airport express yourself

a couple of saturdays ago i stopped by the apple store in the mall and picked up an airport express. i’d been waiting for macworld to pass to see if they’d refresh the technology since the express has been out and the same for several years now. they didn’t, but they did drop the price, so i decided to bite. the apple tv looks cool, and would also allow me to play itunes over my home stereo, but i didn’t feel i’d use the $200 more of stuff that comes with the apple tv. (i can always get one later and use the airport express somewhere else though.) i get an education discount, so i was able to get the airport express and a digital optical cable for the price i would have paid for just the express (before tax) before they dropped the price.
i got it home and plugged it in, then i started doing some searches on it related to the linksys wrt54g (version 1.1) i have. i pretty quickly discovered that linksys had included the feature in a firmware update to allow the express to work as a repeater (using wds) with the linksys wireless device. previously, you had to have an airport to be able to do that. my firmware was pretty dated, so i downloaded the most recent version and flashed the linksys. with a minimal amount of effort (following instructions from my google search like this one at i was able to get the airport express acting as a repeater, in addition to being able to play itunes over my home stereo. not that the repeater funtion is all that necessary when the devices are about 40 feet apart and pretty much have line-of-sight with each other, but dang it, it’s the doing it that counts and not the functionality.
i have to admit, it’s pretty cool because now in itunes i can pick which speakers i want itunes to play over: local computer, home stereo, or both. so i can listen to soma fm stations (like space station soma – “spaced-out ambient and mid-tempo electronica”, boot liquor – “americana roots music for cowhands, cowpokes and cowtippers”, and illinois street lounge – “classic bachelor pad, playful exotica and vintage music of tomorrow”) in good quality over my home stereo wirelessly from my computer. thanks to this capability, i may finally start ripping my cds into itunes as well.

1 comment on “airport express yourself”

  1. For Christmas, I got us a new JVC rx-d301 receiver since our previous all-in-one unit broke and it costs too much to fix. The new JVC came with a USB wireless transmitter that pairs with the receiver. It works great, but most of the time it boots me off of my wireless internet connection. Kind of annoying because I usually want to be listening to itunes or soma fm while I am using the computer. So far the problem hasn’t annoyed me to the point that I put out any effort to research the problem or call the JVC setup help number that came with the unit. My friend’s apple works with my wireless connection and the USB transmitter at the same time. Anyway, it is great to not have to have the computer tied to the stereo to listen to music, and more importantly, Jo hates cords.

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