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AirTunes on my Hip

You know what I'd like? AirTunes on my hip. I want a little player - iPod shuffle-sized1 if possible, but capable of showing up in iTunes as a destination to which music can be streamed. I'd pay a little bit extra to be able to control more than the volume on such a device as well.

There are a lot of times in the day when I'm listening to a podcast and doing work, yet want to take a break from work, walk down the hall, and shoot some pool balls for a few minutes. Or go downstairs to get some food. Without interrupting the podcast.

And no, Bluetooth on an iPod is not the answer. My whole house is blanketed in wireless. I'd like to be able to use it for more than just getting online from my basement, kitchen, and bathroom. 😛

Footnotes

  1. The old "pack of gum" size, not the new tiny size.

5 Responses to "AirTunes on my Hip"

  1. I can't see Apple releasing it as a separate product, but I can see them adding such a feature to an iPod model. (although they'd probably add it to a hard disk iPod first, even though it's the flash-based iPod which would benefit more)

    There are rumors about FairPlay licensing, though, and maybe that would also include AirTunes. It would be cool if a third party could release the device you want.

  2. How about just a set of RF-wireless headphones? I have the Sennheiser RS-120 and am super happy with them for exactly this use. The range is great, and there is no static or any poor sound quality that i notice from them being wireless. I do wish there was a way to have a "next track" button on them... But they do have a volume control.

    Amazon has a good deal on them, and there is also the RS-130 and RS-140 (open back and closed back, respectively) which I assume have higher quality drivers.

  3. Kelan said on January 25, 2007:

    The range is great, and there is no static or any poor sound quality that i notice from them being wireless.

    Define "great" in terms of range. Our house is 2500 square feet (not including the garage and basement). My fridge is one floor and all the way across the house away from my office.

    That option has a few advantages (you can use wireless headphones for other things), but many disadvantages. They're bulky as heck, they don't have the capabilities to change tracks, you have to plug in the receiver or switch the audio output port on your Mac when you come and go, and you'll hear system sounds and other things as well as your music.

    Tim, indeed, it would be nice if third parties had access to the stream iTunes is capable of sending to Express units. I'm sure someone would build a player within a few months, if so. It's a wireless chip, perhaps a small app or extension to communicate with iTunes, and some headphones.

  4. As far as range goes, they claim 150 meters. And while I haven't measured it, I can go all around my house (~2,200 sq feet), even to the front and back yards with no problems. Its probably better range than my wifi signal.

    There is a little bit of static blips sometimes when I am way in the front yard, but its very intermittent, and not at all a problem, especially for listening to podcasts. Also, I have the transmitter sitting really low on my desk behind my monitor. It might have even better range if I moved it somewhere where its not obstructed behind large pieces of metal.

    As far as switching the output, I actually have the headphone transmitter plugged into the "tape out" jacks of my stereo. I use the stereo speakers when at my desk, but I can just pick up the headphones at any time and they're ready to go. No switching necessary (except for possibly turning down the stereo speaker volume while you're away). You could also just have a splitter coming out of the computer output, as it doesn't hurt to leave the transmitter plugged in an turned on all the time. And its smart enough to know to turn off the transmitter when you hang up the headphones to charge (which is a very easy and cool charging system, btw).

    I'll admit they are a little bulky, but so are no bigger than any decent non-earbud headphones. And they sound better than the standard ipod headphones.

    I do think a device like you describe would be cool, especially if it could communicate track change information back to itunes. But, wireless headphones are a decent solution, and they're available already, so I thought I'd mention them.

  5. [...] thought occurs to me that the device I first talked about in January has come about in terms of hardware: it's an iPhone (or an iPod [...]


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