PDA

View Full Version : Airport Express Question


regan2
Mar 1, 2005, 04:32 PM
I just recently got an Airpot Express Base Station. I never had any intention of using it as a router, simply just to use it's capability to streaming via AirTunes.

Today, I got it fired up. Got it setup via the Assistant and had music coming out in the living room within minutes. Great I thought. However, for AirTunes to work, my network has to switch to the Airport Express. This is a problem because when this happens, my wireless internet connection can't work.

What am I missing? I know the Airport Express won't work with my Netgear router, but I never read anything about it requiring the full use of my airport card. You'd think it could talk to the Express and the Netgear at the same time.

Any advice? I've already started looking for an airport extreme base station, but I'd love to make it work without spending the extra money.

seamuskrat
Mar 6, 2005, 10:29 PM
I have a similar setup. Its a bit of a pain, but the first thing I did was install the APEx software, reboot. Run Airport ADMIN UTILITY.
Find your APEx on the network on the default open network, CHANGE it to your current networkj, and that should do it.

DavidCar
Mar 6, 2005, 10:51 PM
I am writing this message while listening to airtunes over my airport express from my old airport card in my iBook, while I am connected to the internet over my wireless netgear WGR614 in the basement, so I don't understand your problem. You need to set up the airport express to join another network, rather than creating an independent network.

feakbeak
Mar 6, 2005, 11:03 PM
I am writing this message while listening to airtunes over my airport express from my old airport card in my iBook, while I am connected to the internet over my wireless netgear WGR614 in the basement, so I don't understand your problem. You need to set up the airport express to join another network, rather than creating an independent network.

Exactly how did you configure the APX to do this? I had bought an APX and returned it because I could not get it to join my wireless network. I have a DLink DI-624 and I tried most everything to get it on my existing wi-fi network and nothing worked. I'm not a networking expert, but I'd consider myself fairly capable, I've setup my network with wi-fi, WEP, MAC address filtering, port-forwarding for the website I run from home, etc. I read around the net and most said that to have an APX extend your existing wi-fi network it had to support WDS, which my DLink and most routers do not. Apple's and Buffalo were the only ones I could find.

I ended up returning the APX the other day. I'm not too upset anyway because the sound quality was not on par with CDs played through my system either. I have good computer speakers and the AAC files don't bother me much there or on my iPod with good headphones (Grado SR-125) but A-B'ing the APX stream with a CD on my home stereo showed a noticable difference in quality.

ChrisBrightwell
Mar 7, 2005, 12:02 AM
You can set the APX as a *client* of your WLAN rather than as a WDS node for your WLAN. That's what I'm doing w/ my Linksys Router (see sig) and it works beautifully.

feakbeak
Mar 7, 2005, 12:23 AM
You can set the APX as a *client* of your WLAN rather than as a WDS node for your WLAN. That's what I'm doing w/ my Linksys Router (see sig) and it works beautifully.

That was how I originally thought I would set it up. i had not heard of WDS before my encountere with the APX. I had tried that but the APX would never join as a client of my DLink wi-fi network. Both of APX mac addresses were in my allowed mac filter, I was using WEP-128 but I double and tripple checked the key. I could access the wi-fi network from my two other wireless NICs on a PC and my Mac mini, but I could not for the life of me get it to join. Maybe I was doing something wrong, or perhaps something was defective on my APX.

I could set it up the APX as an independent network and connect to it directly to stream music, but like the original poster said, then you can't have net access as the same time. I suppose it's not a big deal, since I've already returned it. Besides the sound quality was just a little too low for my tastes, not bad, but I'm a little bit of an audiophile - not a hardcore one of course or I wouldn't be using AAC at all.

Plus I really didn't like the setup structure with the software hitting the APX each time. I wish they would use a web interface like most routers do, it's much nicer.

Oh well, I'll wait until Apple offers a more robust media streamer. I'd like to see something that has video out for a TV and comes with a remote so you can browse your music, photos and movies from the couch and play whatever you want. I'd pay $250 for something like that - come on Apple I got more money waiting for you! Just make the products I want.

DavidCar
Mar 7, 2005, 12:38 AM
I set mine up with WPA security, and didn't have any problem. As was said earlier, joining the network and extending the network are two different things. I looked but didn't see an option for WDS when I set it up Friday.

Since posting earlier, when my microwave came on I lost AirTunes, so I am going to have to play with that a bit. I recall seeing an option for attempting to deal with things like microwaves.

So is there really a quality problem with AirTunes, such that the sound coming from the airport express is of lesser quality than that coming from the audio port on the computer for the same music? My stereo is not audiophile quality anyway, so I probably wouldn't notice.

But I'm still puzzled that the Airport Express would have a different sound quality, because I would expect it was the same digital bits being decoded to analog at a different point.

feakbeak
Mar 7, 2005, 01:10 AM
I set mine up with WPA security, and didn't have any problem. As was said earlier, joining the network and extending the network are two different things. I looked but didn't see an option for WDS when I set it up Friday.

Since posting earlier, when my microwave came on I lost AirTunes, so I am going to have to play with that a bit. I recall seeing an option for attempting to deal with things like microwaves.

So is there really a quality problem with AirTunes, such that the sound coming from the airport express is of lesser quality than that coming from the audio port on the computer for the same music? My stereo is not audiophile quality anyway, so I probably wouldn't notice.

But I'm still puzzled that the Airport Express would have a different sound quality, because I would expect it was the same digital bits being decoded to analog at a different point.

I use pretty good headphones with my iPod at work (Grado SR-125's) and on my computer I have Acoustic Energy's Aego2 which are pretty good for computer speakers. However, my home stereo is a step up from that using an Integra receiver and Energy C-3 speakers. I believe it is just that my home stereo is good enough that the limitations of the source content (compressed AAC files) show through. I do not believe it is a problem where the audio quality coming out of the APX is less than that coming from an iPod our audio out of a sound card. I was comparing the AirTunes stream with a CD in my CD player. It was easy for me to notice the difference in quality, which I can understand. However, the difference was greater than I had hoped for the APX. I'm sure if I used Apple Lossless it would have be much more comparable to CDs.

benixau
Mar 7, 2005, 02:16 AM
Just remember that the music stream going to the APX is being compressed as Apple Lossless - i.e. if your files are AAC it's double compression ....

Monk Edsel
Mar 9, 2005, 04:37 AM
Just remember that the music stream going to the APX is being compressed as Apple Lossless - i.e. if your files are AAC it's double compression ....

Well, it does stream in Apple Lossless, however... if it's lossless then it shouldn't suffer any ill effects of compression. That is the whole point of lossless compression, after all.

Anyway, feakbeak, it's interesting that you noticed a loss in sound quality, because I think it sounds really excellent. On the other hand, I didn't do any comparison with a CD/CD player. So, would you say if you hadn't compared the APX to CD you would be satisfied with the sound quality?

feakbeak
Mar 9, 2005, 08:00 AM
Well, it does stream in Apple Lossless, however... if it's lossless then it shouldn't suffer any ill effects of compression. That is the whole point of lossless compression, after all.

Anyway, feakbeak, it's interesting that you noticed a loss in sound quality, because I think it sounds really excellent. On the other hand, I didn't do any comparison with a CD/CD player. So, would you say if you hadn't compared the APX to CD you would be satisfied with the sound quality?

I thought the APX sounded a little muddled, which is why I then did a direct comparison with my CD player. I am not saying the APX sounds bad. I were just going to be cleaning around my house or something while listening I probably wouldn't have noticed. However, when actively listening I can denote the difference with ease.

Again, I do not think there is anything wrong with the APX that is causing any issues with sound quality. I simply believe that my home strereo is good enough to reveal the limitations of the 128 kbps AAC format.