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Apple's New Airport Express


Josh
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Apple released a cool little wall-wart that is:

 

1) A Router basestation

2) A Wireless Bridge

3) A wireless USB printer sharing device

4) A music-sharing device with sound-output

 

Very, very cool. And all for $129.

 

Essentially, you could plug this in near your home theater, hook it up to your receiver via a digital output, and stream music from iTunes.

 

You could also plug your Xbox or PS2 into the ethernet port.

 

You could also plug a nearby printer in and have any wireless computer in the house access and print.

 

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress

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I am suprised this didn't wait for the big unveiling at the end of the month. Great suprise though. It seems great for the price. It's smart that they gave it an optical out. I however would rather have a Roku Soundbridge M1000 for $100 more though. So I can see what I am playing and change songs with a remote. The only problem with the Soundbridge is that it won't play those songs I got from the iTunes Store (thanks Pepsi). I didn't see on apple's page if this little bugger will be able to (I am betting not because then you could copy digital to digital via the optical out).

 

Michael

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I am suprised this didn't wait for the big unveiling at the end of the month.

 

Which is what?

 

I'd buy the Airport Express in a second if I could use it with a media player other than iTunes...or if Apple let iTunes play more audio formats. The bulk of my music is stored in formats iTunes can't comprehend.

 

Standards suck. :)

 

The only problem with the Soundbridge is that it won't play those songs I got from the iTunes Store (thanks Pepsi). I didn't see on apple's page if this little bugger will be able to (I am betting not because then you could copy digital to digital via the optical out).

 

It's my understanding that's included in the "Airtunes" plug-in for iTunes. It somehow solves Apple's DRM issue and allows you to play iTunes Music Store songs via the Airport Express.

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Sorry iCamp, I was referring to the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco (June 28th-July 2).

 

What format are you saving your audio as? Are you really that big of a fan of entropy that you despise standards? That's cool if you are.

 

I am plain jane in that I prefer the lossless bit by bit copying of AIFF, it takes up huge amounts of room but it's better when I make mix discs. I never tried apple's lossless encoder that is included on itunes.

 

 

Michael

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It looks like a great product, but, like some others, I wish it would work with jukebox software other than iTunes as I use MediaMonkey.

 

I've been looking at the Roku M1000 as well, but if the Apple dealie is selling for $129, I suspect that we're about to see a number of competitors in that price range. After all, we aren't the only ones with media collections residing on a networked PC in our house.

 

-j

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Originally posted by stencil@Jun 8 2004, 01:09 PM

Essentially, you could plug this in near your home theater, hook it up to your receiver via a digital output, and stream music from iTunes.

SWEET!!

 

Any time I want to listen my stored music, I have to fire my 2nd PC (which is a big, ugly tower standing next to my TV) and stream it from the main PC.

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Ahh, but see you could get a couple of these things... one for the living room, one for the bedroom, one for the back yard... then each location shows up in iTunes and you can select where to send the music at any time.

 

Keep in mind this thing also has a USB interface, AND it creates a wired LAN connection wherever it is. A friend brings over a laptop but doesn't have a wireless card? No problem. Want wireless in your hotel room? No problem. In terms of features and versatility, it floors the Roku and other competitors.

 

If I had a multi-bedroom house, I'd have one of these things in every room.

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Originally posted by stencil@Jun 9 2004, 09:30 AM

In terms of features and versatility, it floors the Roku and other competitors.

I don't think so. In fact, I'd say not even close. Don't get me wrong, it looks like a GREAT product to me. Given my happiness with Apple's level of quality workmanship, I'd love one of these guys (except for the iTunes requirement problem).

 

Yes, it does a lot of things, but those things you mention are sort of like digital clocks. That is, it's nice that your microwave comes with a working digital clock. And we can think of situations where it will be useful. But do we really care? Believe me, I'm not taking a wall wart so I can have wireless access in a hotel. I'll buy a wireless card or USB adapter for my laptop. Egghead has them for, what, $20?

 

If I care about bringing a networked PC's music to other rooms, this Apple product is not nearly as good as the Roku, which gives me a display and the ability to change tracks without running over to the serving PC.

 

At a price only a little more than other wireless bridges, I think the Airport Express is a great value. But I don't agree with the notion that it "floors" other devices designed for a specific purpose.

 

-j

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Yes, it does a lot of things, but those things you mention are sort of like digital clocks. That is, it's nice that your microwave comes with a working digital clock. And we can think of situations where it will be useful. But do we really care? Believe me, I'm not taking a wall wart so I can have wireless access in a hotel. I'll buy a wireless card or USB adapter for my laptop. Egghead has them for, what, $20?

 

I think you misunderstand what this thing does. You plug it into the ethernet that's at the hotel already, and then you have an instant wirelss LAN in the hotel room. It doesn't replace your $20 wireless card - you use that to tap into your instant 802.11G LAN. This way you're not confined to that uncomfortable faux-oak desk near the hotel window.

 

If I care about bringing a networked PC's music to other rooms, this Apple product is not nearly as good as the Roku, which gives me a display and the ability to change tracks without running over to the serving PC.

 

Truedat, the display is pretty cool, but as far as control I'd just do that with Bluetooth, to be honest. That's how I do it now, actually. It doesn't give me a display, but I can ff, rewind, skip, etc. with my Sony Ericcson phone. Pretty cool. I rarely skip, though, since it's coming from my own library and playlists. If I had my way, most devices wouldn't have those ghetto-car-ground-effects-looking displays anyway. In my perfect world, everything in my rack would be matte black or matte white and featureless.

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What format are you saving your audio as? Are you really that big of a fan of entropy that you despise standards? That's cool if you are.

 

I rip my stuff to APE or FLAC (depending on how I'm feeling that day). I also have a large collection of OGG & MPC files.

 

I'm not quite sure I understand the 2nd part of your quesion though. As far as hating standards go, I was refering to the fact that Apple will never officially allow iTunes to support other popular audio formats. APE, FLAC, OGG, MPC, among the countless others are simply ignored by Apple. Bummer.

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I'm a bit confused about this thing, the can be used in a hotel reference leads me to believe that it can somehow act as a router, is this the case?

 

If not, if I have multiple pc's can they all be used to control the audio features of this thing?

 

Lastly, if my pc is upstairs in the bedroom, and I'm sitting @ the stereo wanting to skip a song, I'm screwed right? I need to run upstairs and grab the pc?

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I'm a bit confused about this thing, the can be used in a hotel reference leads me to believe that it can somehow act as a router, is this the case?

 

Yep.

 

If not, if I have multiple pc's can they all be used to control the audio features of this thing?

 

Yes, using iTunes (and probably some third-party software someone will no-doubt come out with.

 

Lastly, if my pc is upstairs in the bedroom, and I'm sitting @ the stereo wanting to skip a song, I'm screwed right? I need to run upstairs and grab the pc?

 

Pretty much. You could do it via Bluetooth, potentially. Steve Jobbs was asked this same question this week at a conference regarding the announcement of this product, and he just smiled. I have a feeling the next-gen iPod will have some wireless capabilities.

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  • 2 months later...
Originally posted by FreakTornado@Aug 11 2004, 09:49 PM

The dude who cracked the DVD encryption system has now cracked Apple's key for Airport Express, which means (apparently) that Windows users (and apps other than iTunes) can now use it as well, to stream music, or as a wireless router, etc.

Now I'm interested. Hope this sparks interest in really busting these wide open. If I could use it with more formats on a pc I'd buy a couple.

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