Old 7th June 2004, 21:40   #1
cortana
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Airport Express/AirTunes Plug-in

Well, this was just announced today, and it looks awesome - but there's no way I'd switch to iTunes in order to use it. Anyone got the knowhow to reverse-engineer the AirTunes protocol and get a Winamp plugin going to work with this?

Airport Express: http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/
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Old 7th June 2004, 21:50   #2
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someone (who might actually be able to do it) has already mentioned they might reverse engineer it when it comes out, to work with winamp. so hopefully, you'll hear about it a little after they come out for sale.
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Old 7th June 2004, 21:50   #3
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Its simply a Wireless bridge connected to a sound card and a USB print server in one package.

Most likely the sound card and print server portion are very proprietary!

Not sure if I like the concept. You can do the same thing with off the shelf components in the Windows world, but why would you need to?

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Old 7th June 2004, 21:59   #4
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I know what it is. I want one, and I want it to work with Winamp instead of being forced to use iTunes.
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Old 8th June 2004, 05:01   #5
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Why not buy the DLink one and have something designed to work with Windows? (assuming that is why your asking in the first place)

I also assume even if you wanted a print server and a remote music player, I doubt many people would want their printer by their stereo!

Its not designed for the Windows environment, it costs more than the combined Windows compatible products and it has stuff you possibly don't need anyway. I was just pointing out that this may be the best thing since sliced bread for Apple users but not necessarily so, for everyone else.

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Old 8th June 2004, 05:18   #6
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i dont get the point of it... at all

i mean, can you select songs from your stereo? if not, then why would you care if its playing through your stereo?

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Old 8th June 2004, 06:08   #7
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among other things it lets you select MP3s and such on your computer to be sent over wireless to play on your stereo.

It seems kinda silly to me to have to have wires from this device to connect to your stereo and have a printer port there too.

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Old 8th June 2004, 11:21   #8
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information:

according to this article, the music is decoded "on the fly" to apple's new lossless format, encrypted, and then sent to the airport express to be decrypted and played.
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Old 8th June 2004, 13:16   #9
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so its gotta be processed 3 times before being used? Sounds like someone at apple had to do some busy-work to fill their schedule.

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Old 8th June 2004, 18:13   #10
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but whats the point? you still have to go to your computer to select the music you want played, so you have to go to a different room from where your music is playing to choose a different song... (unless your computer is in the same room as your stereo, in which this thing would be even dumber to have)

and for the few cases i might want this, it would DEFINATELY not be worth $130

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Old 8th June 2004, 18:24   #11
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Agreed, the lack of display or remote makes it kinda silly, but I've never seen a NAT router, USB print server, music streamer, 802.11g access point, and 802.11g bridge in one package before, or such a small package. Personally I'd prefer something like the Squeezebox, but that's more expensive. The reason I'm excited is that I think this thing *will* have a remote - the next iPods. They'll probably have wireless capability and be able to control/stream to this thing.
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Old 8th June 2004, 18:40   #12
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why not just hook your ipod up to the stereo?

unless of course you have more than 40 gigs (which i dont, but im sure some people do) and i think it would be better to pay the extra money to get the 40 gig, compared to the 5+ instead of spending the 130 on an airport which will only play in my house

though, i would like the ability to stream to my ipod in my house, i doubt i would pay 130 for it, and i would still have the limit of being wired (this thing connects to the wall, and i have to connect to the airport)

but even if the ipod works as a remote (in the future)... would it really be worth paying 299 to 499 plus 130 just so you could listen to some songs in your living room from your computer(for those few who have more than 40 gigs of music, which while im sure there are alot, are not the majority, since i think they said most people have less than 5 gigs..).. plus you have to use itunes to play your music

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Old 8th June 2004, 18:47   #13
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Well, that last part is why I want a Winamp plugin ;-)
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Old 8th June 2004, 21:51   #14
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You're unlikely to get one from the looks of things.

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Old 8th June 2004, 22:18   #15
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wouldnt winamp need to be able to play apple lossless codecs first?

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Old 8th June 2004, 22:21   #16
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It'd need to encode it, and encrypt it, if indeed it is sent encrypted.

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Old 9th June 2004, 09:48   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by electricmime
wouldnt winamp need to be able to play apple lossless codecs first?
Winamp can play Apple Lossless already - look here:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....hreadid=178807

It wouldn't be difficult at all to write a plugin that encodes songs on the fly to Apple Lossless - but how should I implement encrypting the song? I think you would have to reverse-engineer iTunes to find out how it is encrypted and with what key. Then you could try to write a plugin. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do that and moreover, it would be illegal to reverse-engineer iTunes.
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Old 9th June 2004, 10:36   #18
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okay... so apple lossless can be played on winamp (though i still dont use it anyway)

i still see no point in the airport express

it just seems like an expensive item with very little functions..

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Old 9th June 2004, 10:36   #19
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I wonder if it's possible to hack an audio adaptor into the Linksys WRT54G... That would give the same functionality for half the price .

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Old 9th June 2004, 13:25   #20
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Heh, that would be great.

Also, I don't think the "encryption" for AirTunes is anything more than standard WEP, so Winamp wouldn't have to do any encrypting.
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Old 9th June 2004, 16:21   #21
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Cheaper Options???

X-10 makes a wireless sound broadcaster that works well. You plug the transmitter into your sound card, plug the receiver into the stereo, and away ya' go. no plugs needed. You can get a bundle that includes a RF remote too. I have several remotes that I use at home, work, and down the road, in the car. Have a VB code library I developed for it that controls Winamp too.

Here's another from RCA:

http://www.rca.com/product/viewmodel...700245,00.html

For $69 aint too shabby!

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Old 9th June 2004, 17:36   #22
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That thing really makes some sense, but only in the following case:
- you have a wi-fi enabled laptop;
- you do not already have a wireless router or a desktop pc;
- your music files reside on the laptop.

So you could just come home carrying the laptop, open it and start playing music in the home stereo. Unlike the X10 thing you won't need to plug anything in the laptop. Actually the only real alternative I can think of is a bluetooth connection and I don't think there's a device that can do it with good quality.

It's not hard to realize that in this scenario the printer port also makes perfect sense.

There's something else that also makes perfect sense: a Winamp input plugin that presents itself as the airtunes device. Actually I'd love to do that, if I can find the information needed to do it.
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Old 9th June 2004, 18:17   #23
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why wouldnt you just hook the laptop up to the stereo?

i mean, wouldnt that be alot cheaper/easier than buying this thing?

i mean, how many people honestly come into their house with their laptop open, song chosen (stereo on and hooked up) and wants to hear the music as they enter the house through the stereo? without ever hooking their laptop up to anything

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Old 9th June 2004, 18:47   #24
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Because you're lazy.

You want to just have the connection the moment you sit at your desk. Nothing to connect. Like a docking station, only you don't need to dock to use it.

It's the same thing as the wi-fi itself: you start to like it when you start to use it and realize how convenient it is with a laptop.
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Old 9th June 2004, 18:53   #25
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Ok. here's one that's got a remote and does video for $199.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=318

Bet its propriatary too though.

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Old 10th June 2004, 03:05   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by ThomasW
Winamp can play Apple Lossless already - look here:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....hreadid=178807

It wouldn't be difficult at all to write a plugin that encodes songs on the fly to Apple Lossless - but how should I implement encrypting the song? I think you would have to reverse-engineer iTunes to find out how it is encrypted and with what key. Then you could try to write a plugin. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do that and moreover, it would be illegal to reverse-engineer iTunes.
"just reverse engineer the encryption and the encoding algorithmes" easier said than done
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Old 12th June 2004, 12:41   #27
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Who said encrypting would be easy? I just said it would be extremely easy to encode the song, because we know it's encoded in Apple Lossless and it wouldn't take me more than half an hour to write a plugin that encodes music to Apple Lossless.

However, if the music is also encrypted you would have to reverse engineer iTunes - that wouldn't be easy and it would also take a lot more time than I'd be willing to spend.
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Old 12th June 2004, 16:39   #28
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As I said, it probably only means WEP encryption, which Winamp programmers wouldn't have to touch.
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Old 12th June 2004, 18:01   #29
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i think i heard mention that the encryption is aes
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Old 14th June 2004, 00:02   #30
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I've kinda been doing this for years

Back in 99, I bought a sondblaster live card, this was a great card, as it had 4 channel support. The comptuer speakers were plugged in the front channels, a 400mhz FM transmitter (I think I bought it at raidoshack) was plugged in the rear. The transmitter/reciever pair transmitted three channels, two for stereo sound, one visual. (TV out for the video card as well) Hence the computer became the ultimate media center for music and movies. The living room and the computer room wern't that far apart so it was no hassle really to load up Mp3's, or DVD's in the comptuer and have them play on the bigscreen or the larger stereo.

In all reality - the new Airport/itunes thing is really just old tech, with a shiny new wrapper, and a diferent frequency carrier.

Recently however, it's more benifitial in the long run to run cat5 to whatever room I've wanted to access data in; and build up a cheep linux terminal in that room. Now I've got music/media/internet/movies in my workshop, office, bedroom, and lounge.
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Old 3rd July 2004, 04:35   #31
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I think the big difference between Airtunes and all the other wireless solutions here is that data is being transmitted digitally.

I have the U.S. Robotics gadget which transmits over 900 MHz, like the Lyra. That or an FM solution will give you much lower sound quality at the other end.

I want a device which will allow me to send arbitrary sound output over 802.11 - which is why I WON'T buy this apple crap. I expect someone to make an 802.11 version of the USR/RCA type thing soon.
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Old 9th July 2004, 18:36   #32
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i would like to see a plugin that utilizes the airport in the same way as itunes. because:

i'm thinking of using it in my car. i currently connect my laptop to an aux input in my head unit. i also use the laptop to play movies in the car for car trips.

if i could do this wirelessly, it would be great.

the only problem is -- even if i got the airport -- when i play video, i couldn't get the audio to play through.

since winamp plays video now, an Airport plugin could fix this problem.
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Old 10th July 2004, 12:24   #33
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My parents have a house-wide audio system that allows audio to be played thru out the entire house from a single source. They also have had an AirPort wireless base station since it was originally introduced.

One day years ago, I was playing with iTunes on a Mac when I came up with an idea on how to use a single Mac, running iTunes and OS X, connected thru an audio deck, and be controllable using any device capable of displaying HTML.

Basically, using AppleScript (and a little Unix shell scripting), I could dynamically build web pages based on the current tune being played as well as a way of controlling what song or songs to be played. This would include WiFi enabled PDAs such as PocketPCs or Palm Pilots or such. Fundementally, this was a quite possible without a huge amount of effort being put in setting it up.

Of course, I never went a head with this plan. It was just an idea, and I doubt my parents would agree. Most of all I was too lazy to actually work on such a project. Never the less, I have often wondered if anyone else has come up with something simular. I'm sure someone has...

In many ways, Apple's Airport Express is a step in this dirrection (and you know it'll be copied for the PC market). I just thought I point this out.

Quote:
In all reality - the new Airport/itunes thing is really just old tech, with a shiny new wrapper, and a diferent frequency carrier.
So are HDTV broadcasts...

The problem here is that most of you haven't got a Mac, or ever estup an Airport base station, or even use iTunes. I really need to read more on this to say anything more... but please... give it a chance.
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Old 13th August 2004, 20:54   #34
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Well, now that Jon "DVD Jon" Johannsen has cracked the AirTunes encryption, somebody should be able to get to work on a Winamp plugin, right?
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Old 13th August 2004, 23:06   #35
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Noted, however I don't believe the Apple Lossless (ALAC) format has been reverse-engineered yet - any audio sent via AirTunes must be encoded using ALAC.

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Old 16th August 2004, 18:47   #36
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DVD Jon has indeed released some code to stream Apple Lossless files to the Airport Express without going through iTunes. For those of us who dislike iTunes, this a promising development.

"Justeport" is a command-line tool. I've compiled it and it works as promised. You give it a filename and the IP address of the Express and voila! The file is played.

I am not a Winamp plug-in developer but I would love to see someone take the code and create an Express plug-in. The code seems pretty straightforward. To configure the plug-in, you'd have to enter the IP address of the Express.

DVD Jon published the key needed to encrypt the music stream. In his words, "The stream is encrypted with AES and the AES key is encrypted with RSA." I would give you the link but his website is currently down!

If anyone wants the code, let me know. I can email it to you. I'm pretty sure someone can do something with it much faster than I can!
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Old 16th August 2004, 18:54   #37
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There is currently no way to encode Apple Lossless files, so a winamp plugin would be fairly useless until such a thing exists.

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Old 5th September 2004, 23:08   #38
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I just bought the Airport Express wireless module and it is AWESOME. I can control the music in the entire house with my laptop and be anywhere with my laptop (WiFi). One problem.... I HATE iTunes compared to Winamp. I will gladly donate some money to whoever can successfully create a plugin for Winamp to utilize this amazing gadget.

80GB 5.5 generation Video iPod

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Old 5th November 2004, 00:37   #39
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Airport Express IS a good Idea

Just want to say that I have been looking for a way to utilize the built-in wireless in my laptop to send music to my speakers for a couple months now. Yes, there are other products on the market, but for its size and ease of use, Airport Express seems to be not only really cool, but really usefull and functional.

Sure it's Apple, and sure it's proprietary, but it seems to be a great product and that's the bottom line.

I'm with Kaatinthehaat. If someone can configure a pluggin for Winamp, I would gladly donate some $ for a download: 'Cause damn, does iTunes certainly suck!
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Old 5th November 2004, 03:30   #40
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80GB 5.5 generation Video iPod

4GB and 8GB gen 2 Nano's with ****+

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