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Plug and Pray…

Apple AirPort Express with Air Tunes (M9470LL/A)
For awhile now, I’d been thinking of buying an Airport Express in order to (a) strengthen the wireless signal downstairs when using our laptop and (b) to be able to use the Airtunes feature which allows you to pipe music from your computer upstairs to your stereo downstairs, all wirelessly. Since I’d received a truckload of money for my birthday, it seemed like a good time to make the purchase.

Having been an Apple guy for over 15 years, one thing I’m used to from Apple is the ease of installation and use, so typically I just crack open the box and opt for the plug and play method of getting it to work. Therefore, I popped the included CD into the drive, followed the setup instructions and, in theory, should have been on my way to listening to some groovy beats from my living room stereo. Unfortunately, this is one product that takes a little more time to figure out and by the next day I was still working on it.

Only through the help of the internet was I actually able to figure out how to get this working, and even then I’m not totally convinced that it’s working because of these instructions or because of my own trial and error. I will share this for anyone that happens upon this entry—you’ll need to hardcode your DHCP settings into the router via the Airport Assistant. And also, I had to use WEP 128-bit encryption for my password. Those are the two last things I changed before I got the steady green light, as opposed to the constantly blinking amber light. Ugh. My experience went very much like this guys.

Regardless, after about 15 hours of messing around with settings and getting that green light to come on, I’m now able to use my internet downstairs and am also able to play music through my stereo downstairs from my office upstairs.

I’m thinking it’s more of a compatibility issue between the Linksys wireless router and the Airport Express because people who start out with an Airport base station don’t seem to have the same problems. All I know is that I put the smackdown on this problem and now it’s working. Honestly though, Apple shouldn’t make something that’s this difficult to get working. I’m starting to feel like a Windows user. :)

At the end of the day though, I’m very happy with my purchase. Even though the installation was a bitch, now that it’s working, it’s very cool and will definitely come in handy for our yearly July 4th party. I can set the iTunes playlists up upstairs and let the music play downstairs.

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