Apple WDS

So, I've been MIA for awhile; have moved from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, PA, and switched to focusing more on Java development.

That said, moving into a new apartment, had a chance to play with the Apple Airport Express again, especially with regards to distributing music. I was thinking of buying multiple Logitech Squeezeboxen, but the reviews on the second generation units were pretty poor, and then I staggered across the Remote App for the iPhone, which got me to looking at what I can do with what I already owned. That led me to the Lifehacker article explaining out most of the following.

It's supposedly easy to setup if you have an Airport Extreme, but with the Linksys WRT54G with either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware updates, you can have a $50 router do WDS (wireless distribution system), and allow you to put music to multiple Airport Express units. The disadvantage is that Tomato won't do WPA with WDS, but only WEP; in layman's terms, it's a less secure solution, but almost $150 cheaper.

Plug the Airport Express directly into the Linksys box, enable distributed audio, and tell each box the other's MAC address. Done. Install Remote onto an iPhone or iPod touch, set the handheld to use the same wifi network as the Airport units, dock it and sync it up. The handheld then can loosely control iTunes remotely.

Multi-room synchronized sound over wifi with relatively low cost hardware and a quick setup time. Awesome.

1 comment:

Michael Cloppert said...

Glad you got it working, and glad to hear you're doing well. It took me a few nights of frustration as I attempted to set up WDS using WPA, until I researched the protocol and learned that it's incompatible and switched to WEP. Weak encryption, but the WDS was the priority.

Mike