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June 10, 2004

Airport Express and iTunes 4.6 and What I Think Is Missing

globalnavexpresshi06072004Apple's new Airport Express sounds great. It's one of the things I've really been looking for. A nice way to have a wireless repeater that (hopefully) doesn't kill the network speed. Everything else is just really good icing. Mini base station, great. Printer server, great. Streaming audio receiver: great. AirTunes, which is part of iTunes 4.6, here's where I think they missed slightly. You can only stream to an Airport Express box. I would have loved to have seen the ability to stream to any other box running iTunes. Yes, there is music sharing, which is great, but I can think of times when I might want to be just streaming to a laptop. Or both a laptop and an airport express. I live in a fairly good sized house and maybe people in multiple places want to be able to tune in.

I think Apple also needs to come out with some kind of stereo/AV component for listening to music and viewing photos (and maybe even movies) on your home theatre system. Something that works like TiVo's Home Media Option (which is now included in the TiVo subscription instead of as an add-on), but more tuned to how Apple does things. It would let you listen to AAC encoded files, and AAC files you bought from iTMS. But it would act more like the iTunes music sharing does. To me, this could be the killer box for Apple. Roku comes close with their products, but it still isn't exactly what I'm looking for. The one thing I know I don't really want is a full computer attached to my home theatre system. It just seems like overkill to me when I have a server already that has all that stuff stored on it.

Posted by snooze at June 10, 2004 11:13 AM