An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#11462 - 08/14/10 07:35 PM iTunes streaming via Express
spmcc123 Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Loc: Portland/Abu Dhabi
Nice to find the old MacFixit crew still around! Unfortunately, I start my re-acquaintance with a very basic question....

I am streaming music from iTunes 9 on old Powerbook G4 (10.4.11) to an Airport Express (v6.3) some 20' away. Express is set to "Join a wireless network" created by Extreme (v7.4.2 set to "Create a wireless network) which is itself connected to Qwest DSL. There are in general three Macs on the network (one MacBook Pro, one MacBook, one iPad), which is WPA Personal password protected. Generally I stream songs from the iTunes Library (on external LaCie HD), but occasionally live radio, so I like having the Powerbook on the network with net access....

How can I avoid or minimize the repeated dropping of signal? It can conk out for seconds or minutes or drop entirely. Channel settings on Extreme and Express are "11 (Automatic)"(Express and Extreme are UAE models and will accept up to Channel 13). Signals appear strong throughout most of the time....but on occasion, after music has stopped streaming for a while, iTunes will tell me it cannot find the Express..., though the Airport Utility still "sees' it. Other times, the Express itself seems to disappear from the network (i.e. Airport Utility will be unable to see it).

Could the problem be minimized if I put the Powerbook and Express on a dedicated network simply to stream music from the Library (so, the two would not be connected to the network of other computers, Extreme, modem and internet...)? Should I try changing the channel? Is there a channel which might logically have less interference than another?

Note... In fact, changing the channel to 9 did not seem to help... still drops music regularly.


Edited by spmcc123 (08/14/10 07:57 PM)
_________________________
MacBook Pro 15" (2.33 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
MacBook 13" (2.1 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
PowerBook G4 12" (1.5 PowerPC/768MB/70GB/10.4.11),
Various LaCie Firewire HDs, Airport Extreme, Express

Top
#11463 - 08/14/10 09:59 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: spmcc123]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Aaargh!!! I feel for you, because I've been living with the exact same problems for going on three years since the dropouts began and at least a year since iTunes/AirTunes began losing connection with my AirPort Express, but still playing. You can read about my past hair-tearing here and here, but not about my new, perhaps related issue of iTunes/AirTunes losing connection with my AirPort Express and stopping playing which, shying away from further frustration, I haven't posted. Aaargh!!! frown mad

I'm both truly sorry and aggravatingly disappointed that I can't be any more helpful.

Edit: It's really difficult to say with confidence, because the nature of my issues is that they come and go randomly, but Apple's having changed my deuced Mac(hina)'s fan may have actually resolved my initial non-connectivity issue.


Edited by artie505 (08/15/10 12:35 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#11465 - 08/15/10 08:28 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: artie505]
spmcc123 Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Loc: Portland/Abu Dhabi
Thanks for letting me know it is not a simple issue (though I had suspected as much after trawling sites claiming to address the issue...). Astounding that Apple has not come up with some solution. I would have guessed that building some sort of simple buffer in the Express would address the issue (as it does in any cheap printer...)

I assume the problem is primarily a bandwidth issue, but it happens even if all other computers which might access the network are asleep.

I have just set AirTunes up on its own private network. Just the PowerBook sending the music, the Express receiving it, and the amp attached via minijack.....Signal strength is good (4 of 5 bars) and it still cuts out from time to time!


Edited by spmcc123 (08/15/10 09:21 AM)
_________________________
MacBook Pro 15" (2.33 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
MacBook 13" (2.1 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
PowerBook G4 12" (1.5 PowerPC/768MB/70GB/10.4.11),
Various LaCie Firewire HDs, Airport Extreme, Express

Top
#11469 - 08/15/10 03:22 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: spmcc123]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I've sent HOURS on multiple occasions trying to get WDS / airtunes to behave. Sometimes it just doesn't want to play. Very flakey. Also very time-consuming. The pairing process is very slow, and when it doesn't feel like working, it just doesn't and gives you no helpful feedback. Apple will just give you more ways to kill time like rebooting both, try try again, and restoring firmwares, which basically never helps.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#11480 - 08/16/10 10:00 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: spmcc123]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> I assume the problem is primarily a bandwidth issue, but it happens even if all other computers which might access the network are asleep.

As I mentioned in my linked thread, Apple's very convenient out on the dropouts, with which I have zero ability to argue, is that AirPort Express Base Stations operate on the same frequency as many other devices, baby's room monitors by way of example, and that any such device within 250 feet of a Base Station can cause a dropout when it's in use, so there's a chance that the other computers on your network are not responsible for at least some of your dropouts, and your best bet is probably to go the hard-wired, ethernet route.

My solution to the problem was to grit my teeth and pray that either the owner of the device would move out of the neighborhood, the device would fail and not be replaced, or the baby would grow up, and since I no longer experience the dropouts I guess one of those alternatives has come to pass.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#11487 - 08/17/10 10:50 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: artie505]
spmcc123 Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Loc: Portland/Abu Dhabi
Well. The system still drops on occasion, but it does seem to be much more reliable now that the AirTunes set up occupies its own network. Tradeoff is that, of course, we can't stream anything from internet. May help that we have only one mobile handset (at 2.4GHz), no other devices, and are not so close to other houses... (though still closer than 250 ft).

Thanks for the help to date.... now posting about my battery issues in hardware forum .

(BTW, was looking for feature which allowed me to be notified by e-mail of replies... Where am I missing it?)

_________________________
MacBook Pro 15" (2.33 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
MacBook 13" (2.1 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
PowerBook G4 12" (1.5 PowerPC/768MB/70GB/10.4.11),
Various LaCie Firewire HDs, Airport Extreme, Express

Top
#11490 - 08/17/10 02:36 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: spmcc123]
dianne Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
spmcc123,
Quote:
(BTW, was looking for feature which allowed me to be notified by e-mail of replies... Where am I missing it?)
See: How to get email notification of replies in the FineTunedMac Feedback forum.
_________________________
dianne • moderator

Back up everything you can't afford to lose – documents, mail, movies, music, photos, and other data and settings.

Top
#11501 - 08/18/10 09:18 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: dianne]
spmcc123 Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Loc: Portland/Abu Dhabi
Thanks. Got it.
_________________________
MacBook Pro 15" (2.33 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
MacBook 13" (2.1 Intel Duo/3GB/667MHz/120GB/10.6.8),
PowerBook G4 12" (1.5 PowerPC/768MB/70GB/10.4.11),
Various LaCie Firewire HDs, Airport Extreme, Express

Top
#11780 - 09/13/10 08:30 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: spmcc123]
Mainely Rick Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Loc: Down East Maine
I've also got this dropout problem. We're in the woods in rural Maine. No outside interference. laugh Only other wireless device is telephone and it makes no difference whether that's on or not. I still have dropouts, frequently. I tried moving my MBP to within inches of the Express and still got dropouts.

Grrr!

Mainely Rick

Top
#11784 - 09/13/10 09:57 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: Mainely Rick]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
perhaps defective airport card, I've replaced quite a few for intermittent issues
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#11791 - 09/13/10 06:24 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: Virtual1]
Mainely Rick Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Loc: Down East Maine
Is there any way to troubleshoot an Airport card? All other Airport related services work fine. Air Tunes is all that doesn't work right.

Rick

Top
#11799 - 09/14/10 08:46 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: Mainely Rick]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
if airtunes is your ONLY issue, it's almost certainly a software issue, possibly systemic. (unsolvable)
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#11831 - 09/16/10 04:37 PM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: Virtual1]
Mainely Rick Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Loc: Down East Maine
Thanks for the reply.
I'm trying two angles on a fix:
1) Airfoil, which seems to have helped some people.
2) Make a long-delayed purchase of the latest Airport Extreme, .11n capable) to replace my old UFO model. That way my AEX will be able to run at the faster speed.
Will report if successful.

Rick

Top
#11842 - 09/17/10 05:30 AM Re: iTunes streaming via Express [Re: Mainely Rick]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Mainely Rick
Will report if successful.
This is an interesting thread and I hope you will report either way, not just if it is successful. smile
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top

Moderator:  cyn, dianne