Airport Express

Airport Express We also got “Airport Express”: days before the wedding. Good thing, because we ended up having to put the amplifier upstairs so we could control the music via a laptop downstairs.

Overall, Airport Express is good, but there were some problems. For one, it was the most difficult install I’ve ever done with an Apple product. I figured I would just plug it into the wall, plug in the ethernet and the audio cable and I’d be done. Apple is so good, this is what I expected. But I actually had to install some software from the CD that came with it. Ugh! The software is a configuration utility for the Airport Express; and then I had to download iTunes 4.6 to get AirTunes. I know Windows users are thinking “So? I have to install several things, reboot 4 times and talk to tech support for 90 minutes whenever I get new hardware. And I’m lucky if I don’t have to reinstall Windows or get 37 Windows Updates that don’t work.” But for an Apple product, this was painful — it took me almost 15 minutes to get it working.

But the most signficant problem with it is that it just cuts out often. Simon Willison has “noticed the same problem”: It worked great for a couple days before the wedding, but of course, the day of the wedding it started to do this. I thought our 2.4GHz phone was interfering with the WiFi, especially when neighbors were calling (at 10pm!) about the music. But I guess it’s just a bug.

What I did learn that just amazed me is that I could get a reliable WiFi connection at the end of our front yard, a good 200 yards from the house. Several months ago we got a “Linksys WRT54G”:, an 802.11g base station, and the range is far greater than our older 802.11b Linksys. We were streaming MP3s from the house to the front yard to play during the ceremony. I wonder if all our neighbors have learned they can have free internet access off our WiFi base stations. 🙂

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