Stream Music Throughout Your Home or Office With AirPort Express

Stream Music Throughout Your Home or Office With AirPort Express

Once upon a time, streaming audio through your entire home required a thousand dollar solution and involved running speaker wire all through your walls.

Welcome to the 21st century. Leveraging the Apple Airport Express, for $100 per room, plus any stereo with AV inputs (or even just powered computer speakers), you can have music in every room in your home or office. You can control it from any computer, or even your iPhone. All that’s required is a digital music collection, and a computer to run it from.

Set up is easy. Just plug each AirPort Express BaseStation into a power outlet, and plug a stereo mini cable into the jack. For this use, you don’t need to worry about the ethernet jack or the USB jack. If you’re plugging into a stereo system, a stereo mini to RCA Y-Splitter cable should be a couple bucks at your local electronics store (or you can get one from Amazon). Using the Apple Airport Utility from your computer to enable AirTunes for each AirPort Express Basestation. If you need help with this, just ask.

Once it’s set up you can play music to whichever basestations you chose. You can control it from any computer on the network that’s running iTunes, and you can choose to turn on and off each room individually. The music is synchronized between all the rooms. It can even still play through the computer at the same time.

If you buy a copy of AirFoil ($25 from Rogue Amoeba, free trial) you can pipe any audio out of your computer. This will enable you to stream Pandora all over the house for example. You can stream the audio from anything playing on your computer. If you’re having a movie watching party, folks that have to run to the bathroom during the the slow scene won’t miss a beat.

This solution works especially well with the Apple iPhone application “Remote”. Your iPhone can be used to fully control the music being played. It looks and feels just like your regular iPhone, only your music library will include everything on your computer, and you can play it across your whole home!

As an added bonus, you can set up each AirPort Express to act as a WiFi repeater. This will give you FULL wireless signal strength all over the house and even into the front and back yard.

This is the solution I have at home and I love it. Any other system I’ve seen with similar capabilities is much harder to use and/or costs 3 times as much.

If you have any questions, or are interested in assistance setting this up, just ask!

Aaron Marks applies his 80/20 rule to IT support: 80% people skills and 20% computer ninja magic.