Tuesday, August 19, 2008

iPod Touch + Remote + Airport Express = WIN

I posted a while back on how I thought the combination of iPod Touch, the Remote app and an Airport Express could end serve as a poor man's Sonos.

Finally got myself an Airport Express last week - and it is as good as I thought.

We have 2 macs at home - I can select either Mac as the source and can select a number of outputs to stream the song to.

How does it compete with the Sonos?

Cost - this is a hands down winner - $700 for a 32 G ipod Touch (you could pay less), $80 for a second hand 802.11 G airport express. Compared to $1500 + for a Sonos, this rocks. And you get an iPod.

Usability - Equivalent - compared to the Soundbridge I had earlier, Arlene can use this happily. That's a serious win.

Functionality - Sonos still on top with its ability to select different output zones, cue up songs (a very social feature) and a single database of tracks. Having said that, the volume control for the Remote app is a useful bonus.

It was the world's easiest sell to go in for another couple of Airport Express units. Next will be to file all the CDs away.

Funniest thing, Arlene spotting the flaw with not having a server capability in iTunes 'Even I think that's dumb'. Apple have to fix this soon. I'd probably pay for a version of the remote app that allowed streaming to different zones and the ability to cue up songs, even the Soundbridge had that.

And a nice touch - you can use the Remote app to enter in WiFi keys on Apple TV.


Ben C said...

Hi Miki
We have a setup similar to that you describe. Except that we have an Apple TV. The good thing about that is that in terms of the database issue your mention. The computer and AppleTV are the same content synced. Combine this with our Airport Express and you can choose multi zones. Ie the Remote can select the ATV and start playing, and then select the Computer and play out via the Express. Two sources sure, but multizone none the less.

The remote app works great if you want to stream via the computer, express and Apple TV at once too with options to turn on or off speakers. The ATV has the Express function also.

Another feature of the remote is its integration into the ATV. Only early days but as you mention, wifi keys, its also a keyboard for when you are surfing YouTube on the apple tv.

This platform is so versatile and almost there I think you can safely say it whips the Sonos hands down.

As you suggest, maybe get another APE, or a ATv and you will be even happier.

What I cant wait for is the ATV to enable mobileme, browsing, and other features that are on the hacked versions.


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Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice setup, I already have an ipod touch so I may just have to get one of these airpport express' to see what all the fuss is about

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