The Beauty and the Beast of AirPlay

Monday, December 17, 2012 – 48 views

— by franksting

Great ideas become a default part of our lives when they just work. The promise of Apple's Airplay Algorithm (yes maybe the wrong descriptor, but I like the alliteration) is that is one of those great ideas When it works. All my music plays from my rather extensive iTunes library on an old MacMini which pretty much only still exists to perform this task. My house is connected by a BEST! Airport Extreme which covers the entire floor space - even with the double brick walls in between rooms. I've got an Airport Express (2011 edition - so not in the new hipster Apple TV style enclosure but the power transformer style) which is plugged in near my Denon Amp and connected via a run of the mill audio cable. In this way most if not all the music played in the house is streamed via AirPlay to the stereo. These days, with 320kbps encoding in AAC, and with my battered eardrums, it's more than good enough. Except when it isn't. And that's solely when the stream over Airplay just randomly drops out. Like it bloody well did TWICE tonight while listening to My Bloody Valentine. And maybe Airplay just hates MBV or perhaps I'm beating on the wrong victim here, because I see it less often when I stream from the iPhones or iPads and perhaps I need to upgrade the MacMini. But in my view, if the hardware is supposed to support a protocol then the protocol should handle the hardware limitations. Or don't offer me Airplay playback on that hardware at all. And when I have to buy a new MacMini to fix that, that's another whinge - isn't it? Do you use Airplay? If so, how does it work for you? Any random dropouts?


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