Originally Posted by mayhem13
Not sure why you don't use the second windows PC as an iTunes server as it's a near perfect solution. Set your BIOS settings to Wake on LAN and the PC will sleep unless you're streaming and will wake from packets sent from your local network. Use an Airport Express or the new Apple TV as your streamer ($99) located at the AVR and connect either via HDMI or TosLink. Forget the AVRs interface. Instead is an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad as your user interface and remote. You won't ever have to turn on a display except for maintenance. The Remote App for the interface is excellent and can easily access anything from your iTunes library. Also, apps such as Pandora, LastFM, and others can be streamed directly without the PC.
The whole sleep / wake on lan was kinda the reason. However, I tried the apple "remote" app today on a iTouch and seemed to work well. However, that is after about God knows how many hrs I spent trying to get the airplay icon to appear / work. Searching, reading link after link and nothing, messed with the firewall....Finally, I updated iTunes to the latest, updated both iTouch's (which still didn't fix it) etc..Seriously frustrating. Well then the icon finally appears! in itunes which I assume is why it appeared thereafter on the iTouch. Ooy. Then at some point, when using the itouch, I receive an "error" that says it cannot play and to check itunes library I rebooted a couple times and eventually it started to work again.. I lost count at what I did to "fix" it.
So then I played music via the itouch and that seemed to work pretty decent. Next I put the computer to sleep (without closing itunes) to see if it would wake up from the itouch. I selected the remote app from the itouch and the computer woke up! Sweet, I thought. But then I looked for the airplay icon on the itouch but it was gone. Logged into the computer to look in itunes and no airplay icon there either. WTF. Rebooted and airplay was magically back. I had enough at that point.
I'm not an apple guru and certainly my problems today could be my inexperience with apple stuff. I only use it because of my kids and car audio etc...but I friggin despise itunes (and not from today's issues) lol. But I digress.
Anyway, a couple questions.
1. Is the sound quality using airplay (the way I did) "less" then say using the PC via sound card, NAS, ipod classic directly hooked up to AVR etc?
2. What's the purpose / benefit of using an airport express / apple TV over the setup I tried today?