How does AirTunes work? | iLounge News


How does AirTunes work?

Macworld’s Jason Snell spoke with Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing, on how the new AirTunes works. “Essentially, AirTunes is a method of creating remote speakers for a copy of iTunes, and sending data to those remote speakers via a wireless network. That network can be formed by connecting an AirPort Express to another AirPort Express, to an AirPort Extreme Base Station, or even to a non-apple 802.11b or 802.11g access point.”

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Sounds neat… but I’m worried it won’t sell that great. :(


Posted by Jody in Irvine, CA on June 7, 2004 at 9:55 PM (CDT)


Quit worrying.

Posted by Chimpee in Irvine, CA on June 7, 2004 at 11:07 PM (CDT)


interesting, can anyone clarify this part:

“For those wondering if AirPort Express supports MP3, AAC, or any other specific file formats, the answer is no.”

everything i have is mp3, thus the music wireless streaming feature would be useless, am I reading the article correctly?

Posted by omega in Irvine, CA on June 7, 2004 at 11:29 PM (CDT)


That statement is right but you are reading it wrong. it simply means that the music is not streamed in mp3 or aac. If you read further it says that all audio is converted to apple lossless before it is streamed, so it will stream any audio it is just in no format. Like a TV signal who knows what is flying through the air but it comes out as an image and sound in the end does it not?

hope that helps

Posted by Dougs in Irvine, CA on June 7, 2004 at 11:59 PM (CDT)


Uhh…thanks for the explanation, dude. Now can you remind me to breathe, ‘cuz that’s how stupid that made me feel.

Don’t think I’ve read a more boring article in weeks.


Posted by Spankypoo in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:27 AM (CDT)


It’s basically just an exotic Ethernet Bridge, with USB and AudioJack ports to boot.

I’d be interested in hearing how it well compares to something like Netgear’s MP101.

Posted by Dekunut in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 2:38 AM (CDT)


Here’s a question - when you’re streaming will it notch up your playcounts in iTunes or is it going to be like Rendezvous streaming where it’s just access to the library?

Posted by The Jonze in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 3:16 AM (CDT)


AirPort Express is just a bridge/receiver.  iTunes will work as normal.

Posted by Dekunut in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 3:43 AM (CDT)


oh crap!!!

it says this on the apple canada website….

* AirPort Express is subject to regulatory approval prior to release in Canada.

and “coming soon”

NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Damn government!

Posted by vanillacoke in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 5:48 AM (CDT)


Your play count will go up because you’re controlling it through iTunes on your computer. 

I’m not sure who would buy this.  If I want to stream thousands of songs from my playlists to my stereo all I need is my iPod.

Posted by ttt in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 10:07 AM (CDT)



Airport Express=$129

Posted by Chimpee in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 10:29 AM (CDT)


I know the iPod is at least double the price for an AirTunes, my point is that if you have an iPod…why would you need to buy this?

Or if you don’t own an iPod, why would you buy this when you could spend a little more and buy a mini?  It seems to me if you enjoyed listening to your music collection that much and wanted to hear it on your stereo that bad you’d already own an iPod or plan on buying one in the future.

I think it’s a nice option to have, but most people are going to find out “Wow, I really didn’t need to spend another $140 to play my MP3’s on my stereo”.

Posted by Ryan in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 11:15 AM (CDT)


I plan on buying one so I can have my speakers set up in my room and my computer somewhere else. Then, I can use Applescripts to play specified playlists in the morning or evening.

Sure, I could do similar stuff with my iPod, but I couldn’t have the same kind of control over my computer or the music that I desire (putting it to sleep at night, fading the volume up or down depending on the time of day, etc.).

Plus, it’s high time I got a wireless network in my house and this is just the right price point for me to jump in.


Posted by Dennis in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:03 PM (CDT)


Hmmm, Joswiak sounds an awful lot like Wozniak…

Actually, it’s a combination of Jobs and Wozniak.  Is he a hybrid of the two founders?!  Any photos of him as a child?  I didn’t think so…

Posted by Suspicious Minds in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:19 PM (CDT)


One selling point is that it’s a cheap wireless router/access point/extender.

As far as the music end of it goes, it’s cheaper than an iPod.

You get to use iTunes, which has a more effecient interface than the iPod thanks to the mouse, and is more customizable, extensible (those of you looking for ogg vorbis support), etc.

Your computer (particularly a laptop) doesn’t have to be wired tethered to your stereo the way the iPod would, so you can control your music from the couch via your laptop.

A big selling point to me is the digital connection. The iPod doesn’t have any digital outs, and neither does my computer. I could add them to my computer, but this is priced favorably with most of the traditional methods of adding digital audio out to my computer (USB audio interface/new sound card) with the added bonus that I don’t have to have a really long optical cord to string between the two.

I’ll buy one. The iPod is for portable and car listening, but I’ve always preferred my computer for playing stuff over my stereo (currently have a cord running from the line-out to the receiver, but the line-out is noisy, and it’d be nice to eliminate the cord).

Posted by Matthew in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:23 PM (CDT)


So, can you send music to multiple Airport Express simultaneously? Or only one at a time?

Posted by Matt in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:25 PM (CDT)


This sounds like how Media Center has worked for the past few years, with “Playback Zones” and “Clients”. You can stream several audio or video streams to different clients, using the client-server architecture, or you can direct several playback streams to specific “Zones” using the output zone selector.

Being able to select different playback zones is good when you have a complex setup with different speakers. For example, you may want DIVX/AVI playback to go to your 7.1 surround speakers “zone”, while classic 2-channel stereo AAC/MP3 should be directed to your dedicated music speakers.

Posted by Client Server in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 12:35 PM (CDT)


right now the spec suggests it can stream to only one AExp. at a time, but I bet that it’ll be a matter of time before some one comes up witha a script or a software that will help it stream to multiple locations.

Posted by Starboard in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 1:18 PM (CDT)


I’m just waiting for the wifi ipod to come out so that whenever I go to my friends house - I can bring along an airport express and an ipod or notebook and play my music on their nice speaker systems. The thought of going anywhere - such a my local cafe where people bring in there cds - and have the ability to share all my music on nice speakers - awesome. Friday night get together with friends will be much more fun. And imagine an airport express device that plugs into your car speaker system! you take your ipod in your car - bam - it wirelessly controls your sound system in your car.. no ugly wires or setup to deal with. And when i got into my room with my ipod - my ipod will detect airport express and start up my room speakers. The possibilites are pretty cool if you ask me.

So i’ve been waiting patienly for an ipod that will give me wifi, and audio recording capabilities. Perhaps, given the future ipod will have a wifi card, it will turn into a portable audio system that can also connect to the internet and synchronize with your computer files wirelessly.. using such things as .mac.. etc.. They might even have an update system which no longer requires physical connection to the computer..

Posted by rishi in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 1:25 PM (CDT)


I’m just waiting for the wifi ipod to come out so that whenever I go to my friends house - I can bring along an airport express and an ipod

Or… you could get a broadband connection with a big upstream (I used Cyberonic 1500/768) and 768K upload is plenty fast to stream music. No more carrying around music on hard disks or laptops! Which is a good thing because I’d need several dozen 40Gb iPods to carry it all around with me…

So from work or parties or anyplace with a broadband connection you can stream music from your home server. It even works over T-Mobile - but the bills are extreme!

Posted by Broadband in Irvine, CA on June 8, 2004 at 3:00 PM (CDT)

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