August 07, 2004


Got me one of them there new-fangled Airport Express thingies. I had been resisting putting wireless into the house, but with the new Powerbook I was ready to stop worrying and dive in, but still not crazy about sharing my cable modem with all and sundry. A little more looking into the various security models has convinced me that as long as I use a mnimal security scheme, most folks will just move on to one of my neighbors and use their AP. But the other thing I really wanted was a way to expose my music library to other playback methods than the iPod because I didn't relish using the iPod as a wired playback device in my audio system. Enter Airport Express from Apple.

Both floor wax and desert topping, the AX acts as an ethernet-to-wireless bridge, serving IP addresses wirelessly and also streaming music "server"--provided you use Airtunes from Apple to playback your music. Hey--I do! So it's a great fit. You can even use it as a USB printer sharing device as well, but that seems an either/or proposition--how many folks have their USB printer next to their stereo?

Set up is pretty easy and once I discovered the one quirk (you have to enable the Airport to stream music from a wired device via the BaseStation options screen in the admin utility) I can now play all my digital music (plus internet radio, etc.) via my very nice audio system. I'm now blogging from the comfort of the big, comfy leather chair. Next, I'm going to try outside to see what the range is.

The other cool thing is that the AX is very small, and you can take it with you on the road to give you wireless in a hotel room, and if you travel with colleagues sharing a single IP to multiple devices. It even allows you to store multiple profiles, so a device that is used both at home and on the road can be easily switched from one to the other.

Other folks have pointed out that as a wireless access point, the AX is over-priced, but if you need one of the other features, then it becomes a bargain. And that's the very definition of convergence.

Posted by krudman at August 7, 2004 06:22 AM
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