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SUCCESS STORY: Apple Airport Express

7/17/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Apple's Airport Express with AirTunes music-networking PC software has been available for two years, and during the 12 months ending May 2005, the combo took top share in unit sales of networked media receivers, The NPD Group statistics show. The device retails for only a suggested $129 because it incorporate no amplifier or speakers, only an 802.11g 54Mbps wireless transceiver and analog and digital outputs, which connect to an existing stereo system or amplified speakers. All consumers have to do is plug the base station into the wall for power, then use an analog or digital audio cable to connect it to the stereo. Supplied PC software automatically detects the remote stereo in a pop-up list for the user to select. Once the remote stereo is selected, music streams wirelessly music from the computer to the AirPort Express base station. The streamed music, which is encoded to protect it from theft, uses Apple's lossless compression technology to ensure no loss of sound quality. Wireless range is up to 150 feet, and multiple AirPort Express base stations can be installed to extend range.