iPhone and AirTunes

Reasons to fall in love with a little home network of Apple devices, number #47,526 in an ongoing series.

Like many people these days, I have a broadband internet connection, for which I received a WiFi modem from Swisscom. Therefore, the two Macs (my laptop and Jo’s Mac Mini) are connected to the internet via WiFi, which any of our visitors can also use to access the internet. (Neighbours are blocked by the requirement for a particularly complex password.)

I also have an Airport Express unit, which is Apple’s own WiFi device, with which one can also set up a WiFi network or connect to an existing network. I set this up using the regular Apple software to act as a receiver and connected it, using a regular jack plug, to the stereo system in our living room. Using Apple’s own music playing and management software iTunes, I can play back music from either my laptop or Jo’s Mac Mini to the Airport Express device, which then plays the sound through the stereo.

My iPhone is already configured to use the home WiFi network to access the internet and it’s this which I usually use to telephone using Skype (thereby saving phone call costs). However, I had a thought: what if I could also use my iPhone to communicate with iTunes on either of the two computers using the WiFi network and, from there, play music by remote control?

Enter the free Remote iPhone App. Not only do I have a device with which I can listen to music and watch pre-recorded video on the road, it now also acts as a remote control for around 50 Gb (24 whole days’ worth) of music at home, too.