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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was a thread a few weeks about when the Airport Express (AXP) was announced and I pre-ordered it. Well I just got it and I have to say that I am pretty happy with it's performance. The AXP is a 802.11g wireless AP with and Audio Out jack that can be used in conjunction with Apple's iTunes 4.6 product.


I know a lot of people have issues with Apple's proprietary products, but I've recently purchased a new 12" Powerbook and started using iTunes since I was interested in seeing how it compared to the other Windows based music applications. I have to say that it's pretty nice and works very well. Now that I have the AXP I can stream music to my stereo and I basically use either my Windows or Apple Laptop as a "remote control" to control my music files.


It was very easy to get everything up and running, although I'm still trying to figure out how to configure the WPA wireless security on my Windows machine. But from getting the AXP hooked up to my cable modem and installing the software on both my HP and Apple computers and streaming music, everything was as smooth as could be.


Now I'm trying to figure out how to create a network between my Powerbook with OSX 10.3 and HP XP machines so that I can share folders. I'm new to networking, but I can't believe it's that complicated. Wish me luck. If anyone has any tips, please let me know. I don't want to create a network until I get WPA figured out for security reasons...


Anyway, I highly recommend the AXP if you're looking for basic wireless streaming of music. It does a lot of other things too, but as a basic wireless access point and music streamer, it's awesome. If anyone has any other questions, please let me know.


Drew
 

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Sounds cool. I'm building a house and trying to come up with my wiring (or wireless) system. Can you rack mount external hard drive and run itunes from laptop to control the files? Would that work?
 

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Just added two Airport Express units to the front and back of our condo, which does double duty: 1) it gives solid WiFi coverage of our entire place, including the back porch/yard, and 2) I can now stream high-quality iTunes juke tracks to both my main stereo in the living room as well as a second one in our back lounge. The quality of the sound seems (at first blush) very nice.


I also sprung for the ATI Remote Wonder, which is a decent looking silver programmable remote that I use to control my laptop/iTunes music server from either end of the house (about 70'). The computer home bases in my office, and I ran a USB extender to place the remote transmitter so it just peeks into the hallway (pretty discreetly). Nice to be able to play/pause/FF as if its a component in the room...highly recommended!
 

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Just wanted to add...this stuff is indeed fully cross-platform. As you all know, iPod/iTunes are Mac/Windows. So is the Airport Express..."Mac/PC" is all over the packaging and the disc comes with software for both. Just FYI.
 

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My only question with this is the actual flow of data. If you have your music stored on a server, and are using a wireless notebook to run iTunes to play your music, isn't the music being streamed to your wireless notebook and then to the airport express? If that is the case, that is highly undesirable because if your notebook looses power or goes out of range, your music will stop.


Any of you know with certainty that I could use my wireless notebook to cause music to be streamed directly from my server to the airport express? And then essentially turn off the notebook and it have no effect.


Tom Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whichever computer is streaming the audio over iTunes must be on and in range of the AXP (or on the wireless network) in order for the wireless streaming to work. So Tom, in your example, you would not be able to turn the laptop off and stream music, but you could "set it and forget it". I am not doing this presently, but you can stream music from a server or NAS to your wireless computer and then on to the AXP. Tom, in your example, you could just install iTunes on the server and stream it directly from there if that was an option; or just leave the laptop on.


twoyells, my future plan is to install a NAS on the wireless network so that I can store my music files there. As I understand the issue of streaming audio/music from a network storage device to a wireless laptop, and then stream the music to stereo is effectively two wireless streams but is generally not a problem on an 802.11g network. Could be an issue with a .11b network. If you are trying to stream video in this manner, you would most likely run into bandwidth constraints. I'll be doing this sometime around the end of the year once the price of the external hard drives comes down for the holiday season even though they are already pretty cheap, I'm just in no hurry.


Drew
 

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Mine is on pre-order and it is great to get early feedback that the unit is working as published. I'll share my experience as soon as I receive mine.


Motasim
 

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Quote:
Now I'm trying to figure out how to create a network between my Powerbook with OSX 10.3 and HP XP machines so that I can share folders. I'm new to networking, but I can't believe it's that complicated. Wish me luck. If anyone has any tips, please let me know. I don't want to create a network until I get WPA figured out for security reasons...
Setting up a wireless network to share files between XP and OSX is fairly straigtforward:
  • Enable the Mac to share files with the PC by turning on sharing in the Sharing panel in System Preferences
  • Do the same from the Network control panel on the XP
  • Use the Network Setup Wizard on the XP to create a network - you need to make sure that the Network Wizard does not create a bridge. The link below explains how.
Link for how to avoid creating a network bridge in XP


If all goes well, you should be able to view the PC shares by clicking on the Network icon from the Finder on the Mac and the Mac shares from the My Network Places on the PC.


I would recommend that you create the network by disabling WEP/Firewalls to make sure sharing is working and then turn the security options on.


Some helpful links if you run into problems:

Wireless Networking May Not Function When You Use the "Safe Mode with Networking" Option
How to search for a computer on the network in Windows XP
The Advantages of Direct Hosting of SMB over TCP/IP
How to configure file sharing in Windows XP
How to Set Up a Small Network with Windows XP Home Edition (PART 1)


Good luck!

Motasim
 

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Time Magazine 'Gadget of the Week'


quoting:


"Because Express uses standard networking, and because iTunes is also the best music jukebox for Windows users, even Mac-free homes should look into this," --Wilson Rothman.
 

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I don't think I could think of a reason why folks would run all their iTunes from a notebook, especially if the notebook is serving many duties.


Here is what I'd do. If you want a kick butt set up, don't use your notebook anymore. Unless you don't use your notebook for anything but music. Or you only listen to music when you're not working.


1. Get a cheap PC or Mac. And old P3 or AMD K7 running XP will probably run you about $200. Mac is trickier, because iTunes may not work on a cheaper Mac, unless that Mac can safely run OS X.

2. Get a firewire card (cheap cheap cheap)

3. Get a large-capacity external firewire Hard drive. About $150.

4. Hook all of the above together. Connect to your wireless/network.

5. Download all of your iTunes to that high-capacity hard drive.

6. Run iTunes off of that computer.


User your notebook for work, games, whatever.


But for $400 you have a basic network media system hidden under your table. :)


You don't need a fast processor to run Mp3s. I see these media systems they're selling that come with the fastest Pentiums and Athlons.... it's overkill. You just don't need it.
 

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There were a couple of questions that came up in earlier threads....


The apple pre-release information implied that you could only stream between a particular Mac/PC and a particular AXP.... that is, you can't stream between a single PC and multiple AXP simultaneously. Is this the case?


It also seemed that while you were streaming to the AXP, the sound on the PC/Mac was disabled?


Can someone with the real hardware answer these questions?
 

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Well, the FAQ on the Apple site answered part of my questions:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108038


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Question: Can iTunes send a single AirTunes stream to multiple AirPort Express stations?

Answer: No. iTunes only sends one stream to one AirPort Express at a time.



Question: Can iTunes send different AirTunes streams to different AirPort Express stations?

Answer: No. iTunes only sends one stream to one AirPort
 

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As far as I can tell the Airport Express basically acts as an external (networked) speaker for a single machine. If I have read correctly, you could have two different machines on a network sending to two different AXPs simultaneously.


As far as disabling the internal sound on the Mac, I've been using a little utility called Detour to send audio from selected applications to different outputs. I have had my iTunes sent to my stereo system while leaving the internal speaker as the default for any system beeps, etc.


I'll probabaly pick up an AXP tomorrow if they are in stock at my local Apple Store. I'll report back if I actually go get one.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by btrvalik
Now they need to build a RF remote control with the iPod interface...
I was thinking more along the lines of a wifi enabled dock for the iPod (which only makes sense to me part of the time I think about it), but I like your idea better.
 

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What Apple needs to do is buy out Roku, and finish/release the Soundbridge for the customers that DON'T have their PC close to their hi-fi rig.


Or build their own. But one way or another, there MUST be some way to remote control/access iTunes. Just streaming is not enough for many users.


BGL
 
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