Apple introduced the Apple Airport Express last week, a mobile version of its AirPort wireless networking kit that also includes the ability to stream iTunes-based audio files to a home stereo.
The 802.11g AirPort Express is about the size of a power adapter brick and creates a wireless network when plugged into an electric outlet using either a cable or DSL source. In addition, it features digital audio outputs and iTunes music networking software called AirTunes, enabling iTunes songs stored on a PC to play through a home’s stereo. The Airport Express will work with any 802.11g-based Mac or Windows desktop or notebook computer.
The AirPort Express is now available through Apple’s online store with a $129 suggested retail price and will ship to Apple’s retail outlets in July.
The AirTunes software enables the user to choose, via the computer, which audio device will receive the songs. The application encodes the music to prevent theft and incorporates Apple’s proprietary lossless compression technology that helps keep the music from degrading during transmission.