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Can this be done with Airport Express?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by yg17, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. macrumors G5

    I know AEX can play audio streamed from iTunes through a stereo, and thats what I want to do, but my setup isn't that simple.

    I have a PowerMac G5 connected via ethernet which also has my enormous iTunes library on it. The PMG5 has an Airport card in it as well, which is set to share out internet to my iBook. Works, and beats having to buy a wireless router. Lets say the PMG5 is in room A.

    In room B, I would have the AEX connected to a stereo. When my iBook is connected to my PMG5's WiFi network, I can access my iTunes library because I have it shared. My iBook doesn't have any of my MP3 files on it. So, on my iBook, can I stream music from my PMG5 to the iBook, then to the iBook to the AEX and play it through a stereo? This way, I can have my iBook in the same room as the stereo and control the music, since the PMG5 isn't exactly portable.

    Basically: PMG5->iBook->AEX->Stereo. Possible? Thanks
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Your setup will probably work...

    I have two bases, an Airport Express (set up as G only) hooked up to the stereo which I connect using my iBook with an airport extreme card, and an Airport Basestation (good old B only UFO) which my girlfriends Pismo with an old airport card.

    Both have shared iTunes library, and I can access her library from my iBook and play over the stereo using Airtunes (dont do this very often, though, as my collection is way bigger then hers ;)). Not excactly the same as your setup, but if you substitute her Pismo for your G5 then its very similar...

    - - -

    What I really would like to be able to do is just use the iBook as a remote, because when streaming music using Airtunes is quite a little processor hog. If I could have a stationary "iTunes Server" with all my music either hooked directly to the stereo (or using Airtunes) and use my iBook to control iTunes playing on that server it would probably cool down my iTunes processor a good 20ºC in normal use, much better for my lap... ;) Anybody know if that is possible...???

    Related weird issue: My girlfriend, using the above mentioned Pismo with an ordinary airport card (B) is able to use Airtunes and stream music to the Airport Express even if it is setup to be G only. Anybody else had any experience with that? Or, at least, an explanation...? :confused:
  3. macrumors 6502

    I thought that most wireless routers will default to the highest settings or the other routers that it finds in its field regardless of what you have set. Is it possible that your extreme is combining its network with the UFO? If that is the case then the extreme will use B instead of G so that it can work with your other base. I don't think that G is backward compatible in realtime, so your girlfriend can't use a G network unless her card supports it.

    This means the only explanation is your extreme station is using 802.11b.

    Maybe someone can correct me on this, but I remember reading something to this effect.

  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    The Airport Express can handle B and G just fine, but when someone connects with a B device ALL devices connected get B speed. That's why I set up an old B base for my girlfriend and set my AE to G only. She can not connect to the AE using Airport and I don't think the B base can either (both are individually connected to my ADSL router via a switch).

    What I think is happening is that Airtunes ignores the standard 802.11b/g settings in the AE and streems to the G only base from a B only card using its own set of protocols. But that just what I think, not having read up on the finer works of Airtunes... so I was hoping someone else had, so I don't have to... ;)
  5. macrumors 6502

    It is possible. That would mean that there is a separate wireless antenna that only operates at 802.11b (or is adjustable) just for airtunes. If not, then your gf couldn't stream, because she would still have to use the 802.11g protocol to get the data there. So either there are multiple antennae in the AE station (seems most likely at this point), or it is ignoring your settings and scaling down (like I said before).

  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    You don't need an extra antenna for Airtunes to access the radio in the AE, I think that if there is a seperate Airtunes protocol, that accesses some layer in the 802.11 protocol, then they are probably quite able to share the radio...
  7. macrumors 65816


    it works just fine they way you described. i do the exact same thing at home. sounds great...and very simple to set up...
  8. macrumors 6502

    I looked into it out of curiosity, and it seems that airtunes uses a form of rendezvous (big surprise). I can't find a mention of the transport that it uses. Just the streaming protocol. It can't be anything too fancy because the older airport card wouldn't be able to do it without a firmware upgrade (Unless Apple was already planning on airtunes a LONG time ago).

    So I guess it would have to use something low level in the 802.11 protocol that is shared across the board.

    That's as far as I care to delve into the subject, because I don't have an AE and probably won't ever get one. Plus it appears that I have started hijacking this thread. I hope the two relevant replies he got help him.

  9. macrumors 68000


    this will work. i run a setup with a G5, AE, and PB ... plus an iMac, G3, and AEbs. All music is on the G3 w/AE > stereo. All computers can play the G3s music through the home stereo.

    have fun. :)


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