I just figured out how to sit at my computer and play my music wirelessly to any set of speakers located in my house!
I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on wireless speakers, network ready stereo receivers, AirPlay and all the other options out there for sound. I want flexibility with how I configure stereo systems, computers and the speaker zones where the audio output is directed.
I did a bunch of internet research and went to Fry’s electronic superstore a few weeks ago trying to really grasp what can be done. I needed some hands on time and I wanted to price out different systems, including portable speakers like Bose or Sony table models($299) for small bedrooms. After almost 2 hours, I found that I needed to go back to the computer and get smarter before I spent a bunch on wi-fi ready receivers that were pretty pricey($899). Only a few vendors actually have Apple’s AirPlay built in. Most claim to be network ready with a built in wi-fi adapter.
Just like when I play chess, I can get so wrapped up in the moves I might make 20 moves ahead in the game that I have to take a big breath and get back to the present. That’s what happened this morning.
While reading again about the Apple AirPlay, the text jumped out at me. The simplest solution just seemed too simple. I’m sure I’d read it before, but this time, it hit me. Apple makes user-friendly equipment and this feature was too simple, but it worked!
I use the AirPlay for my wireless network router. Just plug it it, hook your cable modem up to it, and you have a wi-fi network, right? Now get this! On that same AirPlay device is a place to plug a mini-jack into for sound – just like you’d plug ear buds into on an iPod. The lights just went on in my head! If that is an audio output, I can plug that into my stereo, or my portable speakers and I can have wireless sound from my iPhone, my computer, my iPod! That’s what I did and it works, just like Apple said it would! (here’s the link: http://www.apple.com/itunes/airplay/)
So here’s the cool thing: I can pick songs on my iPhone and select ‘PDJ’ (my network name) as my output and voila! Wireless audio in various locations in the house!
I can walk all over the house with my iPhone in hand and select what the stereo plays! I can even hook up more than one AirPlay and control multiple speakers- one in the living room, one in the bedroom, one outside! It’s the perfect solution and it was right there in front of my nose all the time!
Now I can focus on just getting the right receiver for my stereo, the right set of speakers for the bedroom and outside, and then put an AirPlay in each location to connect the speakers into.
An AirPlay adapter costs around $100.
How cool is that!