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Airplay

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Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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So.....last week I purchased an Apple Airport Extreme (AAE) to replace (and hopefully improve upon) the HH3 supplied by BT when they installed Infinity.

By way of background, I have been predominantly using the Airplay function on the Marantz MCR603 for music, which is based in the lounge. I also have the Apple TV and Zeppelin (non air) in the main bedroom - they are connected via an optical cable (TOSLINK to mini TOSLINK) and this effectively provides music via Airplay to the Zeppelin. I use the two systems independently for the most part but also use the multiroom function at times. My music is stored on the Synology NAS in various formats (mostly FLAC).

When playing music via Airplay on both of the aforementioned I generally use the apple remote on my iPhone (if the MBP is on and not to hand) or the Synology DS Audio app on the iPhone if the MBP is not turned on or easily to hand. Apple remote picks up the NAS as a shared drive. I do also use the Music Server function on the Marantz. The latter always works without any problems. However, when using Airplay, I was experiencing 'drop off' of the two Airplay devices from the playing client (e.g. iTunes or DS Audio) after a period of inactivity or sometimes from the outset - frustrating! I assumed network issues and suspected the HH3 was the source of the problem - hence the AAE purchase.

Set up was a doddle - simply replace the HH3 with AAE and follow some the set up process in the Airport Utility app. 

I am pleased to report (for those who are experiencing similar problems and considering taking a similar leap) that the AAE has improved things no end. The WLAN is now a lot more stable and I have not experienced any 'drop off' of Airplay devices with the AAE whatsoever. The new set up can also comfortably handle hi def 24bit 96khz FLAC files (constantly buffering with HH3) - I only have a few of these, however. 

Internet browsing is not noticeably different either way (already lightning quick on HH3), upload time to Synology NAS appears marginally quicker and connections to other Wi-Fi devices (e.g. wireless printer) seem more stable.

There are obviously other suitable upgrade alternatives to the AAE (before the Apple haters pipe up) which I am sure would have done the same job (if not better). Hopefully if there are other users in a not too dissimilar boat this post will be of use to them.  

 

 

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Panasonic 42GT30B║Marantz M-CR603 (Airplay)║Monitor Audio Radius HD R90HD║Monitor Audio Radius HD R370HD║B&W Zeppelin║13" MBP (mid 2012)║Apple TV║Synology DS110j║iPhone 4S

 

NAD C320bee║NAD C521bee║B&W DM602.5 S3 (gathering dust in the loft!)

Juzzie Wuzzie's picture
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RE: Airplay

Great post - thank you.  I find with Airplay that you need to ensure that you have the AEX updated to the latest and greatest software as a starting point.  Then I've found it is down to the router - my Sky white box router being far more stable than the old black box I used to have.  I expect there is synergies with using AExtreme to AEX as both Apple products, but I can't justify the extra box.

Am patiently waiting on the Arcam Air Dac to see whether that would be an improvement on the AEX.

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Living Room: Samsung 40C7000; Oppo BDP-103EU; Onkyo SR308; Apple TV3; Airport Express; Sky HD+; Jamo A102 HSC5; Naim Nait 5i-2; Neat Iotas; Chord / Wireworld / QED / TCI interconnects and speaker wire; Harmony 550 universal remote; Tacima mains conditioner Portable: Shuffle (1G); iPad (1G); iPad Minil FiiO E1; AKG450; Grado SR60i; Sennheiser CX300II; custom Ultimate Ears Car: iPod Classic 120GB

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RE: Airplay

I am deliberately not updating my wifes Macbook to Mountain Lion because of the Airport Utility app, 5.6 for Lion is quite a powerfull tool, 6.0 on Mountain Lion is frustratingly dumbed down.  Something to bare in mind Smile

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chebby's picture
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RE: Airplay

I have been using an AirPort Extreme 802.11n for 6 years now.

One of the best, most reliable bits of kit I have ever invested in. If it broke now, I'd buy another one without a moment's hesitation.

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Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

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RE: Airplay

Not wishing to hijack this thread.... I stream from my Synology NAS to my Roberts Stream 63i using the music server option and also via a docked iPod using DS Audio but I was wondering if there is a way of integrating AirPlay using a Airport Express?

 

These are the inputs on the back, but the Optical conection is output only(I think):

Aux in 3.5mm, LAN, WiFi, Optical

 

Juzzie Wuzzie's picture
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RE: Airplay

3.5mm to 3.5mm cable - AEX to 63i.  Simples.  Or optical cable with 3.5mm adaptor to optical in on 63i depending on whether you want the AEX or the 63i to do the d/a conversion.

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Living Room: Samsung 40C7000; Oppo BDP-103EU; Onkyo SR308; Apple TV3; Airport Express; Sky HD+; Jamo A102 HSC5; Naim Nait 5i-2; Neat Iotas; Chord / Wireworld / QED / TCI interconnects and speaker wire; Harmony 550 universal remote; Tacima mains conditioner Portable: Shuffle (1G); iPad (1G); iPad Minil FiiO E1; AKG450; Grado SR60i; Sennheiser CX300II; custom Ultimate Ears Car: iPod Classic 120GB

motley's picture
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RE: Airplay

Does a Airport Express have a 3.5mm in/output I thought it was a mini Optical. The Optical on the Roberts is output only.

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RE: Airplay

motley wrote:

Does a Airport Express have a 3.5mm in/output I thought it was a mini Optical. The Optical on the Roberts is output only.

On the AE it does both analogue and optical through the one jack.

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RE: Airplay

motley wrote:

Does a Airport Express have a 3.5mm in/output I thought it was a mini Optical. The Optical on the Roberts is output only.

It has a combined 3.5mm jack which is also optical. However, whilst some will disagree I really don't rate the output of the AEs DAC - fine for background music imho but not for serious listening. But maybe for the Roberts unit it'll fine.

 

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Above fed from synology NAS

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RE: Airplay

motley wrote:

Not wishing to hijack this thread.... I stream from my Synology NAS to my Roberts Stream 63i using the music server option and also via a docked iPod using DS Audio but I was wondering if there is a way of integrating AirPlay using a Airport Express? 

Which music server are you using to stream from your synology? If it's LMT or DS audio you can control this via an i-device and wouldn't need an AE in the mix, if I understood your setup correctly.

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Airport Express ->Dacmagic -> Denon AVR4306 -> Kef Iq9
Squeezebox Touch -> Audiolab 8000 -> B&W 685
Above fed from synology NAS

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RE: Airplay

DS Audio, what I want to achieve is it control the Audio file/track selection from an i device when streaming music from the Synology NAS to the Roberts either by DS Audio or Airplay. The Roberts picks up all of the NAS content without issue but you can't change the music selection from an i device which you coulf if you introduced an AE because you could then use either Airplay to stream files from the i Device or the DS Audio app using AirPlay to select files on the NAS using an i device.

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RE: Airplay

DS Audio, what I want to achieve is it control the Audio file/track selection from an i device when streaming music from the Synology NAS to the Roberts either by DS Audio or Airplay. The Roberts picks up all of the NAS content without issue but you can't change the music selection from an i device which you coulf if you introduced an AE because you could then use either Airplay to stream files from the i Device or the DS Audio app using AirPlay to select files on the NAS using an i device.

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RE: Airplay

motley wrote:

DS Audio, what I want to achieve is it control the Audio file/track selection from an i device when streaming music from the Synology NAS to the Roberts either by DS Audio or Airplay. The Roberts picks up all of the NAS content without issue but you can't change the music selection from an i device which you coulf if you introduced an AE because you could then use either Airplay to stream files from the i Device or the DS Audio app using AirPlay to select files on the NAS using an i device.

Did you try streaming to the Roberts from DS audio over a network? (not with the i-device docked but for example from the DS audio web interface). It could be that the Roberts will appear as a destination on the streaming interface. If that's the case you should then be able to control track selection remotely. It may also be possible to control the basic synology media server remotely in terms of track selection but I'm not familier with any solution for that.

Adding an AE seems over the top in as much as you seem to have all the required pieces in place but maybe it's required... Good luck with it :)

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Airport Express ->Dacmagic -> Denon AVR4306 -> Kef Iq9
Squeezebox Touch -> Audiolab 8000 -> B&W 685
Above fed from synology NAS

Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 6
RE: Airplay

Not familiar with the Roberts but I'd be surprised if the DS Audio app or (Audio Station on the Synology) will recognise it as a player without it being docked.

Open the DS Audio app on IOS device (not docked), play some music and put in remote mode by pressing the very small 'remote' icon at the top. This will then list all the devices DS Audio recognises and can 'push' music too.

Failing that try the Roberts ConnectR app (not sure if compatible with 63i). This might get you to where you want to be. Would be interested to know if it works.... 

__________________

Panasonic 42GT30B║Marantz M-CR603 (Airplay)║Monitor Audio Radius HD R90HD║Monitor Audio Radius HD R370HD║B&W Zeppelin║13" MBP (mid 2012)║Apple TV║Synology DS110j║iPhone 4S

 

NAD C320bee║NAD C521bee║B&W DM602.5 S3 (gathering dust in the loft!)

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RE: Airplay

Roberts Conect R app yes it would solve everything who would have thought they would not make it available for their top of the range bit of kit??? nice one Roberts thanks<img src=" />

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RE: Airplay

Paul. wrote:

I am deliberately not updating my wifes Macbook to Mountain Lion because of the Airport Utility app, 5.6 for Lion is quite a powerfull tool, 6.0 on Mountain Lion is frustratingly dumbed down.  Something to bare in mind Smile

I run AirPort Utility 5.6 with Mountain Lion - here's how  Smile