Apple Airport Express

Apple Airplay Multi-Room Setup 6 Zones

Apple Airplay is one of the best wireless home audio solutions available.  With it’s lossless audio design, it sounds as good as digital audio gets when delivered wirelessly.  It is bandwidth heavy but can be overcome with some design considerations.  This Do-It-Yourself wireless project will end up costing far less than other solution providers with proprietary equipment.  This project is wireless in the control aspect as it can be controlled via most of the Apple products available, but the speakers still need to be wired from the central equipment.  The system will be able to be controlled anywhere in your home where there is a wifi network signal. The Airports are going to be wired via ethernet cable to help with the high overhead of bandwidth needed with 6 Airplay instances operating at once.  In my experience, I could use 3 or 4 Airports via purely wifi, but they would drop out above that number because of the traffic.  Newer, faster wifi routers may be able to overcome this limitation.  Look into “multicast” if you attempt a straight up wireless system.  I’ll hook up one of the Airports to operate as the wifi router for the audio only traffic.

A note on some of the other options out there with Open Source processes of Airplay:  (Raspberry Pi, TPLink, Dolry, etc.)  I’ve researched these projects for a few years now trying to develop a product to bypass the expense of Apple’s products and have found that as of this writing; none are ready for prime time easy use for the average consumer.  I consider myself fairly tech savvy and I’ve found the solutions challenging to implement.  Some of the problems I’ve encountered are the problem of synchronization of the Airplay instances, where all the zones are off by a few milliseconds causing weird echo/reverb through the house, dropouts at specific intervals respective of each hacked module, and flat out failure due to inferior equipment design and other bothersome miscellaneous problems of smaller notation.  Another worry of using a hacked version of Airplay is that Apple has an encryption key that may render ALL these devices useless should they decide to pull the switch on a new OS or IOS version, unlikely but nevertheless a consideration.

Parts List

6- Airport Express Modules A1264 (aka MB321LL/A).  $35-$90 These are out of production but can be acquired easily used on Amazon.com, Ebay.com or Craigslist.org.
They’re great values starting around $35.  They have easy factory reset buttons and are ready to go in less than a minute.
Warning: There are two types that look identical.  The ones to avoid are the ones starting with A108_  (Most popular A1084)  These do not work with the current Airport Utility provided with the current Apple OS.  See Wikipedia for more info on Apple Express versions.
The current version is fine also, but the form factor of the A1264 is much easier to mount a series of them together in my opinion.  MC414LL/A

Apple Airplay Airport Express

Apple Airport Express

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Airport Room Labels

Using Apple Airplay from Single Source Apps

continued from Part 1 on setting up a 6 Zone Airplay Multi-Room System

Step 3b: Configure most any audio app to play through any single zone

In almost all these apps, you’re looking for the universal icon for Airplay:

Apple airplay

Apple airplay

On their own, these apps will only play to ONE ZONE at a time.  You can get a program like those mentioned in Part 1 so that you can play to more than one room at a time FROM YOUR IPHONE.  iTunes can natively play to multiple rooms at once out of the box with no extra purchase.

Apple Airplay Examples:

In Pandora:

It should look like this:

Pandora Screenshot for Airplay

Pandora Screenshot for Airplay

When you touch the icon it should open to something like this:

Apple Airplay

Multiroom Apple Airplay

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How to select a Home Theater Receiver

Here’s a typical question I get about how to choose a Home Theater Receiver:

Dear Brian:
One last question (hopefully).
I am about to receive your HD 5.1 in wall system, and if I were tech literate I would read the specs of the speakers and decide how powerful my Home Theater Receiver should be.  I am not remotely tech literate.
The room it will be used in is 16’ to the front and 12’ to the sides.
Since my goal is to not blow the speakers (or my ears), how many watts do you recommend?   100   200   500 ?
And the same applies to the Subwoofer  100   200  etc.  ?

Is there anything else besides watts to consider?

Thanks for your help,  Granville

Here’s my response: (more…)

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Shuffle for Henry

Shuffle for Henry

I’m happy to present this campaign “Shuffle for Henry”. Below it’s detailed as to what it’s all about and what we can do to help. I’d like to say this type of service of helping others through music resonates with me profoundly. I believe music has so many unconscious roots in us and that by unlocking these areas deep within us all, we benefit. Music is magic. I can get deep into why it is here on a metaphysical level, but the proof of the magic is right here in the open. Music moves us. Music makes us feel. Why do we tap our feet when we hear a rhythm of a certain type? Why do we get sad or happy from a certain song? Why does one song affect one but not another? All these questions point to music being more than us. The organization below is proving it everyday. They’ve only begun to scratch the surface of penetration into these care facilities. I’m going head long into helping this cause. This is the “why” of my love for music. This is “why” I’ve followed ways to deliver music to humans.

Read more  — http://henry.inwallstore.com

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