The security key Apple uses when streaming content through its Airport Express Wi-Fi Base Station has been a secret, limiting where iTunes can stream music. Thanks to some reverse engineering work on the part of developer James Laird, however, that private key is now available and has already been rolled into an emulator that can be used to ultimately stream to any device via iTunes.
Prior to Mr. Laird’s work, companies could develop products that streamed to an AirPort Express, but they couldn’t officially build tools that streamed from iTunes to any device. That’s still true, but they can unofficially add iTunes streaming support now that Mr. Laird has released Apple’s private streaming key.
Don’t expect companies to jump on the opportunity to take advantage of Mr. Laird’s work because it would most likely run up against the wrong side of Apple’s legal team. Hackers, however, may very well jump at the chance to cobble together applications and emulators that let them stream via Apple’s own tools to pretty much any device they can think of.
Since Apple controls its public and private Airport Express streaming keys, the company could change them at some point, sending developers back to the drawing board until they reverse engineer them again.
[Thanks to Mac Rumors for the heads up.]