So Apple just announced the AirPort Express, an 802.11g access point that’s roughly the size and shape of my PowerBook’s AC adapter. It can be used as a regular base stationThe most unique feature is AirTunes, wherein you can stream music from iTunes to the audio out jack on this $130 gadget.

The concept is that it acts as a remote set of speakers for iTunes, so that you can DJ from your laptop without being tethered to your stereo. This is a pretty cool concept, but I’m surprised they didn’t offer a way to hook iPods up to it. I think that a lot of people would be interested in being able to put their iPods on their big speakers wirelessly without having to resort to using an iTrip.
If you’re looking at getting this, you would do well to check out Salling Clicker for Bluetooth mobile phones

3 responses to “AirTunes”

  1. I’ve been waiting for a device like this at this price point for years. Now if only it had a web interface instead of requiring iTunes. And if only it let me serve files from a central server rather than just from my laptop.
    Still tempted…
    This’d be great for travelling, too. Especially at conferences or in travelling in geek-packs.

  2. I find myself saying “If only…” a lot when it comes to Apple’s music business (not to be confused with Apple Records). It stems from them deliberately crippling their products in order to maintain marketplace dominance, and it seems to be working.
    If they made general purpose devices that worked with everything they wouldn’t have this tremendous lock-in where iPods and the iTunes Music Store sell each other. It’s a strategy that’s working for them too, walk around Ann Arbor (or any downtown area in America) and count the number of white earbuds.
    Meanwhile, they’re modifying the rights people have to the music they rent from Apple ex post facto, which is only something they could do if they had this enormous lock in.
    Say what you want about Microsoft monopolies, but at least they play well with hardware vendors. That’s more than Apple.

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