That overlooked USB port on the Airport Base Station

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I'm pumped about the Apple online music initiative, especially if Universal is acquired because then Apple can pretty much set the tone for the future of music delivery. BUT, while I listen to most of my music on the computer I think most people won't embrace a system where all the cool benefits of the new system (iTunes management of your music) can't easily bridge to the old world. (And no, burning it to a CD to play on your stereo doesn't cut it).



We need to be able to easily, and elegantly play our iTunes out to our home stereos. Since most people don't have there computers in the living room or like to run audio cable from the office to their entertainment center, there needs to be a better solution.



Then I remembered that little USB port on the Airport Extreme Base Station. My guess is that Apple will release some little doo dad that hooks into that and outputs music to your stereo. I'm even starting to wonder if that USB port might be USB 2.0 capable as has been hinted with some of the powermacs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Even USB 1.1 would be sufficent and wouldn't hinder internet or other activities.



    That is a cool idea though
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Cool idea yes but the only use I have found for that USB port is shared printing If you want to listen to your music in another room buy a TiVO series 2 and a wireless 802.11b card for it and you'll be listening to your iTunes library in no time from your tv, or high end component system (if you're lucky enough to have one).



    [email protected]
  • Reply 3 of 35
    I feel like quoting Jurassic Park "Clever Girl!". (a.k.a COOL IDEA!)
  • Reply 4 of 35
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    Shared printing.





    It's called Rendevous. That's how you will play your music on your stereo.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    chopper3chopper3 Posts: 293member
    Sorry to be negative Nordstrodamus, this won't happen. It could happen, but it won't. Sorry.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    Interesting thought to use the USB port in the AEBS to channel music to a stereo. What makes this even more interesting is that many people have their stereo close to their TV, which is connected to the same cable outlet that your cable modem is connected to.



    Case in point, I currently have the DSL modem in my office with the Macs and the ABS. But I just signed up for broadband via cable. So next week, I'll be moving my ABS to the new cable modem, which will sit next to the TV and stereo in the living room.



    Escher
  • Reply 7 of 35
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    We need to be able to easily, and elegantly play our iTunes out to our home stereos. Since most people don't have there computers in the living room or like to run audio cable from the office to their entertainment center, there needs to be a better solution.

    Absolutely on the money.

    Total agreement.

    Hope apple picks your brains
  • Reply 8 of 35
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Escher

    ...USB port in the AEBS...



    Shouldn't that be APE BS? You know... Ape Bullsh*t... sorry I'm being retarded
  • Reply 9 of 35
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Nost: good idea, but I don't think it'll happen. Apple will come up with a solution and it will be wireless. Think the TiVo thing that someone else brought up. It's going to be awesome.





    iTunes 4 will be sweet and it's coming out in 5 days. I can't wait.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally posted by torifile

    Nost: good idea, but I don't think it'll happen. Apple will come up with a solution and it will be wireless. Think the TiVo thing that someone else brought up. It's going to be awesome.



    iTunes 4 will be sweet and it's coming out in 5 days. I can't wait.




    I'm trying not to be to optomistic. I'd love Apple to do a custom Tivo type solution, but Steve has a thing against TV for some reason and the USB Audio out solution for an airport base station would presumably be pretty darn cheap.



    Of course, if the USB port isn't secretly a USB 2.0 port waiting to be utilized then Apple might come out with a new Airport base station that can deliver both audio and video to your entertainment center. Then a EyeTV type thing could be done. That would be Sahweeeeet!



    Edit- Just occured to me that a USB 1 port is still sufficient for delivering video and audio (since EyeTV uses that), I just have a fixation on making use of all the bandwith Airport Extreme offers.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,517member
    The nice thing about this is that you would already need a base station and so the incremental cost is not high.



    While some people really spend a lot on stereos most people don't. I recently looked at some prices for low end stereo equipment and was surprised to see how much stuff was available for under $100. If the wireless widget will cost over $100 many people will decide it is cheaper to simply by an additional stereo and burn CDs for their sneakernet.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    k_munick_munic Posts: 357member
    ok, if i place my airport base near my stereo that's a terrifc good idea, nostradamus!



    PLUS:



    looking at my griffin imic beside my Cube: how 'bout an airport-card + this usb-to-audio-thingy? smaller than the palm of my hand, you can connect it at every stereo in my house! and it is so small, you can hide it behind the whole stereoraffle...-



    iTunes as my own radio station - this is music to my ears... ähm?
  • Reply 13 of 35
    kupan787kupan787 Posts: 586member
    The problem with this is that the basestation would need to be near your stereo (how long can USB cable run, 12 feet?), and how many people have a setup like that? Mine is upstairs not anywhere close to the stereo, so I am hoping apple has some cool wirless deal.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    Mine is actually less than one inch from the ports on my stereo. The APBS is mounted on the wall behind the stereo.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,136member
    Quote:

    case in point, I currently have the DSL modem in my office with the Macs and the ABS. But I just signed up for broadband via cable. So next week, I'll be moving my ABS to the new cable modem, which will sit next to the TV and stereo in the living room.



    Escher



    Last few times I had a cable modem (I'm nomadic, cannot stay in one place for too long...), they ran another line anywhere I wanted it...



    Don't let them put it in the living room, insist it be placed in the office...
  • Reply 16 of 35
    kupan787kupan787 Posts: 586member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders the White

    Mine is actually less than one inch from the ports on my stereo. The APBS is mounted on the wall behind the stereo.



    But how often is this the case? Our good stero system is downstairs with the TV. Sure I have a small stereo setup in my room with the APBS, but I could just as easily route cables from my coputer to that stereo as I coudl from the APBS to the stereo.



    The situation I see, that makes this sound stupid, is everyone that has a new APBS (rememebr the old BS didn't have the USB prt) to take advantage of this USB port, could just use the wiresless connection. So all Apple (or someone) needs to do is make a small "receiver" that you would connect to your stereo. Why force people to have the APBS near their stereo and wire it up? You would have to go from APBS USB to convertor box to stereo. Lets keep it simple!



    Maybe I am just wierd like this, but I would hope that since Apple already has the wireless thing going for them, why not expoloit it? Why start adding wires (especially with new things like MaGIC coming, which will be able to go wireless)
  • Reply 17 of 35
    piwozniakpiwozniak Posts: 815member
    Hi



    Interesting discussion, here's my setup, all working and even better than using ABS' USB port.



    If you trying to wirelessly stream audio files to your sound system, wouldn't it be cool if you could stream it to any receiver in your house, how many stereos do you have?

    3 - 4 ? Are you going to buy ABS for each of them?



    Here's better solution. Forget ABS, go to radioshack, purchase one of these link things.



    You will need ONE transmitter, but you can have UNLIMITED receivers.



    1. Hook up your audio out port on your mac, to audio in port on the transmitter

    2. Hook up audio out port on the receiver end to your stereo.

    3. there is no #3. You are done.



    If you need to purchase more receivers, these things are about $50 each.



    Way cheaper than ABS, plus gives you an option of wirelessly transmitting video as well.



    One and only one problem with that is, How do you control your mac?

    I think you can either get bluetooth long range adapter and hook it up to your mac, then use a phone as a remote (not too bad isn't it?, as by doing that not only you can listen to itunes, but you can control entire system, watch movies, etc...).

    Or you can purchase these senders/receivers things with IR transmitter, then get ir receiver and hook it up to your mac.

    But if you can get long range bluetooth working with a mac, it would absolutely rock. No Rendezvous required, cheap(er) than any other solution, and works like a charm.



    :-)
  • Reply 18 of 35
    kupan787kupan787 Posts: 586member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by piwozniak

    Interesting discussion, here's my setup, all working and even better than using ABS' USB port.



    If you trying to wirelessly stream audio files to your sound system, wouldn't it be cool if you could stream it to any receiver in your house, how many stereos do you have?

    3 - 4 ? Are you going to buy ABS for each of them?



    Here's better solution. Forget ABS, go to radioshack, purchase one of these link things.



    You will need ONE transmitter, but you can have UNLIMITED receivers.



    1. Hook up your audio out port on your mac, to audio in port on the transmitter

    2. Hook up audio out port on the receiver end to your stereo.

    3. there is no #3. You are done.



    If you need to purchase more receivers, these things are about $50 each.



    Way cheaper than ABS, plus gives you an option of wirelessly transmitting video as well.




    And this is what I am saying (sorta). Using the USB port is just stupid, when wireless is an equal option (ie. costs you no more, as you already have the ABS if you were goign to use the USB port). One ABS is all that is needed (not multiple). You would have multiple recievers hooked up through out your house (to your stereo(s)). The receivers would hook up to the ABS wirelessly, and your mac would hook to the ABS wirelessly. So this solution is a step better than the radioshack one, as no need for wires from mac to transmitter. And the ABS can send sound or video as well.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    piwozniakpiwozniak Posts: 815member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kupan787

    And this is what I am saying (sorta). Using the USB port is just stupid, when wireless is an equal option (ie. costs you no more, as you already have the ABS if you were goign to use the USB port). One ABS is all that is needed (not multiple). You would have multiple recievers hooked up through out your house (to your stereo(s)). The receivers would hook up to the ABS wirelessly, and your mac would hook to the ABS wirelessly. So this solution is a step better than the radioshack one, as no need for wires from mac to transmitter. And the ABS can send sound or video as well.



    You are right, but first you would need something that does not (yet) exist, while "radioshack stuff" you can have tomorrow :-),



    And if you are not using mobile comp. you really won't care about ONE extra wire. (two if you want video).

    And one more thing, i don't think you will be able to receive audio, video, and have someone on the net downloading something using airport, there's not enough bandwidth.

    (at least in 802.11b)

    :-)
  • Reply 20 of 35
    kupan787kupan787 Posts: 586member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by piwozniak

    You are right, but first you would need something that does not (yet) exist, while "radioshack stuff" you can have tomorrow :-),



    And if you are not using mobile comp. you really won't care about ONE extra wire. (two if you want video).

    And one more thing, i don't think you will be able to receive audio, video, and have someone on the net downloading something using airport, there's not enough bandwidth.

    (at least in 802.11b)

    :-)




    Lets see. The internet is not likely going to use more than 1Mbps of our 11 (Most home DSL or cable setups are between 768 Kbps and and 1.5Mbps, and that is the peak). So that leaves 10Mbps (or 1.2 MBps) for our sound and video. Sound takes a very small amount (think about streaming internet radio), so we wont even factor that in as it would be negligable (correct me if I am wrong). Video only needs to be 640x480 (most TV displays) and could be compressed (perhaps MPEG4, the receiver box could have an MPEG4 decoder chip on it for real time decoding.) So the streaming of the video could easily go over the remaining bandwidth. For example, I am looking at the Ultra quality last Matrix trailer (which is 1000x540) and its data rate is only 658.2 KB/s. So think of something smaller resolution than that streaming, and the data rate wouldn't be nearly as high. So my device (once it comes out could easily handle Mom surfing the net, Dad streaming his MP3s to his high end stereo, and the kids watching the latest ripped DVD on the TV upstairs.



    BTW, what "frequency" does the RadioShack thing use? Is it just over radio waves?
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