Two very exciting possibilities arrived with the release of Apple’s $129 AirPort Express mobile wireless base station in mid-2004. The first was that you could now have a portable base station so that you could make your own super-fast 802.11g wireless network wherever you found a broadband connection—whether it be in a hotel room, a board room, or a play room.
The second great thing, and way more exciting because this is iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual, is that the AirPort Express also makes it possible to call up a playlist on your computer upstairs and have the music come out downstairs through your stereo’s speakers. This is because the AirPort Express has a stereo cable jack in addition to its Ethernet cable jack (Figure 13-4). The AirTunes software, included with the AirPort Express, makes it happen, but you also need to be running iTunes 4.6 or later.
Figure 13-4. The AirPort Express (top) draws its power from a wall outlet and has jacks on the bottom for connecting an Ethernet cable, a stereo cable, and even a USB printer cable, so you can beam your documents to the connected printer. Once you get the AirPort Express cabled up and ready to go, just select its name in the pop-up menu in iTunes 4.6 or later (bottom) to stream the music from your Mac or PC to the connected stereo or speakers.
Setting up an AirPort Express to work with iTunes ...