Send music to another room with Airport Express

Send music to another room with Airport Express

For most people familiar with the Apple product line, this post is restating the obvious.  For the rest of you:  The Airport Express lets you broadcast your iTunes library to any other room in your house over your wireless network.  I feel like the Airport Express has potential to do so many things, that Apple doesn’t do a good enough job toting it’s ability as a music streaming device.

I recently configured an Airport Express to stream music from a Mac Mini to a stereo receiver on a different floor of a house.  I wrote a review of the Airport Express setup and configuration, and without ruining the surprise, it took quite a bit of patience.

For ideas on how to maximize the Airport Express in your network, click the link to read more.

Installation of the Airport Express essentially involves configuring the device using a wired ethernet connection (usually for your wireless network), and then moving it to another location in your house – most likely connected to an audio receiver somewhere other than your Mac Mini.  From there, you can connect the Airport Expressto your receiver with either an analog or digital connection.  Once configured, the Airport Express will show up in your iTunes as a possible speaker to use for iTunes playback — essentially giving you access to your entire Mac Mini’s music collection in a separate location.

One of the drawbacks I came across when using the Airport Express is that you cannot have separate playlists play in separate rooms.  For example, if you wanted to stream nursery rhymes to your child’s room while listening to some Dave Matthews Band in your main living room, you cannot do this through iTunes alone.  As a workaround, there is a great app called from Rogue Amoeba called AirFoil which lets you send the audio from ANY application to your Airport Express.  With a little trickery, you can have your iTunes play one playlist, and Pandora or VLC player stream to a separate room — all from the same Mac.  Obviously, your success will depend on your components and configuration, but anyone with an Airport Express should consider purchasing the AirFoil software.

Different angles of the Airport Express

Different angles of the Airport Express