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Just a Thought - Oh Boy! AirPort Express!

by - June 8th, 2004

Man, oh man!

Airport Express! AirTunes! Ladies and gentlemen, this just proves that innovation is alive and well and has a corner office at 1 Infinite Loop.

If my excitement over Airport Extreme and AirTunes seems excessive, you may want to check your pulse, clean your glasses, and reread Apple's press release; there is a lot to be excited about.

Beyond being a really small, and very portable wireless hub, Airport Express can easily mesh into existing networks, adding wireless functionality where there was none, and extending the capabilities of existing wireless networks. That's enough to warrant the US$129 price tag in my book.

Now, add AirTunes so that you can play your Mac or PC based iTunes music anywhere in range of Airport Extreme, and you should be getting all goose-pimply right about now. Your music, where you want it, played in glorious CD quality, thanks to the recent addition of Apple's lossless encoder for iTunes.

Oh, and Airport Express serves as a great wireless print server too.

What really has me excited is where Airport Express could lead us. According to an article in BusinessWeek, Steve Jobs hinted at a device that will allow you to remotely control your Mac or PC based iTunes so that you can select what you want to hear without having to touch your Mac or PC. What form this device will take is anyone's guess, but if I put on my fakir's garb and concentrate, I'm sure I can envision a small remote terminal, wireless, of course, that interfaces directly to terminal aware apps on the Mac or PC. I can see this feature being made available on Macs first, since it will likely be easier to create.

Now this new remote terminal -- "remote controller" doesn't do it justice -- could allow you to do all sorts of things to your Mac remotely. I envision a future version of Airport Express that includes video out so that you can review your iMovies or show a virtual slideshow from the comfort of your living room.

But that's only what could happen; what will happen is that Apple will sell a boatload of these things before the me-tooers chime in. I know I'm already dusting off my checkbook.

is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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