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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > AirPort Express Audio Problems [Official Thread]

AirPort Express Audio Problems [Official Thread]
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tooki
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Jul 20, 2004, 02:52 AM
 
Use this thread for AirPort Express audio issues.

tooki
     
macgyvr64
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Jul 20, 2004, 02:09 PM
 
I'm not sure that this is the right thread for this since there are a bunch of AirPort Express threads, but...

Does the AirPort Express only play audio if it is coming from a wireless source? Here's the setup... I have a desktop machine running to a wired router, which is connected to a basic wireless access point. I have my AirPort Express connected to the wired router, but iTunes on my desktop doesn't show the AirTunes menu. Also, my PowerBook (via the WAP connected to the wired router) won't show it either unless I actually CONNECT to the Express. Apparently I have to be connected or run through the Express for it to stream audio. It doesn't appear to just stream music if it's acting as a base...maybe I'll try one of the other modes... Any suggestions?

Update: When the AirPort Express is configured to join my existing wireless network, both of my machines can see the Express, but only my wirelessly connected PowerBook can actually stream to it. My desktop, when choosing the Express, just sits spinning its indeterminate progress bar then times out "An unknown error occurred while connecting to the remote speaker 'AirPort Express' (-3253)". Maybe I just have too much network crap and it's having trouble routing through all my devices, lol. It shouldn't really matter, though...my PowerBook can connect to it just fine, and that's going through one more piece of hardware (my main access point). My desktop is simply wired, yet can't talk to the Express.

Update 2: iTunes beachballed, and I force quit it. Upon re-running it, it works with the Express just fine. Hmmh... It's just one of those things.
( Last edited by macgyvr64; Jul 20, 2004 at 02:27 PM. )
     
beangear
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Jul 22, 2004, 11:15 AM
 
If I go to my friend's house and take a PB and the Airport Express would I be able to hook up his stereo and listen to my itunes without being hooked up online? New to networking, so that's my biggest question. Does the AE automatically detect the mac. and stream from there?
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[APi]TheMan
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Jul 22, 2004, 12:13 PM
 
Originally posted by beangear:
If I go to my friend's house and take a PB and the Airport Express would I be able to hook up his stereo and listen to my itunes without being hooked up online? New to networking, so that's my biggest question. Does the AE automatically detect the mac. and stream from there?
You don't need an internet connection to stream wirelessly to your Airport Express. All you need is the connection between you and the Airport Express.
"In Nomine Patris, Et Fili, Et Spiritus Sancti"

     
macgyvr64
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Jul 22, 2004, 12:23 PM
 
Note that you'll probably want to configure it to Create a Wireless Network before you go, else you might not be able to connect to it once you get there...and you'd have to use the paperclip reset button.

Unless I'm wrong about that...is there another way?
     
[APi]TheMan
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Jul 23, 2004, 08:08 PM
 
Anyone else get horrible signal from their Airport Express when it's sitting in the same spot as prior routers which worked twice as well?
"In Nomine Patris, Et Fili, Et Spiritus Sancti"

     
shale
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Jul 23, 2004, 09:00 PM
 
Just installed my APE, and connected it to my existing network (Original airport 11b) to stream music to the living room. It's up and running, but continually drops playback for a few seconds, and then resumes. When I switch over to my computer (PBG4500w/original airport card) externalspeakers, playback is fine...

I can't believe, especially after all that I had read, that th8is is happening, and that I just blew $140 on something that continuously interrupts playback...

Any help gang is desperately appreciated...
Scott
     
rockhaus
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Jul 23, 2004, 10:26 PM
 
My Airport Express works great. Audio quality is amazing.

Disappointed it broke VolumeLogic from www.octiv.com and all products from www.rogueamoeba.com, such as Detour and AudioHijack. These work when computer speaker/headphone jack is selected in iTunes, but not when Airport Express is selected.

So there's only two ways to control volume - the iTunes slider and the stereo itself.

Hopefully these will be worked out over time - in addition to piping audio from other apps to Airport Express.

PBG4667 Titanium, original internal Airport card 80211b acting as base station, AE in client mode, works simultaneously with Ricochet wireless ISP (PC card modem).
     
[APi]TheMan
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Jul 24, 2004, 01:35 AM
 
Originally posted by shale:
Just installed my APE, and connected it to my existing network (Original airport 11b) to stream music to the living room. It's up and running, but continually drops playback for a few seconds, and then resumes. When I switch over to my computer (PBG4500w/original airport card) externalspeakers, playback is fine...
Yeah, mine does it too. Weird. I'll have to play with the position of the router over the next few days.
"In Nomine Patris, Et Fili, Et Spiritus Sancti"

     
shale
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Jul 24, 2004, 03:07 PM
 
Do you think it is just a position problem? I'm getting ready to take it to a different house/computer/network to see if it's just my stuff or something else...

Please post back what you discover...

Thanks for anyinsight,
Scott
     
romanesq
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Jul 24, 2004, 11:05 PM
 
I've experienced this as well after the third day and checked everything. What it appears to be is that there are a couple of factors that can possibly create this problem.

First, if your net connection is not operating at normal connectivity, I think that somehow there can be dropouts. I have two AXPs and noticed on a fluctuating limewire connectivity notation on the lower left was dropping lower and this dropout happened.

The other one is interference with devices in your vicinity. I can't rule out the possibility on my end but heard that 2.2 cordless phones were causing problems.

Good luck.
Well, aye hearrrrr you
     
macgyvr64
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Jul 25, 2004, 01:01 AM
 
Originally posted by romanesq:
I've experienced this as well after the third day and checked everything. What it appears to be is that there are a couple of factors that can possibly create this problem.
...
The other one is interference with devices in your vicinity. I can't rule out the possibility on my end but heard that 2.2 cordless phones were causing problems.
Try enabling Interference Robustness in the Express config. Also, change the channel of the device (if it's possible..?)
     
awaspaas
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Jul 30, 2004, 12:49 PM
 
I'm not sure if this should be an audio problem or a printing problem, but whenever I have my printer hooked up to AX, I hear a low-frequency hum through my stereo. I unplug the printer's USB connection, the hum goes away. They're all connected into the same power strip so I don't see how it could be a ground potential issue. Any ideas?
     
Parky
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Jul 30, 2004, 01:33 PM
 
My APE is working great for both Internet and iTunes

Ian
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OAW
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Jul 30, 2004, 05:31 PM
 
Purchased a new Airport Express yesterday from the local Apple Store. I have a cable modem that is plugged into an existing Airport Base Station (802.11b), and that base station is hard-wired into my 15 inch iMac. I have a 15 inch PB with the built-in Airport Extreme card. My stereo is upstairs in the living room, and since I only wanted to use the Airport Express to stream audio I figured setup would be a breeze. Unfortunately that was not the case. I plugged the Airport Express into an outlet and ran the optical audio to my stereo receiver in a couple of minutes. No problems there. I then installed the new Airport 4.0 software. Again, no problems there. The problems started when trying to configure the Airport Express. When I plugged the unit in, the light would start off green for a few seconds, then it would turn yellow (which according to the manual meant that it was out of the range of the base station), and then after a few minutes it would flash yellow (which had no explanation at all in the manual). I couldn't understand why it would be "out of range" when my PB sitting right next to it could get a signal just fine. I then tried to configure it to "Join an Existing Network" using the Airport Express Assistant. I went through the screens easily enough, but when it was all said and done the unit still kept flashing yellow and I couldn't even access the internet on my PB or my iMac. Eventually after a couple of hours messing with the thing, I eventually configured the Airport Express with the Airport Admin Utility instead. When I did that and set it up to "Join an existing network", the light on the Airport Express suddenly turned green and I was in business. At that point I was able to stream from either my PB or my iMac. Additionally, I could access my iMac's music (which is where 99% of my music is stored) from the PB via Rendezvous, and then stream that to the stereo via the Airport Express. I could also access the internet from either machine. I was even able to use Salling Clicker as a remote to control iTunes on the PB. The only problem with that was that browsing by Artist on my cell phone didn't always display all the artists in my local PB iTunes library, though I could get to the tracks if I used the Find feature.

All in all it was a lot more difficult to get it up and running than I expected, but once I did it worked great. Sound quality was excellent too. Even though I told the Airport Express Setup Assistant to configure it to "Join and existing network", I think it actually set it up as a base station. I say that because when I finally tried the Airport Admin utility I saw that they both had an IP address of 10.0.0.1. I think the light was flashing yellow because the two base stations were conflicting with each other or something. Once I used the Airport Admin Utility to reconfigure the Airport Express, the IP address changed to 10.0.1.4 and everything was good to go.

The moral of the story is to use the Airport Admin Utility to configure the Airport Express if you run into similar issues.

OAW
     
Parky
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Jul 30, 2004, 05:43 PM
 
If you look here it tells you the meaning of the lights :-

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108045

Flashing amber
Startup is complete, but AirPort Express didn't get an IP connection. Depending on your setup, it may mean AirPort Express is out of network range, unplugged from Ethernet, lacks a path to the Internet (or local router), or that there's an issue with your Internet service provider.

Note: If AirPort Express is set up as a wireless client and the network it's joining is protected by an access control list, AirPort Express must be in the ACL to get an IP connection.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this state you can still use the device to stream music to from a Mac or PC.
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OAW
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Jul 30, 2004, 06:04 PM
 
Originally posted by Parky:
If you look here it tells you the meaning of the lights :-

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108045

Flashing amber
Startup is complete, but AirPort Express didn't get an IP connection. Depending on your setup, it may mean AirPort Express is out of network range, unplugged from Ethernet, lacks a path to the Internet (or local router), or that there's an issue with your Internet service provider.

Note: If AirPort Express is set up as a wireless client and the network it's joining is protected by an access control list, AirPort Express must be in the ACL to get an IP connection.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this state you can still use the device to stream music to from a Mac or PC.
Thanks for the info! Would have been nice if all that was included in the manual!

OAW
     
sworthy
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Aug 3, 2004, 12:29 AM
 
I seem to be having difficulties connecting to my AE (via iTunes) after waking from sleep with my powerbook in 10.3.4. Anyone else not able to connect?

My workaround is to reset it via AE utility - it works perfectly afterwards.
     
mortendreier
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Aug 4, 2004, 03:31 AM
 
My audio is breaking up.
My setup is this: Two base stations: one dual ethernet("snow") non-extreme Airport and one Billion with a built in switch. The Express is situated about 10 meters away from the basestations.
I want to use the Express to get audio to my stereo. When tell the Express to join the net of the old airport, I get connected, but the audio keeps breaking up.
When I tell the Express to connect to the Billion, it can't get connected. My iBook connects to both base stations and works well with both.
I'll try to sort out the Airport issues first - I'll try changing channels and fiddle along with the placement of the basestation.
What confused me for a while, was that there is a bug in the Aiport Admin Utility that lets med set wds for the Snow Airport. This Airport does not support wds, so naturally it wouldn't store my settings. The Ariport Management Utility displays everything right, and brought me back on the "join existing network"-trail. :-)
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desertmac
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Aug 5, 2004, 12:53 AM
 
I hooked up APE to my stereo using a mini-jack to RCA cable. Sound quality was horrible. Lots of static and sound distortion (though no dropped signal). Have not yet tried the optic cable option. Wonder if anyone else can speak to problems you are having with sound distortion. For those of you getting great sound quality, what connecting cables are you using?

I love this little thing . . . just want some great tunes coming through it . . .

Thanks for your help . . .
     
Parky
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Aug 5, 2004, 02:51 AM
 
I use the same cable as you, Mini - RCA, no problems with the sound here.

Is the cable OK, have you used it before?

Ian
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finknottle
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Aug 5, 2004, 07:45 AM
 
Why doed the audio get dropped (go silent) for a few seconds and then resume?....or indeed sometimes not resume at all. Is there an way to fix that? My APE is connected via an optical cable to my home theatre. It is annoying!!
     
desertmac
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Aug 5, 2004, 09:49 AM
 
Originally posted by Parky:
I use the same cable as you, Mini - RCA, no problems with the sound here.

Is the cable OK, have you used it before?
Yes. I have used the cable to connect my iPod directly to the stereo, and no problems there.
     
aabbas
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Aug 9, 2004, 12:03 PM
 
Originally posted by [APi]TheMan:
Yeah, mine does it too. Weird. I'll have to play with the position of the router over the next few days.
Yeah, I get drop-out too, sometimes even when I put my Powerbook right next to the Express. Really annoying.
     
Powaqqatsi
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Aug 10, 2004, 07:54 AM
 
EDIT: never mind
     
macgyvr64
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Aug 10, 2004, 07:57 AM
 
Audio shouldn't choke anything...it uses around 130KB/sec while streaming from my G4 desktop to PowerBook and again to my AirPort Express.
     
Powaqqatsi
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Aug 10, 2004, 07:58 AM
 
Originally posted by macgyvr64:
Audio shouldn't choke anything...it uses around 130KB/sec while streaming from my G4 desktop to PowerBook and again to my AirPort Express.
I found the answer in another thread. Thanks anyway
     
fisherKing
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Aug 10, 2004, 06:00 PM
 
i disconnected my aE and now...can't get audio back.
have reinstalled itunes, resetup my aE...see the printer, the internet, but...
no window in itunes offering streaming to my aE.

what am i missing?

any ideas would be greatly appreciated (as it is way too quiet here now... )


edit: went to print, and the network window reappeared in itunes!
if all problems would only fix themselves...

( Last edited by fisherKing; Aug 10, 2004 at 06:06 PM. )
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fisherKing
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Aug 10, 2004, 09:09 PM
 
here's what happens to me:
occasionally, i lose my network, have to reconnect.
when i do, i see my network in italics in the itunes window; when i click there i only see "computer"...and can't reconnect itunes to my aE. if i close & reopen itunes, the network window is gone.
try to print, no go...then, 6-8 minutes later, i am back in (itunes&print). !!!


anyone else/
any ideas??



thanx


edit:fwiw, this wasnt happening in 10.3.4 (just went to 10.3.5)...hmmm....
( Last edited by fisherKing; Aug 10, 2004 at 09:24 PM. )
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
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macgyvr64
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Aug 11, 2004, 03:06 PM
 
How good is the signal between you and your Express? It might just be dropping if you're on the very edge of the range.
     
fisherKing
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Aug 11, 2004, 04:22 PM
 
Originally posted by macgyvr64:
How good is the signal between you and your Express? It might just be dropping if you're on the very edge of the range.

5 bars, and occasionally, 4.
so far today, not a drop in the signal, no problems with airtunes or printing.

i am never gonna restart...!
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
fisherKing
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Aug 11, 2004, 05:55 PM
 
6pm est...
network vanishes, i have to re-select it in the airport menu.
no airtunes!
grrr....
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
macgyvr64
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Aug 11, 2004, 05:56 PM
 
Do you have Interference Robustness on? Try toggling it either way. Sometimes that makes a difference for me.
     
fisherKing
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Aug 11, 2004, 07:38 PM
 
Originally posted by macgyvr64:
Do you have Interference Robustness on? Try toggling it either way. Sometimes that makes a difference for me.
trying that now...
otherwise i have to restart at least once a day (when my network disappears)

spoke to apple & let them know: 10.3.5 & aE....


thanx


edit: 3 minutes after turning on interference robustness, my network vanished.
another restart!!!! aaaargh!
( Last edited by fisherKing; Aug 11, 2004 at 07:46 PM. )
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
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dawid
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Aug 13, 2004, 01:11 AM
 
Originally posted by shale:
Do you think it is just a position problem? I'm getting ready to take it to a different house/computer/network to see if it's just my stuff or something else...

Please post back what you discover...

Thanks for anyinsight,
Scott
Hi, I had the same problem when connecting the Express Base Station to my old wireless network (802.11b) (set up WDS I believe), and streaming from the old airport card (802.11b). there's just not enough bandwidth to handle the sound I think.

but when I connected the Express Base Station to my friend's 802.11g network and streamed music from my old airport card (802.11b) it worked fine.

Dawid
     
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Aug 17, 2004, 08:26 AM
 
Never mind, wrong sticky thread.

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jessejlt
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Aug 19, 2004, 07:32 PM
 
Can't seem to get sound out of my left satellite. Any ideas?
     
macgyvr64
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Aug 19, 2004, 07:38 PM
 
Originally posted by jessejlt:
Can't seem to get sound out of my left satellite. Any ideas?
1) Jiggle the wires a little (the 1/8" connector can sometimes be not-so-good and have a bad connection inside the jack)

2) Are you using mono MP3's?

3) Re-run iTunes and/or reboot the Express

Just a few ideas to try..
     
jessejlt
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Aug 19, 2004, 08:42 PM
 
Originally posted by macgyvr64:
1) Jiggle the wires a little (the 1/8" connector can sometimes be not-so-good and have a bad connection inside the jack)

2) Are you using mono MP3's?

3) Re-run iTunes and/or reboot the Express

Just a few ideas to try..
For some reason jiggling the wire that connects to my AE fixed it. Wonder if that's a problem with the plug or my AE unit. Oh well, problem "fixed", thanks.
     
supernature
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Aug 25, 2004, 02:48 AM
 
From my own dropout experience, it had to do with the way my old WIFI ibook was communicating with my non-Apple g router. There were no skips after I set my router to a fixed transmission rate. And apparently there were no skips after I update my firmware on the router and set it back up as automatic transmission rate (so my g PC would still get the benefits of the faster WIFI)
     
Timo
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Oct 10, 2004, 12:31 AM
 
Is anyone still looking at this thread? I've got a few questions.

1. I see that other people have solved the drop out issue with information from elsewhere. Any place where these troubleshooting strategies are collected?

2. [audiophile supergeek question] For my TV I have been looking for a cheap outboard DAC because my video processor (which sits inbetween my sources and my TV) does not output analog audio (or, because my TV does not have a digital input..I guess folks in my position usually also shell out for a A/V reciever). This has been bumming me out because I don't want to spend a fortune on a DAC, nor do I want a new A/V reciever; I just want to watch the news w/o having to turn on the stereo set up.

BUT it looks like a cheap DAC that isn't DYI or ebay doesn't exist, so I got to thinking, could I find a DAC that
inputs digital coax
inputs toslink using a mini-toslink to toslink adapter plugged into my APEx
outputs RCA analog X2: one set to my stereo receiver, and one set to my TV
and maybe outputs two digital to analog conversions simultaneously (OK I'm reachin')
My question to the audio/Apple gurus is, do you think an outboard DAC would improve the quality of whatever DAC is built in to the APEx? Does anyone know the APEx DAC's specs?

FWIW I'm looking at ordering from Malaysia an Octave Electronics DAE-2, primarily because perhaps the extra RCA jack could (probably) be configured for output:
http://www.octave-electronics.com/Products/dae.shtml
     
audvidsvs
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Oct 10, 2004, 09:04 PM
 
Timo
Have you looked on Audiogon for an inexpensive DAC? I have seen decent older units under $100.00 a lot.

There are usually some cheap ones on Ebay, I assume you do not want to go there?

Also you can get A/V Recievers with digital i/o under $200.00 these days ,maybe even half that.

I would think that even an older audiophile unit will be better than the Apex built-in DAC but you never know until you try(unfortunatley).
I like the Sonic Frontier units for the price.
Another you might try are the Audio Alchemy "Dac in the box" they were cheap when new but still have decent upgrade potential over most DVD players.

Good Luck
Ed
     
Squidgy
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Oct 18, 2004, 12:53 PM
 
[I cross-posted this under iMac/eMac also]

The question: Can I set my computer (iMac G5 20" with BT, Airport) to use an Airport Express (AE) base station as an "audio out" device (i.e. for all sound output), or is the AE's audio capability limited solely to iTunes?

The (overly verbose) scenario: I currently have my computer's monitor output connected (using the $20 video adapter) to my TV via s-video cable into my home theater receiver (HTR). The AE's audio out is also connected to the HTR via optical cable. This by itself is pretty cool since it lets me control iTunes from my couch with the BT keyboard/mouse (with the display mirrored on the TV - I won't mention anything about screen spanning ), and play MP3s through my surround sound system (which sounds excellent, BTW, through the optical connection). But I noticed that when I wanted to view an iPhoto slideshow on the TV, the soundtrack played through the dinky computer speakers and not through the HTR. I suppose this is because I don't have the computer's audio out directly connected to the HTR. I haven't yet tried playing a DVD, since I have a standalone DVD player, but I assume the same problem will apply. I am hoping to avoid running another optical cable out of the computer for a couple of reasons - trying to minimize cables coming out of the back of the computer and not having an extra unused AV input on my HTR. I wonder if there is any way to hack the AE to allow me to select it as a sound output source, or if there is a plan to enable this functionality via a future firmware upgrade. Thanks!
- Ken A.
     
Parky
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Oct 18, 2004, 01:01 PM
 
You can only stream iTunes to the Airport Express.

It would be nice if you could send other sound to Airport Express, but as it uses AirTunes to do the transfer and iTunes is the only AirTunes aware software at the moment you are limited.

I suspect it might change in the future, I would hope they might enable DVD Player to do the same thing, but it all depends in the ability to compress the music on the fly into Apple Lossless Encoding and what the music owners think.

Ian
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chrisx
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Oct 23, 2004, 03:23 AM
 
Can anyone recommend some cable brands? I'm not really interested in getting the pack of cables from Apple because I don't need all those. I'm looking for a mini to optical cable (not RCA), but can't seem to find any. I went to Radioshack today and the guy said that they don't exist. So I'm not sure what to do. If anyone can help with a brand name or where to get them, please let me know. Thanks.
     
Blue Flame
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Nov 16, 2004, 02:10 PM
 
every time i try to set up my AE, it tells me that my speakers are not compatible with this version of iTunes. this makes no sense to me. anyone else had this problem?
     
legacyb4
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Nov 16, 2004, 04:03 PM
 
Anyone try out the firmware update yet?

Currently, I've noticed that after extended periods of time, the Airport Express will drop off the network and require a restart to bring it back online.

I'm running it in client mode using WPA encryption with a Linksys 54G as the main router.

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Cadaver
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Nov 16, 2004, 10:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Blue Flame:
every time i try to set up my AE, it tells me that my speakers are not compatible with this version of iTunes. this makes no sense to me. anyone else had this problem?
And what version of iTunes are you using?
     
Blue Flame
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Nov 17, 2004, 12:00 AM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
And what version of iTunes are you using?
sorry, i should have given more details.

Basically, I have a D-Link Router, and AE, which I'm trying to link to my network so I can broadcast to my stereo and play it over the speakers. I'm running iTunes 4.7, newest updates to everything that I can see.

I've heard (read) that you can't extend the network using AE if you aren't using an Airport Basestation, does this mean that I can't have the AE join the network I have set up and broadcast to it?

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fisherKing
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Nov 18, 2004, 09:54 PM
 
Originally posted by Blue Flame:
sorry, i should have given more details.

Basically, I have a D-Link Router, and AE, which I'm trying to link to my network so I can broadcast to my stereo and play it over the speakers. I'm running iTunes 4.7, newest updates to everything that I can see.

I've heard (read) that you can't extend the network using AE if you aren't using an Airport Basestation, does this mean that I can't have the AE join the network I have set up and broadcast to it?

Cheers

it's true (alas); you have to run an ethernet cable from the d-link to the aE...and then you can wireless print/play itunes...and, oh yeah, go online.

i had the same setup (just gave up the dlink, so the aE is now the main router...no wired access (of course).
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
 
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