In Depth Preview: Apple AirPort Express with Air Tunes

by Reads (70,993)

The Apple AirPort Express with AirTunes will be available starting in July.  However, we have detailed pictures, specifications and setup instructions for the AirPort Express so you can be prepared for when this product finally arrives!

Bottom side view of the Apple AirPort Express

What can you do with AirPort Express?

  • Create a wireless network in your home, then connect to the Internet and share the connection with up to ten computers simultaneously. An entire family can be connected to the Internet at the same time.
  • Connect AirPort Express to your home stereo or powered speakers and use AirTunes to play your iTunes music on your home stereo from a Macintosh with an AirPort or AirPort Extreme Card, or a compatible Windows XP or 2000 wireless computer.
  • Set up a wireless connection to your Ethernet network. AirPort and AirPort Extreme equipped Macintosh computers or Windows XP or 2000 computers can then have access to an entire network without being connected with a cable.
  • Extend the range of your network by adding AirPort Express to your existing AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express wireless network (this is called a Wireless Distribution System, or WDS).
  • Connect a USB printer to your AirPort Express. All of the computers on the AirPort network, both wireless and wired, can print to it.
  • Create custom profiles so you can store settings for up to five different locations.

About AirPort Express:

AirPort Express has three ports, located on the bottom side:

  1. Ethernet port for connecting a DSL or cable modem, or for connecting to an existing Ethernet network
  2. Analog and optical digital audio stereo mini-jack for connecting AirPort Express to a home stereo or powered speakers
  3. USB port for connecting a compatible printer to AirPort Express

Next to the ports is a reset button, which is used for troubleshooting your AirPort Express. The status light on the side of AirPort Express shows the current status, the different status the light can indicate are as follows:

  1. Light is Off = AirPort Express is unplugged.
  2. Light is Flashing green = AirPort Express is starting up.
  3. Light is Solid green  = AirPort Express is on and working properly.
  4. Light is Flashing yellow = AirPort Express may be out of range, or there may be a problem with your Internet service provider.

A look inside the AirPort Express

What You Need to Get Started

To set up AirPort Express using a Macintosh, you must have the following:

  • A Macintosh computer with an AirPort or AirPort Extreme Card installed
  • Mac OS X v10.3 or later
  • iTunes 4.6 (included on the AirPort Express CD) or later

To set up AirPort Express using a Windows PC, you must have the following:

  • A Windows PC with 300 MHz or higher processor speed
  • Windows XP Home or Professional (Not Windows 2000)
  • iTunes 4.6 for Windows (included on the AirPort Express CD) or later
  • Wireless card or built-in wireless that is 802.11b or 802.11g compatible

Using AirPort Express With Your Broadband Internet Service

When you set up AirPort Express to provide network and Internet access, Macintosh computers with AirPort and AirPort Extreme Cards or any Windows Notebook or PC that is 802.11b/802.11g wireless-equipped can access the wireless AirPort network to share files, play games, and use Internet applications like web browsers and email applications.

Using AirPort Express With AirTunes to Play iTunes Music on Your Stereo

Probably the coolest aspect of the AirPort Express is the fact it allows you to connect your to a stereo with a Toslink-to-mini digital fiber optic cable or a mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA cable, and use AirTunes to wirelessly play music from iTunes.  Here’s a diagram of how this setup works:

Using AirPort Express to Share a USB Printer

Need to share a printer among multiple wireless equipped notebooks?  No problem!  When you connect a USB printer to your AirPort Express, all of the computers on the wireless network can print to it.

Pricing and Availability

The Apple AirPort Express can be Preordered now from certain retailers for $124 and will be shipping in July!

Top side view of the Apple AirPort Express

 


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