AirPort Express & (no) remote control...Am I wrong here?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Anyone know if there is a way to use AirPort Express's wireless capability to remote control iTunes? If not, imagine the following scenario:



You're relaxing in the living room, listening to your digital music magically beamed to your stereo, via your new AirPort Express, from your Mac down the hall. Just then, you decide to want to [insert forehead slap here] change the song you're listening to. What do you do? Get up and walk down the hall, click your way to the song you want, and walk back to the living room (having missed the intro). Thank heaven for wireless.



It seems to me that it "air tunes" is really the goal, then Slim Device's Squeezebox ($199) is a better option. (Roku's Soundbridge M1000 ($225 + $45 CF WiFi card) is slicker-looking but doesn't support DRM AAC.) Granted they're a bit pricier, albeit not much for the Sqeezebox, but you also get a device with a neat display showing song info. Plus a remote! (I can see the ad now: "Squeezebox...$199; home stereo...$2000; 20" iMac with iTunes 4.6...$2200; not having to walk to another part of the house just to change the music...Priceless.) I know I'm being a bit sardonic, but you get the point. For background music, wireless playlists doing their own thing is fine. But for music listening, you're going to want at least a modicum of control over what you're listening to.



P.S. Unless you're using the AirPort Express as a WiFi bridge, the 802.11g bandwidth also seems superfluous. Just thinking outside the box.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Do most people use remotes with their stereos? I don't know, maybe they do. I sure don't. I don't know anyone else who does either, but maybe I just don't hang out with the right people.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Airport Express will have a remote of some sort, at WWDC - I bet.



    A pseudo iPod. (I do not believe iPods themselves will be the actual remotes. I think there will be a purity-of-design violation, so to speak, if the iPod is made to do double duty as remote -and- portable MP3 player, sorry.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    macsrgood4umacsrgood4u Posts: 3,007member
    Two Apple execs (Josiak and Jobs) said that they are not going to have a remote anytime soon as they will be concentrating on Airport Express as it is. This doesn't mean Belkin or Griffin might not have something out late in the year but don't count on it until early next year if they do come out with something. In other words, no remote from Apple, at least.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Quote:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=484

    When Jobs was demonstrating the new Airport Express, Walt Mossberg said that the biggest problem he saw was that users had to get up and walk to their computers to change play lists. Jobs joked that walking was good, but when pressed, he smiled a wry smile. AppleInsider correspondents took this to mean that Apple is developing in this area, and the Airport Express is just a step along the way.



    Aside from the Kasper extrapolation, I can easily envision a very stubborn Steve Jobs actually being very serious about not wanting there to be an actual remote control - only for him to get a sinking feeling after Mossberg's concerns. Jobs does at least have the luxury of having access to a company that can crank out a design and new product at his command, so if it is an afterthought we probably will never know it. I can well imagine the "wry smile" was accompanied by Jobs thinking "Oh shit...I guess Jonathan Ive was right...people will want a remote, damn it."



    I think there pretty much needs to be a remote (nearly all press of the Airport Express has had such criticism), but yes, MacsRGood4U is right in that Apple seems more than happy to let Belkin and Griffin (sounds like a law firm) fill in the accessories gap. And in the end, all that matters is that there is a solution and Apple isn't actively thwarting 3rd party developers.



    I, for one, use my stereo's remote constantly.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    macflymacfly Posts: 256member
    maybe the remote is coming at wwdc but they dont want to tip their hand because its going to be bigger than just a remote... look on Kormacs posts and he implies some kiind of wireless device of some sort. what if it is a smaller tablet like thing that has a sceen and will be able to control a bunch of devices...airtunes enabled computer or whatever
  • Reply 6 of 40
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Premise -"It seems to me that it "air tunes" is really the goal,"



    This is the whole problem with your arguement. Air Tunes is not the goal. Air Tunes is but a feature of a new Airport device.



    What makes the Airport Express Unique



    1. Built in AC adapter. Has road warrior written all over it.



    2. Wireless router with the ability to link to your stereo.



    3. Plays nice in existing Airport networks.



    Apple isn't saying that this AE is your one stop solution for audio delivery. For those who have a strong preference for audio feature. The squeezebox, Soundbridge or other devices are going to have a superior UI. However if your needs also encompass portability or wireless routing those audio devices are not going to be appropriate.



    Apple isn't trying to be everything to everyone here. The AE is now a cheaper device for adding wireless to the home and that's welcome. It just also happens to have a nifty Air Tunes feature as well. Try not to take a microscopic view but rather a macroscopic view to see the whole picture.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Premise -"It seems to me that it "air tunes" is really the goal,"



    This is the whole problem with your arguement. Air Tunes is not the goal. Air Tunes is but a feature of a new Airport device.



    What makes the Airport Express Unique



    1. Built in AC adapter. Has road warrior written all over it.



    2. Wireless router with the ability to link to your stereo.



    3. Plays nice in existing Airport networks.



    Apple isn't saying that this AE is your one stop solution for audio delivery. For those who have a strong preference for audio feature. The squeezebox, Soundbridge or other devices are going to have a superior UI. However if your needs also encompass portability or wireless routing those audio devices are not going to be appropriate.



    Apple isn't trying to be everything to everyone here. The AE is now a cheaper device for adding wireless to the home and that's welcome. It just also happens to have a nifty Air Tunes feature as well. Try not to take a microscopic view but rather a macroscopic view to see the whole picture.




    Plus you can hook your printer up too.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    I think the vision needs to be MORE Macro. Airtunes is a sign of the obvious. When you've had the kind of success Apple has had with the iPod and ITMS, you need to branch out and permeate the brand across the 'digital lifestyle' landscape in order to stay ahead of the competition.



    If the iPod, ITMS stay as computer-based solitairy experiences, they will die a slow death at the hands of cheaper, PC-based competitors. By capitolizing on the brand-recognition, marketing, and momentum of the iPod, Apple has a chance to be viewed as THE company for your PERSONAL DIGITAL LIFE.



    I would be surprised NOT to see an announcement at the WWDC of either a simple remote, OR a more complete solution either as a Home Media piece of software or hardware, or as mentioned previously a tablet style device for controlling iTunes and portable (home) internet browsing.



    The best way to continue to make sure people BUY their music on iTMS and not somewhere else is to take it to the next level: the living room and car. I should be able to buy music from my couch while exploring my music library courtesy of my home stereo. I should be able to tag songs on the radio (XM hopefully) that are automatically added to my iTMS wishlist.



    I should be able to veiw iPhoto libraries, iMovie content and more on a HD TV with APPLE simplicity and elegance (sorry El Gato, no iTMS support). Looking into the future (not that distant, just ask Tivo) I should be able to use an iTVS (iTunes Video Store) for the purchase of music vidoes, TV shows and movies.



    Apple is on the cusp of becoming the Microsoft of the home. If they play their cards right they could run away with the market, or they could fail miserably. I hope that Steve is listening to the market and thinking ahead. iPod and iTMS are incredible successes, but so was the Apple IIe...
  • Reply 9 of 40
    skyweirskyweir Posts: 13member
    Perhaps one could use the Salling Clicker software and their BlueTooth enabled phone to control iTunes from afar.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sport73

    [B...

    I should be able to buy music from my couch while exploring my music library courtesy of my home stereo. I should be able to tag songs on the radio (XM hopefully) that are automatically added to my iTMS wishlist.



    I should be able to veiw iPhoto libraries, iMovie content and more on a HD TV with APPLE simplicity and elegance (sorry El Gato, no iTMS support).

    ...[/B]



    A video output for menus and photos definitely is possible. Perhaps it needs a beefier processor, if so it can decode audio too to save bandwidth. Right now its bandwidth usage is extreme!



    My guess is AirTunes is all that works in 10.3. Perhaps multi video, audio, and input sharing is coming in Tiger.



    The flipside is that AirTunes is a focused brand. Other products like remotes would be released with the AirTunes moniker. AirMovie could be the A/V version. Not sure where wireless thin client tablets fit in.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    >_>>_> Posts: 336member
    The scenereo that would best relate to me is:



    I am sitting on my bed with my Powerbook, and listening to music playing off it on my Creature speakers on my desk.



    No need for a remote.



    Another possibility would be that I'd be sitting on the couch, surfing the web or playing a game, with my music playing wirelessly on our sound-system. 2x 5' speakers, and surround-sound.



    - Xidius
  • Reply 12 of 40
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kabeyun

    You're relaxing in the living room, listening to your digital music magically beamed to your stereo, via your new AirPort Express, from your Mac down the hall. Just then, you decide to want to [insert forehead slap here] change the song you're listening to. What do you do? Get up and walk down the hall, click your way to the song you want, and walk back to the living room (having missed the intro). Thank heaven for wireless.



    Hmm my powerbook serves as a mighty fine remote. Thank heaven for wireless.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    Hmm my powerbook serves as a mighty fine remote. Thank heaven for wireless.



    Yes, but we're talking about eMacs, iMacs, PowerMacs, and stationary Laptops, etc. Perhaps stream from your iPod in a dock.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    I think an option for a remote is nice, but I can live without it. I think one of the great things about having your music in iTunes rather than on a CD changer etc is the option for playlists. With a little bit of forethought you can program what you want to hear. I really beleive this is THE big advantage of this kind of setup. I'm sure some channel-surfing tune-switching caffeine-addict won't like this arrangment, but it will work for many I think.



    I agree with the above post about stereo remotes, they have to be the most unused remotes in the house.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    kabeyunkabeyun Posts: 81member
    Good thoughts. It looks like folks who use their PBs don't need a remote. True enough. But as Xool pointed out, you're out of luck if you have a decktop machine. I guess johnq and I are the only ones who use our stereo's remote.

    It seems from Apple's slant that AirTunes really is the goal. They're clearly not marketing it as a wireless hub with AirTunes as a nifty by-the-way. Their splash screen is all about AirTunes, and on the product page you have to scroll all the way to the bottom to find "Extend your network." "Air Port on the go" and "Share a Printer - Wirelessly" are right column by-lines on the bottom half of the page.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Is there a solution using a (dare I say?) PocketPC with 802.11b?
  • Reply 17 of 40
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    I sit here typing with my Powerbook and a wireless mouse. I am thinking that the size and shape of the mouse would work as an ipod like device it's got bluetooth alredy. Add a gsm/gprs chip and a 4gb toshiba hard drive. on the bottom under the flashing red light put the ipod mini wheel. On top put the display and numbers. and you have a nice all in one device.



    Also if you get voice recognition with Tiger, then Scotty talking into the mouse in Star Trek isn't so funny!



    \
  • Reply 18 of 40
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    Yes, but we're talking about eMacs, iMacs, PowerMacs, and stationary Laptops, etc. Perhaps stream from your iPod in a dock.



    bluetooth phone with Salling Clicker. Instant remote for more than jsut itunes.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Wouldn't a remote control for iTunes have to be pretty complex to be really useful? How would you switch playlists? Browse by genre? Sure, you could click forward/backward, but really how useful would that be if you've got 10,000 tracks? It would almost have to be a "dumb iPod" to be a useful remote.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    you could have just forward backward volume next playlist shuffle



    5 buttons. or hope hope voice recognition
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