 percent
- Iovine fuels speculation about Apple’s interest in scripted TV shows
- Report: ‘iPhone 8’ to include upgraded water resistance
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10