Airport Express and AirPlay

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by martinielsen, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. martinielsen macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2009
    Dear All.

    I have a question about the Airport Express.

    I'm thinking about buying one and connect it to my home stereo in my living room. Main purpose is to stream music from services like Pandora or Spotify from my iPad or iPhone to my stereo with AirPlay.

    But the situation is that my Internet cable is located in the other end of my home, so I have a WiFi network on a D-Link DIR-635 router.

    My problem is that I do not fully understand how AirPlay is working with AirPort Express. Can my iPad connect to my D-Link router (for the Internet connection) and the AirPort Express (for AirPlay) at the same time? Or can the AirPort Express connect to my existing WiFi network?

    Apple writes the following below on their webpage, but I think it is unclear if Airport Express can connect to any existing WiFi network or only when it is delivered from the AirPort Extreme.

    Can anyone help me out?

    From Apple's webpage:
    "Party Central.
    If you already have a wireless network in place, you can use AirPort Express to add music to its capabilities. Let’s say, for example, you have AirPort Extreme set up in your den. There’s no need to scrap this setup and create a whole new network. Simply connect AirPort Express to your stereo in your favorite music room and plug it into an electrical outlet — it wirelessly links to your existing network, letting you play your music in your room of choice without moving anything or connecting anything else."
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    Yes. it can connect to any wifi network, not just the one from an apple device.
    to extend a network it needs to be an apple device for the main base, but you don't need to do that.

    just set it up to join your network, and you can access both pandora and the express from you ipad at the same time.

    i highly recommend configuring the express while plugged in via ethernet, either directly to your laptop, or into your router, once configured you can unplug and move it to its final location.
  3. martinielsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2009
    Thanks waw74.

    But are you sure that it will connect to any existing WiFi? When I search information on Google there are many comments that the router that deliver the existing WiFi must support WDS (Wireless Distribution System) and I don't think that my router supports that.

    What if I got me an Apple TV (version 2) instead of the Airport Express. Wouldn't that give me the same features as the Airport Express offers (AirPlay and audio out) as well as some extra TV/video features?
  4. Darwin macrumors 65816


    Jun 2, 2003
    round the corner
    In order for the Express to act as a relay (and thus extend the range) for the existing wifi network, yes it would need to support WDS (it does but different manufactures have different methods to doing this and thus cross compatibility is rare). However in this case you are wanting to use the audio jack and for that running it in client mode (ie only joining the network) will work fine.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    i do this, wifi is wifi.
    extend is WDS, you don't need to do that.

    Yes, it will.
  6. martinielsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2009
  7. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    It's worth baring in mind that an Apple TV 2 only outputs audio over HDMI and optical digital, so if you wanted to use it for listening to music you'd need an extra component to convert the digital signal into the analogue one that would be fed into speakers. If your amp/stereo already supports optical digital in then obviously this won't be a problem for you.
  8. martinielsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2009
    Thanks - my stereo supports optical in.

    Can I play music without turning the TV on (to turn the Apple TV on)?
  9. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    Yes — when you select Apple TV as an AirPlay target (e.g. from iTunes on a MacBook) then the Apple TV automatically wakes from sleep and starts playing the audio/movie stream :)
  10. martinielsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2009
    Nice! :)

    So now I just need to find a place to buy it... (it is not yet on the market in Denmark). Will probably need to buy it in Germany, so I will get one with a EU type wall plug.

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