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AirPort morte!
#48702 04/28/18 04:52 PM
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I just ran across Apple Officially Discontinues AirPort Wireless Router Lineup, and my first thought was to buy a 2nd generation "n" AirPort Express ("while the supply lasts") if for no reason other than to perpetuate AirPlay functionality should my 1st generation "n" go belly-up.

After giving the matter some thought, though, I focused on the plethora of adapters that Apple is already raking in bucks on, and it occurred to me that they will, in all likelihood, NOT pass up the opportunity to rake in even more by coming out with a dedicated AirPlay device when there's no "n"-ventory left.

Does that make sense, or should I jump on a new unit right now?

Concurrently with the discontinuance announcement, Apple has released Choosing a Wi-Fi router to use with Apple devices for the benefit of those who'll need to replace their AirPort devices with 3rd party routers.


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
Re: AirPort morte!
artie505 #48703 04/28/18 06:48 PM
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I am not sure why you would have to have an Apple router or network connection device? I use Airplay with two Apple TVs via a Plume WiFi mesh router network with no Apple router in the loop. I do have a two Airport Express units "joined" to the network to provide network connectivity for a surveillance camera and and a printer that do not have builtin wireless capability, but neither of them is creating a network or providing routing services.

FWIW I tried a few different routers and athough I always thought Apple was by far the easiest to setup and maintain the Plume is about as simple as it is possible to get and it configures the network and updates itself with no human intervention required. NOTE: You do have to have an iOS or Android device to set it up.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING: I have NO relationship, pecuniary or otherwise, with Plume WiFi other than that of satisfied customer.

Last edited by joemikeb; 04/28/18 07:04 PM.

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Re: AirPort morte!
joemikeb #48711 04/28/18 10:53 PM
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Wrong AirPlay.

Apple TV is wi-fi capable, but just as you need AirPort Express units for your camera and printer, I need one for (the 2.5 mm jack that ultimately connects to) my stereo.

So, do you think Apple will market a dedicated unit, or are those of us who haven't got wi-fi capable entertainment systems such a small minority that we no longer count?

(I looked into Plume when you first mentioned it, not because I've got any need for it, but because it sounded interesting, and it does, indeed, sound like a great solution.)

Last edited by artie505; 04/28/18 11:23 PM. Reason: Expand

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
Re: AirPort morte!
artie505 #48717 04/29/18 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: artie505
I need one for (the 2.5 mm jack that ultimately connects to) my stereo.

Similar here. 2009 receiver without ethernet or Wi-Fi, currently connected to Apple TV, but that means the TV is on even for audio-only. I was really considering the old 802.11n just to solve that; I still might. It seems the Express is the only game in town.

Originally Posted By: artie505
So, do you think Apple will market a dedicated unit, or are those of us who haven't got wi-fi capable entertainment systems such a small minority that we no longer count?

A famous CEO once said “Milk it for all it’s worth, and get busy on the next great thing.” Old doesn’t count, only growing markets, or markets that can be created.

Re: AirPort morte!
Urquhart #48719 04/29/18 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Urquhart
Originally Posted By: artie505
So, do you think Apple will market a dedicated unit, or are those of us who haven't got wi-fi capable entertainment systems such a small minority that we no longer count?

A famous CEO once said “Milk it for all it’s worth, and get busy on the next great thing.” Old doesn’t count, only growing markets, or markets that can be created.

Apple is raking in bokoo shekels on USB, Ethernet, and other adapters, optical drives, and other "obsolete" technology, so a dedicated AirPlay module would be right up their alley.

Today's Apple strikes me as a company that wouldn't walk past a penny on the sidewalk, and looking at it sideways, they'll have created a new market for old technology. tongue

I'll guess $50, but is it worth the gamble to save the second $50?


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
Re: AirPort morte!
artie505 #48728 04/29/18 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: artie505
So, do you think Apple will market a dedicated unit, or are those of us who haven't got wi-fi capable entertainment systems such a small minority that we no longer count?

Unlike Microsoft, Apple has from the very beginning been intentional about dropping support for obsolete or unprofitable product and I suspect the Airport product line falls into the latter category. So I doubt they are likely to engineer and market a product with a market as small as you are proposing. If there is a viable market there are enough entrepreneurs looking for a niche surely someone would have stepped in to fill it. I did a quick internet search for network adaptors and although I found a lot of them and generally far less expensive than an Airport express the ones with a 3.5mm audio port were all bluetooth not WiFi and those that were WiFi capable only had USB ports. I also looked at network extenders and if they had an external port at all it was USB not 3.5mm. crazy

There is no reason to believe the current generation of Apple Airport Express will quit working or become obsolete any time soon. They support 802.11a/b/g/ac and the WiFi protocol standards to date have include backward compatibility and are capable of IPv6 as well as IPv4. The only significant limitation is while they can join a network created by any Wifi router they. can only extend a network created by another Airport device and in your application joining a network is all it would need to do.

I am betting the odds are you would replace your stereo, possibly with a WiFi enabled device before the Airport Express would become completely obsolete. That leaves the possibility of electronic failure of the Airport Express or Airport Utility needed to configure it failing to run on a future version of MacOS or iOS.

If you want some security then you could go ahead and get a spare Airport Express. I have even seen them being sold as "Factory Refurbished" at a moderate discount.


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Re: AirPort morte!
joemikeb #48756 05/02/18 04:03 PM
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As always, you insights are valued and valuable.

My current stereo is 18 years old ( shocked ), I haven't turned it off in 5 years or so to avoid having to deal with a blown capacitor, It's been years since I've listened to a station other than WQXR-FM classical, I haven't used any of its other functionality in years (but I want to maintain turntable functionality), and I doubt that I'll be looking for a new one before this one dies, but against that day I did some cursory research and found that AirPlay and wi-fi capability are really scarce; Bluetooth is what's mostly available, but from the little I've read, it's subject to proximity limitations, would require a $30 app to make it work with my MBP, and while not subject to dropouts, provides lesser "reception" than wi-fi.

Bottom line... $50 refurbed (v $100 new) AirPort Express units came up in the Apple Store, and I bought one. (I'll just have to maintain Airport Utility functionality in one way or another if when Apple discontinues it.)


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

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