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Will this idea work?


dongna
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Hello, newbie here... love this forum.

 

After spending many weeks browsing this and other similar forums looking for possible solutions to getting audio from my PC to my home audio system, I have come up with the following idea:

 

I would like to have the audio files stored on my main PC which will be located in a home office. My audio system is located in the living room. I currently have a wired-only router with DSL internet. I would like to avoid wireless as I don't have a wireless network presently and I like the security and dependability of wired-- but I also like the possibility of having a wireless remote to control things.

 

So my (perhaps half-baked) plan is to use iTunes on the PC playing Apple lossless format. Purchase an Apple Airport Express which I will locate near the home audio system and connect via ethernet cable to my router (running cable through the crawlspace is no problem). Purchase an iPod Touch to provide remote control operation of iTunes. I will try connecting the Airport Express to my amp via the mini-jack at first, but would also like to have the option to use an extenal DAC via the USB port on the AE in the future.

 

Is all this going to work, or have I missed some critical detail that would prevent it from working?

 

And a question: is an 8 GB iPod Touch adequate to run the iTunes remote software?

 

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1. Yes, any iPod Touch or iPhone (including the 8GB model you refer to) will run Apple's Remote app which will give you a remote control of iTunes.

 

2. Yes, connecting the Airport Express to the router via ethernet will give you the wireless access you need for the iTouch remote to work. However you should be prepared for some minor fiddling with setup options to get it all to play nice together.

 

3. No, your future plans to use the Airport Express USB port to connect to an external DAC will not work with the current and past generation Airport Express units. The USB port will only allow you to connect a printer, not a DAC. Perhaps Apple will change their minds in future and enable this, but don't hold your breath. On the brighter side, the mini-jack output doubles as a mini Toslink optical digital output, so if you choose a DAC that has Toslink input, this will give you a good future upgrade path from the analog connection.

 

Sounds like you have a decent plan of action - I am sure you will get a lot of enjoyment out of your music as you travel down this path.

 

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Completely agree with souptin.

 

FWIW, I and an experienced listener tried the TOSLINK output of an AE into a moderate priced DAC($500) vs the AE analogue output and heard little (and certainly no significant) difference.

 

This was disappointing as I really wanted to upgrade to a DAC from the AE and was cocked and ready to spend money.

 

OR

 

This was not disappointing as perhaps the analog of the AE is not so bad (as everyone seems to believe/has been told) and I saved some $.

 

The reasons are 1) My inadequate hearing 2) my inadequate stereo 3) There are no significant differences 4) Other reasons I don't know about.

 

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I have an Apple Time Capsule which is essentially an external hard drive with an Airport Extreme built into it. It is connected via ethernet to my modem. From there I am wireless to an Apple TV which I then use the optical out to the optical in on my DAC and of course from there to my system. I use an HDMI connection from the Apple TV also for video. I also operate a iPod Touch with the remote application. What I like about this is the ability to see the full menus on my HDTV and control my music along with the screensaver using my album artwork which can be pretty awesome on a large screen. However I don't always want the HDTV on and then I use the iPod Touch to remote control.

 

"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I've ordered the Airport Express to start out and will hopefully get it before the end of the week.

 

Since I first posted, I've read that iTunes might not be the best option for a PC user. I also learned that there is an iTouch-based remote option for Media Monkey (which I already have installed). I downloaded and installed iTunes over the weekend, so I have only had a day or two playing with it, whereas I've had MM installed for quite some time and really like it's features. Are we talking differences in sound quality between the two?

 

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I can't comment on Sound Quality differences (I never compared) but there is no question (IMO, anyway) that MM is far superior in user interface, features, flexibility, add-ons, power, etc.

 

The Melloware remote works pretty well, if that is what you are using.

 

If you ever want o go wireless form MM -> AE, Eric Milles' Remotespeaker Output is reliable and inexpensive.

 

 

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You said if I ever want to go wireless from MM -> AE I would need Remote Speaker Output, but I need this even if I go wired from MM -> AE (as I outlined in my original post), correct? The only way I could get MM to output to the AE was to install this plug-in.

 

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To my knowledge, you would need Remotespeaker Output (RSO) IF YOU ARE USING MEDIAMONKEY. I do no think wired will work to the AE in this scenario.

 

If you are using itunes, I think you could go wired to the AE (according to Apple you can, anyway).

 

In addition, you will need RSO (I am pretty sure) if you want to use Melloware's Monkeytunes remote control for MediaMonkey

 

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I was able to get MM talking to AE over a wired connection just fine, but only after installing Remote Speaker.

 

I'm just trying to confirm that I do, in fact, need Remote Speaker in this case (using AE wired as opposed to wireless).

 

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I just don't know.

 

Are you sure you are taking to the AE wirelessly via RSO? It was my understanding MM would only talk to the AE with RSO and I presumed, wirelesly.

 

Melloware will be helpful in letting you know if you _need_ the RSO to use the itouch control software.

 

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Yes I'm sure. I do not have a wireless router, and I have an ethernet cable running across the floor and down the hall way (temporarily for testing purposes, but still much to the consternation of my wife) from the PC in the office to the Airport Express in the living room near the audio system.

 

I'm thinking I still need RSO. It was the only way I could find to direct MM output to the AE-- whether it be connected wired or wireless I don't think matters.

 

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