As you may have heard, Apple had some sort of event on Wednesday. In amongst the Big News like iPods and iOSs and iTunes and
iTVs Apple TVs, Steve Jobs briefly mentioned AirPlay, a replacement for the AirTunes music streaming system used in the Airport Express multi-purpose device. I've built my home audio solutions around AirTunes, so this was, for me, the most interesting thing Apple announced. Details on how the system will actually work are rather thin so far but TUAW has been sleuthing around to try and figure out what we can.
First, the best bit. Jobs showed an iPad (running the forthcoming 4.2 version of iOS) being fired up, pressing a few buttons, and streaming its output to a big screen TV via an Apple TV. This addresses my number one complaint: a friend comes to my house, I show them the Airport Express system, I show them the Remote app so they can use their iPhone to control my iTunes... and they ask me why they can't also stream their own music directly from their device. Sure, this is going to be tough on battery life, but it's not like I'm short of chargers. They want to listen to their own music and if you could see inside my iTunes you'd know why. And now they will be able to!
I was briefly concerned that this jazzy new functionality would not work with my existing Airport Express devices. Fortunately, Apple's sneak peak at iOS 4.2 confirms that an Airport Express will be able to receive a stream from any iOS 4.2 device, so more good news there too.