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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Tue 06-May-14 23:57:56
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Airport Express - Audio Use


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My Airport Express is going great guns as a wireless AP and no problems since setting it up (see my previous post).

A friend saw the white box that it came in sitting on my desk and asked me about audio streaming - something which I have not used mine for.

Currently he has an Airport Express feeding audio into an amplifier from a laptop within range which has his and his wife's music on the hdd.

His question, which I do not know the answer to, is whether it is possible to keep music files on a server device or common pc and use other lap-tops to direct operations, so to speak?

A bit like using an iPad or iPhone as a glorified remote control etc.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Cheers!

Clive


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Standard User billford
(elder) Wed 07-May-14 07:50:00
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
Not sure about a server device, but it's certainly possible to play music stored on one computer from another (on the LAN) if both are running iTunes, you simply need to turn on Home Sharing- the "main" computer shares its library over the LAN and the "remote" one attaches to it and plays whatever is selected to whatever device is targeted.

The "remote" computer can be anything that knows about iTunes- PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone etc.

Can't say for other iTunes-type programs, I haven't got any tongue

Another program that might bear investigation is Airfoil- it intercepts the audio output from any application (iPlayer, browser etc) and diverts it to Airplay devices. It's not free, but imo it's well worth the $25!

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Wed 07-May-14 08:04:56
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4325


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Standard User philippercival
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 07-May-14 12:16:52
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by billford:
Another program that might bear investigation is Airfoil- it intercepts the audio output from any application (iPlayer, browser etc) and diverts it to Airplay devices. It's not free, but imo it's well worth the $25!


Thank you for that, Just what I was looking for. It is working well with just a little delay between the different players on the system. I hesitate to hijack the tread, but streaming from my office PC and being picked up by a phone in the kitchen and a pc in the sitting room, both of which are connected to music systems. Is it possible to remove the delay. No problem if not.

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Standard User billford
(elder) Wed 07-May-14 13:00:16
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: philippercival] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by philippercival:
Is it possible to remove the delay. No problem if not.
The only honest answer I can give is that I don't know- one of my Airplay systems is in the same room as the computer so I always use that rather than the computer's own sound output. It evades the problem rather than solving it, but also provides better sound quality tongue

It may be possible by running Airfoil Speakers on the office PC so that it looks like another Airfoil device (on either the PC's LAN IP address or 127.0.0.1), but I've no idea if it will work that way.

I'd suggest you get in touch with their support (on the Help menu), I've found them very helpful on the one or two occasions I've contacted them.

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

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Edited by billford (Wed 07-May-14 13:25:11)

Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Wed 07-May-14 13:41:28
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Bill, that's helpful.

One more query; my friends Airport express and attached amp is mounted at a distance(in garage) which is well removed from where the speakers are and sometimes the wifi reception is iffy.

Do you think that this could be helped by connecting another Airport Express in the same room as the speakers - a network cable exists - to use as a remote wireless access point?

That is what I use my Airport Express for, a remote wifi access point connected by cat5, but I do not have the audio streaming enabled. So no real experience of this proposed use.

Many thanks,

Cheers!

Clive


Andrews & Arnold FTTC
DrayTek Vigor 2920Vn
Standard User billford
(elder) Wed 07-May-14 15:31:09
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Ancient_Mariner:
One more query; my friends Airport express and attached amp is mounted at a distance(in garage) which is well removed from where the speakers are and sometimes the wifi reception is iffy.

Do you think that this could be helped by connecting another Airport Express in the same room as the speakers - a network cable exists - to use as a remote wireless access point?
I think that's likely to be a much better way of doing it, from the audio point of view anyway- it's generally preferable to keep both audio signal and speaker leads as short as practicable, whereas Ethernet doesn't really care up to about 100 metres smile

From the WAP point- of view- I can't comment, mine is purely used as a feed to the hi-fi. It's only about 5 metres from the router and in the same room, so there's not a lot of call for a WAP!

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

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Standard User vimto_girl
(member) Wed 07-May-14 16:34:10
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
Presumably speaker cable already runs through, so if you can run or pull ethernet cable too, then that's the way to go. If not, I would try Homeplugs rather than an access point. I must say, occasional Airplay dropouts can be a problem even fully wired, I hope this is not the issue.

There is no way to use iTunes on a local laptop to control playback on a remote computer. You can however use an iPod Touch/iphone/ipad to do this using the free app which apple cunningly call Remote.

You can access and switch between itunes libraries of remote computers for local playback inside iTunes though, just like Bill says, and you can also set a network folder on another computer or NAS as the itunes library folder on the local laptop itself.

There are so many ways to slice and dice home audio. What would be your friends ideal set up? (Where to store music, what to control with etc) That would be really useful to know in order to give more specific advice.
Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Fri 09-May-14 00:27:17
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: vimto_girl] [link to this post]
 
Sorry for delay in getting back. Had a hiccup with a hospital eye test yesterday which made using a pc somewhat impossible.

My friends house is a largish dormer style, so a fair total floor area. When the house was wired a couple of years back, numerous cat5 data sockets fitted and wired back to the garage which is at one end. Loudspeakers were fitted in three rooms with decent speaker cable back to the garage. Three audio amps also reside in the garage. Not how I would have done it. The internet modem/router and three Airport Expresses are also in the garage together with some switches. Due works taking place there yesterday + my eye problem not too easy to fully investigate.

Firstly, the Airport expresses are NOT connected to any switch, they just run as a means of feeding the three amps.

The wish is that music can be played from a wifi source, say a laptop in any of the rooms, especially where the speakers are. That wish could be extended for music to also be played from a central music HDD server.

Due poor wifi in one of the rooms where there is also speakers, there is already a wireless access point connected to the wired network.


My initial thought is to connect the Airport Expresses to the wired network. By disconnecting some CAT5 sockets initially for a trial. As I understand it, the Airoprt Express uses as DtoA at the amplifier would then not be reliant on the wifi music source being within range of it,

I also wonder whether the Airport expresses can be better mounted/orientated to maximise wifi range, taking into account the length of audio cable connecting to the amps.

Any knowledge of what would be required in order to use a central music server would be most welcome.

Cheers!

To

Clive


Andrews & Arnold FTTC
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Standard User vimto_girl
(member) Fri 09-May-14 14:42:39
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Re: Airport Express - Audio Use


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the detailed info, v helpful. If it were me:

You're right, just disable the wireless on the airport expresses and use wired (permanently eventually, just grab a switch if you need more ports). If you need to improve wireless in the house, this is down to the wireless router and access point setup and layout.

Then wire in any old computer/laptop somewhere, running iTunes with home sharing enabled, and a big internal/external HDD where you can specify the itunes library folder to be. Any laptop with iTunes or any iOS device can then access this central library and playback to any Airport Express. You can even keep the server laptop in the garage and map the itunes drive/folders - the folder called "Automatically add to iTunes" is the place to send new music.
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