Sonos, creator of a well-reviewed, multi-room, wireless music system, has updated its software to support Apple's AirPlay. It means a Sonos music system owner can wirelessly send music from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to any room that has a Sonos Zone Player. The catch is that you have to buy a US$99 AirPort Express to plug into one of the Zone Players to get it working.
It's understandable that Sonos has to do this. AirPlay support is a hardware and software solution, and Sonos is not building AirPlay hardware into its Zone Players. I'm not sure this will be a big deal to many Sonos owners. The company already provides a wireless dock with iPhone support that allows the phone to stream to any Sonos device. That dock needs to be plugged into AC power, but the connection into the Sonos system is wireless.
The Sonos software update also includes support for multitasking for its iPad and iPhone app. That means it will run in the background and not force a relaunch, which will speed up operation of the system from any iDevice. Those updates are available on the App Store for free. The Sonos system has become very popular over the years, and feature updates have included even the earliest devices the company has made. Supporting AirPlay is a nice addition to the feature roster, and for those who already have an AirPort Express to dedicate to this task, it will be welcome.