AirTunes, wireless iTunes music streaming; iTunes 4.6 coming soon | iLounge News

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AirTunes, wireless iTunes music streaming; iTunes 4.6 coming soon

picMacMinute reports that “Apple today introduced AirPort Express, “the world’s first 802.11g mobile base station that can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connections and USB printing, or thrown into a laptop bag to bring wireless freedom to hotel rooms with broadband connections.” Airport Express also features analog and digital audio outputs that can be connected to a stereo and new AirTunes music networking software that wirelessly streams music to any room in the house. AirPort Express features a single piece ultra-compact design weighing 6.7 ounces, and will be available to Mac and PC users in July for US$129. AirTunes requires the next version of iTunes (iTunes 4.6), which is expected to be available later this week as a free download.”

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Comments

21

I think Apple is emphasizing wireless too much that it’s misleading people.  YOU STILL NEED WIRES TO PLAY THIS ON YOUR STEREO.

If you don’t have a wireless card reader on your PC or a wireless router in your home, you’ll need wires to connect it to your network.

Soooo, since I don’t own a wireless router, I still would need to run an ethernet cable to whichever outlet I was plugging the AirPort into.  Correct me if I’m wrong…

Posted by Ryan on June 7, 2004 at 11:08 AM (PDT)

22

this is sweet….......

Posted by toothpaste in NYC on June 7, 2004 at 11:14 AM (PDT)

23

For those that didn’t read the spec, it does act as a router, so you don’t need an Airport Extreme. But it can also act as an extender if you already have one. any Mac or PC computer with 802.11b or 802.11g will be able to connect up to AirPort Express’s networks.

Posted by Starboard on June 7, 2004 at 11:16 AM (PDT)

24

>>Also, its got a US plug… can that plug be quickly swaped for a UK version? Can it handle the different voltage?

One of the great design decisions that Apple has made is to make the “prongs” interchangeable. If I’m not mistaken this is not only with the iPod adapter but all the laptop, etc. adapters as well. All you would need to do is buy one of the world adapter kits which has a bunch of different attachments that replace the prongs on the US version.
Check it out:
Travel adapters

Posted by Alex on June 7, 2004 at 11:19 AM (PDT)

25

So if I have a mac and no wireless stuff what so ever, what do I need along with this to get it to run to my living room, an airport card in my emac or an airport base station?
thanks!

Posted by baking soda on June 7, 2004 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

26

I can’t wait until the new iPods also come with Wifi.

The aireo is a good example of how wifi could work. To sync you don;t need cables or wires - you just leave it within range of a wifi card or hub like a Linksys or this new Airport Express and it sucks in ther tunes over the air.

http://www.soniqcast.com/portable.html

If Apple are serious about getting rid of wires then the next iPod should also have Wifi transmit and FM transmit. That way you can broadcast analog output to radios, and digital output to wifi receivers.

I for one welcome our new wireless overlords.

http://www.soniqcast.com/Manageable.jpg

Posted by soniqcast aireo on June 7, 2004 at 12:25 PM (PDT)

27

“Airport Express is a full-blown 802.11g base station (access point) that can also be used for music streaming.”

Am I missing something or is this just a wireless router like many others?

My 802.11G router streams music and video from the server (with its wifi card) to local laptops (with wifi cards) and works with all hardware and software and formats, not just Apple’s. And it cost around half of this Apple solution (after rebate) nearly a year ago.

What am I missing? How is this different? I am honestly very confused. Is this the Emperor’s New Clothes?

Posted by what am i missing on June 7, 2004 at 12:33 PM (PDT)

28

Any hints of what to expect in iTunes 4.6 or is it simply for the use of AirTunes?  In which case if I don’t use AirTunes should I stay with 4.5?

Posted by 4.6 on June 7, 2004 at 12:49 PM (PDT)

29

> Any hints of what to expect in iTunes 4.6

I bet it also conveniently disables Hymn, the successor to FairPlay that lets you playback your iTunes purchased AACs without iTunes or on Linux, or stream them using VideoLAN.

http://hymn-project.org/

Posted by Hymn on June 7, 2004 at 12:59 PM (PDT)

30

“My 802.11G router streams music and video from the server (with its wifi card) to local laptops (with wifi cards) and works with all hardware and software and formats, not just Apple’s. And it cost around half of this Apple solution (after rebate) nearly a year ago.

What am I missing? How is this different? I am honestly very confused. Is this the Emperor’s New Clothes?”

You said your router streams downstream from (I am presuming your PC server) to laptops.  But does your router plug into the stereo and accept streams from your laptop to your stereo?  Does your router also act as a usb printer server?  Does your router also fit into your pocket?

Posted by jack on June 7, 2004 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

31

“does your router plug into the stereo and accept streams from your laptop to your stereo?”

I have a wired stereo hub (a Philips) and a wireless stereo component (Escient). Both understand ethernet. Both work well with routers.

I do think this is a smart move by Apple - within the next few years most home entertainment components will speak ether/wifi. Apple’s including audio jacks for backwards compatibility with older equipment, but also obviously recognizing that future networks will be wifi.

Apple could do worse than borrow from Creative Karma and add ethernet connectivity to the next iPod. It’s pretty cool to just add your music as a mini hub to any existing network.

Posted by Stereo on June 7, 2004 at 1:24 PM (PDT)

32

>>>>So if I have a mac and no wireless stuff what so ever, what do I need along with this to get it to run to my living room, an airport card in my emac or an airport base station?
thanks!

That depends on what you want to do.

Option 1:  Use Airport Express as a wireless router for your internet connection

Plug cable modem into Airport Express, Install airport card or airport Extreme card into your Mac (if it doesn’t already have one) and access your ISP via the cable modem using your eMac anywhere in your house without a wired connection to the cable modem (except for the ethernet cable from modem into Airport Express).  This is also the way you would use the Airport Express in a hotel room, assuming you have an Airport card in your laptop.

Option 2: 

To use the Airport Express simply as a way to wirelessly stream your music to your stereo:

Install Airport or Airport Express Card in eMac.
Plug Airport Express into wall near stereo.
Plug stereo’s input jacks into audio out jack on Airport Express

Play music on the eMac, listen to it on your stereo.

NOTE: In both of these scenarios you need an Airport Card in your eMac but you do not need an additional Airport Base Station. The Airport Express is functioning as your ABS.

Make sense?

Marian

Posted by Marian Petrides on June 7, 2004 at 1:57 PM (PDT)

33

I can already play my iTunes and iPhoto using my Tivos which pretty much cover whatever rooms I would need music in. 
This little device seems cool but you still gotta have speakers or stereo or something…at that point why not just hook up your iPod to the stereo?  If your gonna carry around a little device that costs over a hundred dollars why not just carry your iPod to the other room…it aint like the iPod is so big you can’t move it…lol. 

Posted by Old Skool on June 7, 2004 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

34

Your Tivo won’t play AAC files. You have to re-rip your iTMS files to mp3 to play them over Tivo… as well as paying $99 for the Home Media Option.

Posted by Chimpee on June 7, 2004 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

35

“paying $99 for the Home Media Option”

I didn’t know Tivo people had to pay so much to network their boxes. Sure enough, I looked it up on the web. You pay to use the service, then pay per box. For each Tivo? That’s just crazy.

More and more the $120 I paid for my ReplayTV looks like best value ever: built-in ethernet, no limit to number of machines shared on network, streaming or copying files across internet with no limitations.

And as for AAC files - you can use any PC/Linux with VideoLAN server to stream protected AAC files to any client.

Posted by Woah on June 7, 2004 at 2:41 PM (PDT)

36

I was hoping that I could purchase an extra airport express to act as a airport extreme card in an airport-ready G5. Do any of you think that this might be possible?

Posted by Studio works on June 7, 2004 at 2:48 PM (PDT)

37

“I was hoping that I could purchase an extra airport express to act as a airport extreme card in an airport-ready G5. Do any of you think that this might be possible?”

It would not be possible because the Ethernet port on the AirPort Express is a WAN only port, meaning it will only accept a dsl/cable connection, and not work as a wired connection to the network.  This would work with an AEBS however since it has a LAN port as well.  Hope this makes sense.

Posted by Tav on June 7, 2004 at 4:54 PM (PDT)

38

this thing sounds SWEET, but just one thing i don’t get. if the stereo is in a room with NO broadband ethernet connection, would the Airport express still be able to stream music from the computer (which is equipped with a wireless card) to the stereo (which is connected to the Airport express but NOT an ethernet connection)? do you get what i mean?

Posted by egoman on June 7, 2004 at 5:24 PM (PDT)

39

It would be kewl if AirPort featured broadcasting over FM frequencies, though Apple can’t let _that_ happen, could they?

Posted by Sraphim on June 7, 2004 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

40

Thanks, Tav.
One more thought. Would it be possible for the airport express to simultaneously act as a base station, stream music to speakers, as well as offer wireless usb printing? Apple experts, what do you think?

Posted by Studio works on June 7, 2004 at 6:24 PM (PDT)

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