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AirTunes audio keeps dropping out.

12414 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Oct 23, 2011 7:29 AM by Jason Hirsh RSS
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skymoo Calculating status...
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Oct 3, 2010 8:23 PM
I have an Airport Express connected to some speakers and every now and again the audio will simply drop out, it'll come back in a few seconds or not at all. Sometimes iTunes will give an error saying that it can't connect to the speakers and other times it will claim it's connected but no sound will come out of the remote speakers.

Initial I thought that this was caused by interference between different wireless networks in my building so I found out which channels other networks where using, there where no networks using channels 3, 4, and 5 so I configured my network to use channel 4. This was fine for a while but recently I have started having the audio drop outs again. There are no networks using channel 4 that I can see from my apartment so the interference idea is seeming less likely.

Has anyone ran into this problem and no of a solution?
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • stian-norway Calculating status...
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    Oct 4, 2010 7:33 AM (in response to skymoo)
    Are you connecting your Macbook wirelessly to your airport express? I had also a problem with audio dropping out from iTunes, but I dont have a wireless network. I searched the forums here, but now one mentioned that the problem could simply be the airport express tool. Anyway, if you have cabled network, then maybe it will be some help to tell that you that I solved the problem. Follow this:

    1. Open the Airport tool, then click on manual config.
    2. Click on the Airport tab, then the wireless tab to the right
    *3. Select Wireless modus to be off*
    4. Let the Aiport express to be restarted until its light is green again

    If you have a wireless network, then this wont help of course...

    Message was edited by: stian-norway
    iMac27, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • stian-norway Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2010 7:48 AM (in response to skymoo)
    Ok, I read your first post to fast, but have you went through all the setups in the airport tool? Maybe there are something wrong set up there?
    iMac27, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Jason Hirsh Calculating status...
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    Oct 4, 2010 7:53 AM (in response to skymoo)
    I have found the airport express to have descended into toy levels due too the amount of interference

    In best conditions 30 feet with no cement walls seems to be about my max for good consistent streaming.. provided it is a clear day no sun spots and you don't nave your legs crossed ,,, heck I have even gotten 60 feet intermittent

    To get this I have found and read that there i a lot of interference from other wireless devices... sort of spectrum analyzer hard to chase them down.. the higher channels you use the better off you are
    I am using 10 on one network and 11 on other..

    If I am not mistaking the channel you are trying is used by some cordless phones (could be a neighbors.. these phones get better range then the wifi.. less signal strength required I imagine)

    I have not found the n model to be that much better then the g
    POwer PC 2.5 Dual, Mac Book Pro, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Jason Hirsh Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2010 7:59 AM (in response to skymoo)
    I have found the airport express to have descended into toy levels due to the amount of interference

    In best conditions 30 feet with no cement walls seems to be about my max for good consistent streaming.. provided it is a clear day no sun spots and you don't nave your legs crossed ,,, heck I have even gotten 60 feet intermittent

    To get this I have found and read that there i a lot of interference from other wireless devices... sort of spectrum analyzer hard to chase them down.. the higher channels you use the better off you are
    I am using 10 on one network and 11 on other..

    If I am not mistaking the channel you are trying is used by some cordless phones (could be a neighbors.. these phones get better range then the wifi.. less signal strength required I imagine)

    I have not found the n model to be that much better then the g
    POwer PC 2.5 Dual, Mac Book Pro, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • dmw00 Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2010 5:13 PM (in response to Jason Hirsh)
    I use an Airport Extreme and two Airport Express units feeding different stereos. Everything worked fine for a while, but now the system has endless dropout if both Express units are selected under multiple speakers. It works OK if only one Express is selected. I have no neighbors, and no other wireless interference possibilities, and am spanning no more than 40 feet. I have not been able to find any helpful suggestions. I too am hoping for an answer.
    2.16 Intel iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • H2 Oh Man Calculating status...
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:38 PM (in response to dmw00)
    I saw on another post that Itunes 10 is the problem. I get around the audio dropout for now with Airfoil ($25 I think) which is a software that lets you airtune anything playing on your Mac.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • ajfisher1970 Calculating status...
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    Dec 15, 2010 10:53 AM (in response to H2 Oh Man)
    I've had the problem with audio drops on my AX using AirTunes for years and nothing seems to help for very long. For now I'm abandoning AirTunes in favor of Airfoil, which seems far more reliable. With Airfoil I can tell it to only stream iTunes audio, and I can still use the Apple Remote app to control playback. Yes, I have to keep Airfoil in my dock and open it when I want to use it, but this is a small price to pay.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.5), iPhone 3GS, Airport Express
  • Jerome Colas Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
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    Dec 15, 2010 12:13 PM (in response to ajfisher1970)
    Hi.
    *Here's what worked for me.*
    (sorry this is a double post here and in another topic).

    In a nutshell : I *did a factory reset of my Airport Express base station* (saved and restored the Express's profiles) *and everything went back to normal.*

    I had a perfectly working setup for about a year and a half (Airport Extreme-monoband as a router with a 5 Ghz only 802.11n network, plus a 802.11n Airport Express in bridge mode, connected to the Extreme via an Ethernet cable, and creating a 2.4Ghz 802.11n/g/b network).
    The Extreme/5Ghz network is the fastest. My Macs, iPad and AppleTv are wirelessly (except for the Mac mini which is wired to it) connected to this Extreme/5Ghz network.
    My iPhone 4 and iPod (latest) cannot connect to the 5Ghz network and connect to the Airport Express/2.4Ghz slower network.

    Everything worked very well, including Airplay in all directions, including video from iTunes, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to my Apple TV, and audio to my sterero system plugged to the Airport Express.
    Until 1 week ago : Everything from the iPod touch or iPhone started to fail : video to Apple TV rarely worked, and audio through Airport Express had a lot of drops out.
    Internet access speed from the iPod and iPhone was very slow, as confirmed by internet speed testing apps.
    Everything going through the Extreme/5Ghz network continued to work flawlessly, including video to Apple TV and audio to Airport Express.
    If I connected the Macs or iPad through the Express/2.4Ghz network, problems appeared there too.
    Connecting them to the Extreme/5Ghz network had the problems disappeared.

    After reading some posts in another discussion, I factory reset the Airport Express using the Aiport Utility (actually first export profiles; then factory reset, then reimport profiles).

    Everything is smooth as silk now.
    It it starts failing again, I will just factory reset the Airport Express.

    Let's just hope that Apple a firmware fix in a not too distant future ...

    Hope this helps,

    Jérôme.
    MBP 17" i7 2.66Ghz/8GB/SSD512, Mac OS X (10.6.4), and other Macs too
  • ajfisher1970 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2010 12:50 PM (in response to Jerome Colas)
    Interesting... I would like to move to the 5 Ghz band for the connection of my AX to my router (base station) instead of 2.4 Ghz, but I have kept 2.4 Ghz up until now because my iPhone and printer has to connect to the network using this band. Is it possible to set up the AX in Bridge Mode wirelessly, instead of connecting with an ethernet cable? It's physically impractical to connect my base station to the AX via ethernet.

    For example, I would have my router set to broadcast 5 Ghz 802.11n (allowing hopefully a better AirTunes experience), but I would set the AX to create a 2.4 Ghz 802.11 b/g/n network to allow my peripherals to connect to the network.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iPhone 3GS, Airport Express
  • haldillon Calculating status...
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    Jan 2, 2011 12:28 PM (in response to ajfisher1970)
    AirTunes was working great - then all of sudden massive dropouts. I read all the threads above and tried everything - setting my Airport Express back to the factory settings. Re-enabling AirTunes etc. Long story short - I remembered I installed Verizon's VZAccess Manager to enable a MiFi. I shut that down and all audio drops stopped - I believe it essentially competes with the AirPort Utility in some way shape or form (not in the mood to research it after pulling my hair out for 2 hours).

    So...don't run Verizon's VZAccess Manager and expect zero impact on your wireless network/network config.
    iMac i5, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Stephen Glick Calculating status...
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    Mar 6, 2011 1:24 PM (in response to skymoo)
    I have exactly the same problem. It seems to come and go. I have an Airport Extreme base station with a hard connection to the internet broadcasting a wifi signal and am using Airport Express as airtunes to connect to my speakers. It shows solid green, good signal. The music plays just fine through the speakers for awhile, sometimes an hour or more then suddenly drops, comes back on, drops again, etc. Shutting off ITunes on my computer, and then restarting it fixes the problem for awhile. Then the sequence starts again. I have restored both the Express and the Extreme to factory settings and set it all up again, with no change. It works for awhile then drops. I thought for awhile it was interference somehow, but don't know how to check that, and am not sure why it will sometimes work fine for an hour or more. Any thoughts? Thanks.
    Mac Pro 8 core, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Tons of ram
  • lnail Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2011 8:10 AM (in response to skymoo)
    I too am having this issue with of audio dropping out.

    The host audio machine is a 21.5" iMac, 10.6.6, iTunes 10.2, and is hard-wired to a 1st gen Airport Extreme "N", broadcasting a 802.11n (b/g compatible) signal. The Airport Express is bridged and extending the "n" network. This setup has worked great for over a year.

    About a month ago, it began dropping audio here and there and lately has become bad. There doesn't seem to be a "true" method of fixing it. I've tried rebooting each device individually, restarting iTunes, downgrading Airport firmware to 7.4.2 on both devices, and nothing seems to fix the issue. I did read online where someone had set the timeserver on the AX to the AEn address and supposedly didn't have issues for at least a month, but there was no followup on whether the problem completely disappeared, and I have yet to try it myself.

    On top of the dropped audio, I also occasionally get an iTunes error stating that iTunes cannot connect to the remote speakers (error -15000). Of course, there is nothing on Apple's website concerning this error. None of the above attempted troubleshooting methods seem to correct this issue either.

    I sometimes feel as if it begins working only because I refuse to give up and accept defeat. lol

    On the AX, the only errors I see in the log are:
    • No Address for NTP server ip.address
    • AirTunes too many time sync negotiate failures: 64/0/0 +(and 64/0/17)+
    • AirTunes time sync receive error: 61

    On the AEn:
    • Installed unicast CCMP key for supplicant mac:address
    • Disassociated with station mac:address
    • Rotated CCMP group key

    While writing this, it has lost connection for the third time today, so here I go again.

    Does anyone have suggestions for a fix?

    lnail
    (2) 27" i5 iMacs, 13" MBP, Mac Mini, 64Gb 3G iPad, G5 iMac, G4 eMac, iP4, iP3Gs, iPods 2G & 4G, ++, Mac OS X (10.6.6), (2) 10.6 Servers | Proud Mac user since 1987. Oh yeah.. I'm a Mac!
  • Timothy Killian Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2011 9:52 AM (in response to skymoo)
    What's frustrating is I bought an Airport Express expressly for this single purpose. Aaarrrghh….

    Perhaps with all this work on Airplay, they can focus again on fixing this issue?
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