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Skellum
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Optimum Setup for XP?

Back again.

Searching for a clue. What is the best setup for a PC based system streaming to an Airport Express. I mean what needs to be turned off or on in XP to make things good. I've got the Itunez stuff all off, but what needs to be done to the OS? I've heard that the kernel for audio in windoze is a baddie, what to do here? and elsewhere. Input welcomed. I'll hang up now and listen to your response.

struts
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

Skellum,

Would love to help but I no longer use either Win XP or iTunes. There are quite a few iTunes users on the forum though so I expect someone will chime in.

My guess, fwiw, is that Windows doesn't get too involved in the audio when Air Tunes is being used to stream it since the data are sent out over the network interface, not to any of the audio devices. You can test this pretty easily by seeing if the Windows volume control affects the volume when playing over Air Tunes. If it does then you should absolutely set it to the maximum and regulate the playback volume in the analog domain. If not, that's a good sign that you're safe from any Windows nasties.

bobb
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?
struts
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

Bob,

The Benchmark article is a good grounder but it is principally focussed on how to configure Windows audio output devices which are interfaces that control audio hardware such as sound cards etc. installed in or connected directly to the PC itself. In the case of Air Tunes the audio data leave the PC via a network interface under the control of iTunes in which case it may be that Windows audio doesn't get involved at all.

The problem with iTunes/Quicktime/Air Tunes is that the whole system is proprietary to Apple and there is pretty much no documentation in the public domain. Luckily, some good folks have reverse-engineered large parts of it to understand how it works. For instance the Apple's Remote Audio Output Protocol, which Air Tunes uses, is dissected here. Reading through the setup handshake you will notice in the section entitled 'Traffic from iTunes to ApEx:' it appears that iTunes is telling the Airport Express which codec to expect (in that example Apple Lossless). This strengthens my belief that Windows is not getting involved here; it knows nothing at all about Apple Lossless!

As I said, hopefully someone here will know the answer. Otherwise it should be easy to check all this by experimenting a bit, unfortunately I don't have an Airport Express or I would do so myself.

Skellum
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

Thanks much!

ncdrawl
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?
dbowker
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

I have used all of what you mention quite happily with WinXP and the only issue is that you need to add your Mac address number to the security page of your wireless router. Otherwise, you are not sending music but data packets to your airport so nothing needs to be adjusted on the Windows side. All settings happen in iTunes.

BTW- if you have agood external DAC I highly reccomend trying the optical out option from the airport- much better sound. Monster cable makes this funky mini-jack that is actually hollowed out and is a fiber optic cable that will go into a DAC. Apple does not mention much about the fact that you can actually go "digital out" from the airport.

Skellum
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

Thanks Doug:

I got a neat little 3.5mm to regular toslink cable from Ram, which did help a bunch. About to migrate over to SB and we'll see if I like it as much as everyone else. As for DAC i'm using an old but trusty DDE v 1.0 Audio Alchemy. Learning as I go, waiting on the next explosion.

Elk
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Re: Optimum Setup for XP?

Those combo mini-jacks are quite odd, but they work fine. Good to tell people about them, I never would have expected that they work as they do.

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