I knew I shouldn’t have upgraded to iTunes 7.
Now when streaming music to my Airport Express from iTunes 7 it takes forever to switch to the next song and worse it will just stop playing randomly. iTunes will actually get stuck at the 0:00 of a song and when you toggle play and pause it skips to the next song still stuck at zero. I have to quit iTunes at the MacMini to get the signal back to the Airport Express. None of the dot updates have helped.
So is my PSP/Airtunes Dance Party over?
No, I just need more software. Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil ($25 shareware) can capture whatever audio is playing on your computer and stream it to your Airtunes enabled Airport Express.
Airfoil solved the iTunes 7 problem. I just set iTunes to play on my “Computer” speakers instead of the Airtunes “Listening Room.” Airfoil detects the “Listening Room” Airport Express hub and feeds it the iTunes audio. I can even monitor or mute the audio upstairs on the MacMini. iTunes 7 playing locally has the added benefit of its new gapless playback working over Airtunes/Airfoil. So now I can listen to all those endless DJ remix albums I have without the songs pausing between tracks in my listening room. I can relax with the Radar Brothers’ And the Surrounding Mountains without getting violently pulled out of my sweet spot with a hiccup of silence.
If you’re keeping score, you now need iTunes, Coverbuddy and Airfoil to send your digital audio library to an Airport Express connected to your stereo and remote controlled by your Sony PSP’s Coverbuddy enabled web browser. Phew.
If you’re having trouble getting iTunes 7 to behave with Airtunes, you should give Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil a try. The app lets you stream Airtunes audio for 10 minutes in demo mode.
P.S. Don’t waste your time messing with your Mac’s or Airport Express’s network settings as Apple support suggests, none of those tricks worked for me.