This little beauty is called an airport express. You can buy it from Apple for $99 (USA) or $119 (Australia). It plugs into your home ethernet network (or straight into your ADSL modem) via that little Ethernet connection on the left next to the power cord. Then it shares your internet connection with all your iOS devices via wi-fi. But it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve.
That little port on the bottom right… you can plug it into your home stereo and play music from any iOS device to your stereo wirelessly! The latest Stereo’s from Pioneer etc are coming with airplay built in (a bit like airprint) but the Apple Airport Express allows you to airplay to any stereo.
And that little USB port on the right – you can plug a printer into it and then print wirelessly from any device to your printer (even if your printer doesn’t have wifi built in!).
Here’s how to set up an Airport Express and airplay.
1. Plug the leftmost ethernet connector on the Airport Express (the one with the little circular symbol) into your ADSL modem (or into an Ethernet hub).
2. Plug your home stereo into your airport express audio out jack. (The small 3.5mm on the bottom right with the loudspeaker symbol above it.)
3. Plug in the power to the Airport Express.
4. Open ‘Airport Utility’ on your mac computer. (Airport Utility comes with every Macintosh Computer.) The first screen that appears asks for a name and password. Fill it in – this is a new password you make up, be sure to write it down.
Now if you go to your iPhone (or iPad) to ‘settings’, then to ‘ wifi’ your new network should appear like this:
On your iPhone go into music and play a song. In the bottom right corner a little box with a triangle will appear. This is the airplay symbol. Click it.
You can now select your Airport Express and the music from your iPhone will play out the airport Express! The volume slider on the iPhone now controls the music coming out the Airport Express.