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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Music To The Ears

I've always enjoyed music. I have a smallish vinyl collection, a respectable CD collection and a relatively descent music system. Over the years though, I now find myself listening to MP3s, either ripped from my CDs or bought from iTunes. I do this in the car, on my iPod or on the computer when editing.
I found that I rarely switched on my music system as it just seemed too much hassle to have to change records or CDs!
Things have changed though! Apple released a free bit of software for the iPhone and iPod Touch on their App Store called Remote. In a nutshell it lets your iPod Touch or iPhone connect to your iTunes music library and controls it fully. Its as if you were sat in front of your computer. This sounded great for anyone with Apple TV, but it wasn't until a good friend of mine (cheers Rene!) made the suggestion that I get an Airport Express that I began to realise how revolutionary this set up was.
I can now sit in the lounge where my music system is and using my iPod Touch, running Remote, fully control my iTunes music library which is on my iMac (and in the office), and have the music wirelessly streamed to my amplifier. No more getting up to change CDs!
Setting up is simplicity in itself. You basically plug a lead (3.5mm jack to x2 phono) into the Express and plug the unit into the mains. The other end of the lead plugs into an input on the amplifier. Then using Apple's Airport Utility software, you set up a connection with the Airport Express (from your Mac or PC). Lastly, you choose on iTunes where you want the music sent to (in this case, the Airport Express).
After a couple of minutes of setting up, get a photography book or some wine, sit on your couch and using Remote on your iPhone or iPod Touch, listen to anything you like! Absolutely superb!!


  1. It is very cool....BUT, get an Apple TV (go on you know you want to!) and the experience gets even better... :)

  2. I will definitely get one - alas my TV's not HD so doesn't have HDMI inputs :-(
    Even with Apple TV, I think I'll still keep the existing set up as it means when I want to listen to music, I won't have to turn on the TV.
    At the moment I'm streaming my videos to the Sony PS3 using MediaLink which works quite well.

  3. Airport Express is a brilliant device - I have two so can pipe music to living room or kitchen. If you have one then you definitely want the "Airfoil" software which lets any application send audio to the device - not just iTunes. Plus a bunch of other features.

    Also if the miss the hiss, scratches, and general imperfections of your old vinyl system you can always use this fun application:


  4. Thanks Ben... both really cool.... rogueamoeba make great apps as a rule...

  5. Cheers Ben - I'm now thinking of getting a second Express for the bedroom!
    Cool links - thanks.
    Hope all's well on your side of the world.

  6. Another gizmo you might be interested in - which frankly performs no real function at all except to make the AE look better and be more conveniently placed, is this:

    I bought two. Yeah, I'm a sucker, but they actually are quite useful and pretty cheap, at least in the U.S.

    Hi Edmond - yes, all cool here, hope you are well too... your blog is great by the way.



  7. Hi Ben,
    Thanks for the kind words about the blog; must say that one of the biggest inspirations was your one!
    That Griffin thing looks nifty; I was going to plug on a mains lead to elevate mine a bit, that looks much more elegant!
    All's well here too; work's a tad slow, but such is life! Its the silly season after all!!