Exclusive Rumor Mill Ramblings: Airport Express AirTunes Remote Control for iTunes coming soon called Front Row
May 16, 2005 - 11:10am Central
Anyone with an Airport Base, a Mac and an iTunes library full of the best MP3s started to drool with the announcement of Airtunes last year. To be able to stream music to a stereo further solidified Apple and Steve Jobs as the Godfather of the digital world.
However, last year's Airtunes remote device for streaming iTunes music between a Mac and stereo had one draw back: no remote control.
All that has changed, or will changing soon, as hinted by an error message in the new 4.8 update to iTunes. If a firewall is configured, and the first time the iTunes 4.8 loads up, a new message pops up. It tells you "...using a firewall software prevents you from... using a remote control for AirTunes."
Fine, that's great. Oh wait, what remote control for AirTunes?
This is obviously a slip to the next upgrade to Airport Express, which will obviously contain a remote control -- as this message didn't pop up in the previous version of iTunes. Since nothing solid exists right now as an official Apple product (really, would Apple add this message in just for one kinda functioning third party remote?) -- we know what's coming shortly. In checking our connections on the sale's floor, Airport Expresses have been in limited availability the last few weeks -- meaning an upgrade is probably around the corner. We're hearing the words Front Row as a possible name for the new remote.
Last year, here's an article from Macworld that talked with Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak about the idea of a remote control with Airport Express:
"When I suggested that AirPort Express wouldn't fulfill a certain group of users' needs because you've got to use iTunes to control it rather than a hand-held remote, he didn't dispute that. In fact, he seemed to suggest that a remote control might indeed be a logical direction -- but that Apple wanted to get this first product out the door, to get the ball rolling."
Here's more about the concept of Airtunes:
"AirPort Express with AirTunes redefines the way you listen to your music at home. It gives you the freedom to play your iTunes music through your stereo or powered speakers in virtually in any room of your house -- wirelessly. It lets you enjoy the tremendous flexibility of iTunes without being bound to your Mac or PC, opening up a whole new world of musical enjoyment.
Your Music -- Unwired.
You've put together an extensive digital music collection in iTunes, arranged it into clever playlists to suit your every mood. Now you want to enjoy it in your living room on your home stereo, not just in the den, where your computer sits. Enter AirPort Express with AirTunes.
AirPort Express works with iTunes to make listening to your iTunes music library through your home stereo or powered speakers not only a possibility but a snap.(1) Whether your stereo or powered speakers are located in your living room, bedroom or basement, just plug it or them into the audio port on the AirPort Express Base Station using an audio cable. iTunes automatically detects the connection. When you open iTunes on your AirPort-equipped Mac or Wi-Fi-compliant PC, you'll see a popup list at the bottom right of the iTunes window showing your remote speakers. Select it, click play and your stereo becomes the world's greatest digital jukebox."
Discover more about Apple Airport Express and Airtunes