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Apple Rolls Out AirPort Express, AirTunes

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the applicious dept.

Wireless Networking 795

das writes "Apple has introduced AirPort Express (specs), a palm-sized, portable 802.11g base station with 10/100 ethernet, USB printer sharing, and analog and optical audio output, for connection to a stereo system or powered speakers for streaming your music collection via 'AirTunes.' It supports multiple profiles for easy use at multiple locations It can plug directly into the wall as a "power brick", or use a longer power cord, similar to the newer PowerBook AC adapters. AirTunes requires iTunes 4.6, expected to be available soon."

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Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358379)


Let's see... the airtunes:

  • has no display or remote - need to go to the computer to change songs
  • has no web interface
  • only works with Apple's software
  • no support for competing formats like FLAC, WMA
  • no multi-room synchronization
  • no open source, plugins or thrid party extensions
  • no headphone output or proper audio connectors
I guess if you're REALLY on a budget then this is interesting, but Squeezebox [slimdevices.com] is a much better audio product IMHO. It's really nice to be able to control the music from the room where you're listening, and the UI is frankly much better than iTunes anyway (especially if you have a LOT of music). Plus you can just run it on any machine you want without being tied to Apple's software and formats.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (5, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358419)

APPLE makes this to work with APPLE products. There is no law that says they have to make it completely open and work with everything. It works on a PC(w/iTunes) as well from what I've read so what's the big deal.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358476)

there is none, except someone making it a big deal. It does exatly what it says it does, plays a playlist to your stereo without a line connection to it. Nothing more, Nothing less. For the money this is probably one of the better solutions out there.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (0, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358600)

I'm sorry, but how is this better then any of the 25$ wireless audio adaptors out there? Sure it can be used as an unsecured base station, but I dont count that as a feature.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (2, Interesting)

twbecker (315312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358458)

It is unfortunate that it only works with iTunes, but the target market is probably those who already make heavy use of the iTMS, in which case they're pretty much locked into Apple anyway. It's not perfect, but it is pretty cool.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358575)

Why users of iTMS? I've been using iTunes since the beginning, have 80 GBs of music, and have nver used iTMS.

And I am not locked in. I can use the app on Mac or PC... I can interact with the store contents on the Web using various tools to read the XML.

Why would Apple release a product to help Napster? Of course, it should work with their product. The same way third-parties try to support all options... Corporations try to support their products.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (2, Interesting)

Turismo86 (753224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358479)

This is the standard operating procedure for Apple, a device centered around your computer use, that works primarily with their own software so as to seamlessly integrate with your computer, and why support competing formats when Apple supports MP3 and AAC open audio standards instead of the Windows proprietary WMA. As for multi-room sync keep in mind that this is a first release and apple is sure to improve upon this model. Besides you can't beat that crisp white design and smooth curves, nothing looks better than an Apple product. I am headed down to the Apple store in Palo Alto to check it out but so far it looks like it gets the job done and does it well.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358509)

Calling MP3 and AAC open standards is like saying "Hookers are Free!"

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358609)


"Hookers are Free!"

Those are called "Sluts" :)

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (2, Funny)

computerme (655703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358493)

Itunes Remote $59:

http://www.keyspan.com/products/homepage-Remotes.s pml


>the UI is frankly much better than iTunes anyway (especially if >you have a LOT of music

Cough. To each his own I guess....

Oh right. Forgot. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358522)

Yes, iTMS just has the wunderfullest interface ever.

Just like apple stuff in general. If Apple did it, then by definition, its the right way to do it.

[rolling eyes]

Re:Oh right. Forgot. (1)

computerme (655703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358595)

Now you are on the Trolley...

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (2, Interesting)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358586)

Itunes Remote $59:

I found mine for $39 with very little effort. Makes a great all-around remote, I've not yet done any custom mapping and it works great for iTunes and MPlayer.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358625)

Actually, their website now shows the price at 49 bucks.

http://keyspan.com:16080/products/usb/remote/

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Informative)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358496)

I agree with you on most points, except for the fact that the Squeezebox has to re-encode things like AAC on the fly... not my preference. Also, it cannot handle protected AACs from the iTMS. Kinda important for those of us who shop there from time to time and don't want to re-encode those files. :)

Personally, I like the AirTunes idea, though the lack of a display or remote is big. For now, I'll stick with the iPod dock connected to my stereo. Not as slick as wireless, but gives me everything I want or need.

Perhaps (2, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358612)

"Kinda important for those of us who shop there from time to time and don't want to re-encode those files"

Perhaps it would be nifty if there was a program that would take files that you bought, you would supply your key, and then it would strip the DRM from the file so you could use your iTMS purchased tunes fairly?

Then you wouldn't be locked into an apple-only solution. Does that make sense?

This is perfect for it's target market (5, Interesting)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358507)

Your criticisms are almost unjustified because the two products serve different market segments.

My friends often listen to music on their iBooks while sitting on the couch, they currently have a long speaker cable from the audio out to their stereo system. They will buy this in a second.

I'll be grabbing one as a wireless printer server and WiFi extender.

Did anyone else not see this product coming? It completely caught me by surprise/

Re:This is perfect for it's target market (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358614)

This is perfect for it's target market

Its target market? Gays in sandals who use iMovie to make DVDs of their trip to Starbucks in their Volvo station wagons?

I don't think a product can succeed with such a small target market.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (1)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358525)

And the iPod is "lame". All of the negative feedback saying the iPod was missing too many features, it was too expensive, blah blah blah. Steve Jobs probably knows this market better than you do.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Informative)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358536)

the UI is frankly much better than iTunes anyway

Yeah.. that's where you lost me.

A couple of other points you made aren't quite true, i don't think... for instance, arguments like 'has no web interface' and 'only works with Apple software' and 'multi-room synchronization'... those are negated by the fact that it is meant to be used with an iTunes-loaded wireless computer, no?

Also, there are plug-ins for iTunes. And I would call an optical jack a 'proper audio connector' but maybe that's just me.

That's where he started making sense, actually. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358627)

Yeah.. that's where you lost me.

Most of his points were worthless, I grant you, but the thing about iTunes UI being suck? That's dead on accurate. It's quite possibly the worst interface I've ever seen or used.

Face facts. It's terrible. Just godawful. Deal with it.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Interesting)

dwbryson (104783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358552)

heh that's funny. My sister's boyfriend is the CEO of that company. She was yelling at me last night for having an ipod and not a squeeze box. I told her: "Whatever product meets one's needs for the right price is clearly the way to go." I suspect apple will eat this whole market up and away from squeezebox.
especially since it is $60 cheaper.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (4, Informative)

Espen (96293) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358556)

If your computer isn't too far away, just use your mobile as the remote and/or display. Bluetooth and Salinger Clicker [mac.com] or Romeo [irowan.com] will give you what is effectively a remote with a display.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (5, Informative)

lullabud (679893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358558)

You're leaving out all the other points that this devices has.
  • It's an 802.11g repeater
  • It's a NAT router
  • It's a network usb printer server
  • It's most likely the only AP that was designed for portability (correct me if I'm wrong)
So sure, if you're buying this thing strictly for music then yeah, you might be buying the wrong, or simply less expensive alternative to squeezebox. But if you want a portable AP/Router that has a nifty added feature of wireless audio support it's a hell of a product.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358599)

One thing I think your also forgetting is that the Airport Express also acts as a wireless base station. I'll probably pick this up because it's a small box that can easily be plugged into the wall and used to extend my wireless range. The fact that it can also share printers and play music makes it even better.

Re:Nifty for the price - but not a Squeezebox (5, Informative)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358619)

  • no headphone output or proper audio connectors
I am not sure what you mean by this. There is an 1/8th inch mini jack [akamai.net] right on the AirPort Express. And for an extra $39 you can get the AirPort Express Stereo Connection Kit with Monster Cables [apple.com] which includes, "a Monster mini-to-RCA left/right audio cable, a Monster mini-to-optical digital Toslink audio cable and an AirPort Express power extension cord." I am not sure what else you could ask for.

Sounds great (0)

Patik (584959) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358380)

Now I can listen to my MP3s on my stereo without having a 100 foot cable snaking around the room.

Re:Sounds great (1)

orbit0r (731107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358569)

Now I can listen to my MP3s on my stereo without having a 100 foot cable snaking around the room.

There's a solution for every problem.
Why don't you just use one of these? [smarthome.com]

This rocks! They will sell millions. (4, Informative)

fname (199759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358398)

It's $70 cheaper than the SliMP3. It can replace a base station for many users. Less than the Wireless-G bridge that Linksys sells. Digital outputs for hooking up a stereo! I just ordered mine, hopefully I'll get one of the first ones shipped. I'll probably tell my Mom and brother to get one too-- it's just too damn cool!

Re:This rocks! They will sell millions. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358414)


Considering all the serious drawbacks mentioned in the FP up there, methinks you seriously jumped the gun when you ordered. I hereby nominate you as the AirHead of this discussion.

Re:This rocks! They will sell millions. (4, Insightful)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358494)

Right, remember all the drawbacks to the "lame" iPod? Everyone said it was doomed from the start. Please.

Re:This rocks! They will sell millions. (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358512)

the FP is a tool, this isnt a audio device, its a WIRELESS device with audio capabilities....

Re:This rocks! They will sell millions. (5, Informative)

captainbonehead (512703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358437)

Actually, it's $150 less than the wireless Squeezebox.

Apple Personal Modem lives again! (4, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358402)

How history repeats - the apple personal modem 1200 [tarosworld.com] (other site [mac512.com] ) plugged into the wall also, and connected your computer to the outside world. Only this time, it's smaller, it's wireless, has audio out, and is 45,000 times faster.

my 1000th post!

Compatable with my powerstack? (0, Redundant)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358412)

I think so. [lostbrain.com]

tcd004

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358418)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Just a question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358422)

I eat pork.

Delicious, fat dripping pork.

How do you like that, appleheads? I bet half of you are vegans.

Re:Just a question (0, Offtopic)

greck (79578) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358613)

just fine, thanks!

in fact, apples + pork rules. applewood smoked bacon, anyone?

iPod with WiFi next? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358432)

This looks like a great product, and kudos to Apple for letting it work with PCs.

Next step: having an iPod with WiFi that streams music/video to this baby! That would be super cool, and such a fun party trick. No more cables.

Re:iPod with WiFi next? (1)

michaeljs (550788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358567)

An iPod with WiFi would be nice, assuming Apple can lift the iPod's paltry battery life. Presumably this is possible, given the new Creative Zen Touch which comes with 24 hours of battery juice (enough to longhaul flights from Sydney to London - yay!).

Cool! (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358435)

Just hope my neighbors get 'Airtunes' within a reasonable timeframe...they took forEVER to get a wireless router. Some people are so lazy...

Re:Cool! (5, Funny)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358485)

I hope they like your taste in music... ... at 3 AM

Slashdot Omelette (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358438)

What happened to the so called slashdot omelette today? There's been already 3 mac related stories!

Re:Slashdot Omelette (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358541)

What happened to the so called slashdot omelette today? There's been already 3 mac related stories!

It's an Apple Omlette. [recipelink.com]

Mmmmmmmm. Aaaaapples.

Dear Randy "Pudge" O'Day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358439)

Dear Father O'Day,

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

Re:Dear Randy "Pudge" O'Day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358580)


Dear Mr. Rodman,

As a practicing Catholic and a homosexual (which I'm good at, so I don't need the practice! LOL!) I must say that I'm a proud supporter of your products. However, I noticed that the official logo of the new hLife products is cock and anus-centric. Since I'm a Catholic homosexual of the lesbian variety, I must ask if I'm still welcome to use the hLife line? Don't turn your backs on your lesbian customers, guys! We live longer, we make more money, and *everybody* loves lesbians! (Well, except for the scary ones with mullets! I'm one of the cute girly ones and think that the butch chicks give us a bad name!) Please reconsider your logo, and if possible could you change the brand as well? Lesbians are sticklers for consistency, and I think that iHomo just sounds cuter anyway!

Thanks for your time!

Veronica Calais
Catholic Lesbian
(and proud owner of a cute, pink iPod mini!)

Wow what a POS (-1, Troll)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358441)

This is pathetic. $129 for this. Come on. For 250 you get a hard drive and an interface. All this does is get a signal from your computer. It doesn't even have a way to change the song remotely. Stupid! I expect MUCH better from Apple. This with a wireless remote that resembles an iPod would be awesome. But since there is no remote. It sucks.

Re:Wow what a POS (3, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358478)

Nonsense. This is a $130 base station. It has every feature that home users use from the AirPort Extreme base station for a lot less money. The audio features are pure gravy.

Re:Wow what a POS (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358519)

It's tempting to make a little bet with you over how large the sales of this thing will be.

Re:Wow what a POS (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358543)

Get a grip. This is a wireless access point what also has the feature of airtunes. It is also small and convenient. I think its a little expensive when compared with the Linksys WRT-54G's street price, but it looks like a nice little device. A lot cheaper than the regular UFO airport base station. The airtunes feature is not what it could be, but as an add on to a base station I think its a nice feature.

Re:Wow what a POS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358545)

And here, ladies and gentlemen, we have the classic "xxx product from Appl sucks! It doesn't even have yyy feature!" from a member of the Slashdot community. I have noticed a number of correlations of this type of comment to the actual real-world performance of a product.

1. The more "it sucks," the better it's guaranteed to be.
2. Even though "it sucks," geeks will soon be raving about it.

(cf. iPod, iPod mini.)

Re:Wow what a POS (1)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358546)

Dude, did you read what the AirPort Express is? It is an 802.11g base station! It is not a piece of music equipment. It just has an added feature in that regard.

Read next time, will ya?

Re:Wow what a POS (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358549)

You can change songs remotely if you have a wireless laptop.

Re:Wow what a POS (5, Insightful)

justMichael (606509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358570)

This is pathetic. $129 for this. Come on. For 250 you get a hard drive and an interface. All this does is get a signal from your computer. It doesn't even have a way to change the song remotely. Stupid! I expect MUCH better from Apple. This with a wireless remote that resembles an iPod would be awesome. But since there is no remote. It sucks.
You do realize that it is also a Wireless bridge and can act as a remote print server. The print server doesn't make sense to me, I don't want a printer by my stereo.

Look at it this way, you have an xbox/ps2 that you want to get online and have also been looking for an easy way to listen to your iTunes music on your stereo. For $129 you get a bridge that will allow you to get your console online and an audio out to pipe into your stereo.

I paid close to $100 for a POS NetGear bridge a while back and it's only a b not g device.

Sounds reasonable. I don't see myself getting one, but that doesn't mean I think it's a watse of money/time and Apple should be slapped for making it.

One Big LAME (2, Interesting)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358448)

It appears to me as though you can only share music to the Express from a machine that has the audio locally. But I'd want to control the music from a laptop in the living room, using music shared from my server in a closet, and then close the laptop. Seems like I can't do that, so it sounds like I won't be getting this.

Re:One Big LAME (1)

murr (214674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358502)

But I'd want to control the music from a laptop in the living room, using music shared from my server in a closet, and then close the laptop. Seems like I can't do that

You can control the server from your laptop using Apple Remote Access. Admittedly a somewhat roundabout route, but it should work.

Re:One Big LAME (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358532)

I have a laptop in the closet now, and use ARD (not ARA :-) to control it now. This would not be an improvement. :-)

Re:One Big LAME (1)

gphinch (722686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358504)

iTunes lets you connect to other iTunes libraries on the same network, you could probably figure something out this way.

Re:One Big LAME (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358578)

Unless it is built-in, there'd be no GOOD way to handle it, except writing an app that would be able to talk to the server iTunes, using daap perhaps to get the library, and Apple events to tell it to talk to the Express box ... assuming you can do this with Apple events, which, given Apple's record, is a pretty big IF.

But even then, it wouldn't be exceptionally efficient, and it would be difficult to overcome the security problems (since the client must have "Program Linking" access).

Re:One Big LAME (3, Insightful)

ectomort (548736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358527)

You can do that, so long as the machine in the closet is running iTunes and sharing it's local music library. That's the beauty of this device... 802.11g, Rendezvous (ZeroConf), and the iTunes protocol are integrated in it.

Re:One Big LAME (2, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358534)

It will be interesting to see though if someone can come up with a web interface that will allow you to change it from the living room laptop(or maybe even a little embedded device). There is an API for iTunes through apples developer program(you can get the docs for free). I haven't looked through the API, but there has to be a way to browse/change the current track(ie run Apache on the server and have it accept commands, and make calls to the iTunes API). Might make an interesting FOSS project.

Re:One Big LAME (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358616)

Yes, I had pondered writing some fairly simple perl + Mac::Glue code to handle this, maybe extend Apache::MP3 (which I already have running). But I won't invest $130 in the experiment, and I don't have time to work on it anyway.

Re:One Big LAME (1)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358537)

VNC, dude... VNC.

I'll help you set it up next week if you like. ;-P

Re:One Big LAME (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358602)

VNC for this SUCKS. GO AWAY. Also note the security problems if I want other people to be able to access it. Yeah, let's give access to my server to anyone who wants it! FLM.

Re:One Big LAME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358621)

Yep, VNC solves your problem. Looks like you will be getting it now!

Re:One Big LAME (5, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358555)

No problem. iTunes is fully scriptable via AppleScript on Mac OS X and I believe now via COM on Windows. I bet you can find software to control it as needed, if not, you will shortly.

Also the updated iTunes hasn't been fully release yet so who knows but it may provide such capabilities between iTunes applications directly.

Now you just need a wireless (11b/g) remote that can connect to iTunes, etc. :-)

Re:One Big LAME (1)

marksven (137944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358593)

I know what I'm going to do -- write a simple web-based interface to display the current song, and have a button to skip to the next song using the perl module Mac::iTunes::AppleScript [cpan.org] .

That way, I can have all the songs served off of the G5 in my bedroom, but control the music from my laptop next to the stereo.

Re:One Big LAME (2, Funny)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358603)

Is the word "lame" now a noun? I need to get out more so I can hear how all the hip young kids are speaking these days. All this newfangled speech is just hard for my old ears to adjust to.

Or maybe it's short for "Lying Apple Makes Excuses".

Re:One Big LAME (3, Interesting)

thefinite (563510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358624)

Well, I am wasting some mod points I spent here, but it's worth it just to tell you to use your imagination. I mean, why the heck can't you control your server from your laptop? There are several ways [apple.com] for doing [redstonesoftware.com] this, no matter your platform [microsoft.com] .

Forgive me for being rude, but the LAME thing here is your quickness at dismissing it. It is a pretty cool product for the price.

apple innovates again (4, Interesting)

babazoid (767123) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358456)

this product is going to sell like crazy. 99% of consumers don't care about the fact that you have to use apple software, or that it is closed-source, or that it has no web interface. haven't you read the articles about wireless recently? most people don't even realize that there is a web-interface in their routers!

notice as well.. the thing has OPTICAL out capabilities. i see 5.1 surround coming from itunes soon.

sigh (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358457)

I don't need it, I can't afford it...but it's just so cool. Sigh. Apple really got their foot in the door when I got this PowerBook.

Where is my credit card?

Re:sigh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358611)

There's a trial version here [nero-online.org] .

Questions (4, Interesting)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358466)

It is not clear from the information provided -- will it be able to stream to multiple locations at once? Will it be able to keep those locations in sync on the same source of music, as well as allow you to stream different playlists to different sources?

It looks like you can also use this in a wired fashion, where you connect this device to your wired network, and it will do the audio out as well. For me this would be more handy, because I already have ethernet wire to my stereo, but need a good way to get audio out of that... Is this actually how it will work?

One thing this is missing is a way to control iTunes remotely. I still think slimp3 is on the right track. A server with a web interface that lets you control what music you're playing where. I might want my PC in my office in charge of storing and dishing out the music, but have a webpad or something floating around my house to let people control what is playing where.

Re:Questions (1)

IAmATuringMachine! (62994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358606)

One thing this is missing is a way to control iTunes remotely.
A Laptop. If you're going to go to all the trouble to access a web interface yadda yadda, just use your laptop with iTunes to be the one streaming to the AirPort Express.

Sounds good to me (4, Interesting)

miked378 (703173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358483)

I think the way to think of this is that it's a Wireless-G router with no LAN-side ethernet ports, but instead has an audio-out connector. Bottom line -- maybe it's not a Squeezebox, but the fact that it costs less than routers with similar feature sets, AND will work really well for those of us who have already bought into the Mac platform, makes it a potential huge winner.

Good niche (-1, Flamebait)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358484)

With this thing, hooking up your PC to your stereo system is no longer a chore. Up till now I've been toying with the idea of building a small via Epia box that would plug into my stereo and take music from my network share. Nuts to that, I'll just buy one of these things! It's too bad it has to use iTunes though...Hey Apple! how about making a media player that doesn't take forever to load, and can handle more file formats than...2! I have 300CDs that I archived to mpc format, and winamp/xmms handles them just fine. Confining the player to just mp3 and aac is pathetic. You can do better.

Re:Good niche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358539)

Re:Good niche (2, Informative)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358604)

MP3 and VBR MP3 are 1 format. AAC is the second. WAV doesn't even count. Apple lossless I've never heard of, AIFF I don't use, and I've never heard of Audible.

Most people I know who do real mixing and amateur party DJ'ing use Exact Audio Copy and either FLAC, ogg, or MPC. Cause MP3 sucks. AAC is slightly better but there are too many competing versions, and ITunes can't handle all of them (iTunes was fine for me playing music IT ripped, but not AAC stuff that Nero made for me...) MPC sounds the best overall and has good compression, and FLAC is needed when compression is NOT an option.

Re:Good niche (3, Funny)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358540)

dude, you're getting a squeezebox

Re:Good niche (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358584)

um... its not just confined to MP3 and ACC...

current supported codex

AIFF Apple Losseless ACC MP3 WAV

nope thats 5 there.

Likewise ACC has been found to be the best, with quite a number of studies by independant sources. Plus you could easily give iTunes Vorbis support if your using a mac.

Of course ripping your CD collection over to a codex no one uses was your fault, not Apples

woohoo! (1)

brandona788 (307504) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358492)

Now I have something else to look forward to when I get my PowerBook.

Now my question is is why do people slam Apple for creating products that only work with their products? No one slams Microsoft for creating software that only works with their products. Why is this?

Re:woohoo! (2, Funny)

First Person (51018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358588)

Now my question is is why do people slam Apple for creating products that only work with their products? No one slams Microsoft for creating software that only works with their products. Why is this?

Because Apple hasn't been declared an illegal monopoly which has abused its market position on several occasions in both the US and Europe.

Re:woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358594)

Now my question is is why do people slam Apple for creating products that only work with their products? No one slams Microsoft for creating software that only works with their products.

You must be new here.

awesomely bitchin! (5, Funny)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358505)

This'll be badass with my shreddin air guitar!!

Place your bets... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358508)

Anyone care to speculate whether or not the upcoming iTunes 4.6 mentioned in the article (and at the bottom of the of the Airtunes [apple.com] blurb) will break hymn [hymn-project.org] (nee PlayFair), like they did with the last update?

-HJ

Re:Place your bets... (1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358620)

As an Apple developer, I've been using iTunes 4.6 for weeks. It breaks hymn, so my fair use rights have been violated.

I strongly recommend that all my followers boycott iTunes 4.6 until hymn is properly updated.

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Legal

Doesn't look like you can sync multiple devices (2, Interesting)

Captain Kangaroo (445932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358518)

One of the great features of the Squeezebox [slimdevices.com] (and the recently announced Sonos [sonos.com] ) is that you can sync multiple devices together and have the same audio playing around the house, regardless of location. There are other ways to do this, of course, but it'd be great to be able to do the same with the Airport Express.

It's More Than Music (2, Interesting)

TexTex (323298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358526)

AirTunes is the software driving this thing...but Apple's real device here is AirPort Express. It's a very portable base station, which can create a wireless network for connecting to a WAN through your cable/dsl modem...or extend the range of another base Apple base station.

So, yeah...compared to the full features of a Squeezebox for music, it's lacking. And compared to the price of a Linksys or other 802.11 router...a little more expensive.

I'll take wireless access to my stereo from my G5...which I already drive around via Bluetooth from my phone when I'm too lazy to move off the couch. Who needs a remote??

Call Me Amish, But... (5, Funny)

bfg9000 (726447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358530)

... there comes a point where all this convenience is deadly to fat guys like me. I'll just stick with putting a CD in my stereo, thanks. North America has so much convenience we're all dropping dead. I even have a remote control to turn on my Exercycle from the couch, so my wife thinks I'm excercising when I'm actually watching Smallville reruns.

Audio Specs (1, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358531)

Am I the only one that is missing audio specs from this? Simple things like signal to noise on the analog audio out would be nice same for things like how many channels I'm assuming a sterio pair but can it do 5.1 6.1 or 7.1 on the optical out? It seems ot only be able to repeat the wifi but claims bridging might this be the nearly perfect tv room accessory? I could see a sterio connection with a wired ethernet bridge for the console/tivo and a wifi repeater for better signal strength.

I cut my teeth on apple back whe a Mac 128 was current. They seemed to have been moving father and farther from being tied to any specs in the last 10 years.

Apple listens to customers... (5, Insightful)

shrapnull (780217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358547)

People that use iTunes and iPods have long requested a simple way to stream music to stereos no matter where they are.

Those tiny white earbuds become tiny white pains in the ass if used for any period of time, and I like to hear the phone ring while I'm working.

You can bet your tail this device is only the beginning and can probably offer hints to the next iPod revision: wireless and remote-control modes.

Apple finally has a respectful user-base and they'll do anything they can to keep it for as long as possible.

This thing will sell like hotcakes (3, Insightful)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358554)

Really. Until now, the offerings on remote stereo hookups were fe and far between. I just set one of my clients up with one. It was cheap. It worked. But it sure can't act as a bridge. This is going to save a lot of people a lot of money. Previously, you had to buy another Airport Extreme for $100+ to create a bridge. Now, only $30 and you get the benefit sharing your printer and iTunes wherever the hell you want. Brillant! (To borrow the word fromthe new Guiness commercials)

what about non-iTunes? (1)

rm_monterey (671976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358568)

I often listen to internet radio, Real audio clips, etc.

Would be nice if I could play ANY audio over this device rather than just iTunes. Apple could accomplish this by allowing it's sound system to playback on the Airport Express device. I don't know how Windows could support it.

Nice, but how can this help me? (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358573)

This looks beneficial for people who have their iTunes library on a desktop and don't want to buy an iPod. But at the price, they'd pay precious little more for a more powerful device if they got an iPod.

Laptop owners like myself, who can connect to a home stereo without difficulty, don't need it. We already own mobile jukeboxes. :-)

Almost perfect (1, Interesting)

sjonke (457707) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358574)

While nifty, unless I'm misreading the information at the site, this thing can not be used to make an ethernet printer wireless, only USB printers. Or can it? It has a WAN port but not a LAN port. That means no ethernet printer connection, right? Heck, if adding a LAN port would make it too big, I'd say toss the WAN port and switch it for LAN. I don't see using this thing as an access point, but would buy at least two if it had a LAN port (one for stereo, one for printer.)

Neat, but not enough for me. (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358592)

It's cool, I'll give it that. And if I wanted to be able to send music from my computer to the stereo using iTunes, then it'd be neater. But really, I want to be able to send music from my computer to my stereo while sitting in front of the stereo. My living room system is three rooms away. Why I'd want to sit in the computer room and play music in some other room is beyond me...

If the thing hooked to a TV and displayed a list of songs and then could select and play those songs, then I'd think it was more useful as an audio device in my stack of audio devices.

A wireless AP that plugs directly into the wall is quite cool in and of itself, however.

Unplugged unplugged unplugged (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9358601)

and then this thing has what? Two cords and plugs? I don't quite get this one. But I don't get Apple and I never have.
Personally, I have cat5e ethernet everywhere and my stereo is split around the room on 900mhz coax. I can access hundreds of Gigs of Mp3 from anywhere in the house. I'm sure my system is far superior to this goofy setup and probably cost less.

Like a garbage truck dropped off the Empire State (0, Troll)

sparkywonderchicken (759502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358622)

Yeah, now I can use my 15,000 stereo to listen to crapily encoded digital music files and REALLY notice how bad they are.

Oh No! (0, Offtopic)

Looks Like Their Web (786238) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358626)

Looks like their web server is running off of an AirPort Express!!

travel (1)

clmensch (92222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9358630)

The think I really like about this is the travel bast station aspect. Great for hotels!
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