3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2008 10:53 AM by Carolyn Samit
Steve Madsen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Is it possible to stream music to an AirPort Express on a different wireless network that is connected to the same wired Ethernet network?

I have two AirPort Expresses, one is the old 802.11b/g and one is the new 802.11n. Each creates its own wireless network, so that N clients can use the 5 GHz spectrum. Both are connected with Ethernet to the same switch, so they access the same wired network and can talk to each other.

The computer running iTunes is connected to the N network. I want to stream music to the AX hosting the B/G network. I can see it in iTunes, but when I send the audio to those speakers, nothing plays.

This computer used to be connected to the B/G network and audio played fine. I can still control this iTunes using my iPhone, which goes through both wireless networks (iPhone -> B/G AX -> wired switch -> N AX -> desktop), so I know everyone can see each other.

Mac Pro (2x quad 2.8 GHz), Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (98,875 points)
    HI Steve,

    Possibly this is a compatibility issue... go here: http://wi-fi-wireless-networking.suite101.com/article.cfm/wirelessrouter_alphabetsoup

    802.11n -- The newest protocol, so new it hasn't been ratified. All that means is the IEEE hasn't yet voted and agreed on an official set of standards for 802.11n. This hasn't stopped the major manufacturers from selling 802.11n wireless routers though. Everyone from Linksys to D-Link has an 802.11n router on the market, and most computer equipment stores have drastically reduced the price of the 802.11g routers to introduce the 802.11n. Not all new computers come with an 802.11n card though, *so be careful when you decide which router to buy. Like 802.11g, 802.11n is backwards-compatible, with multiple options allowing almost any mix of old and new protocols.* However, performance problems remain an issue when mixing protocols within the network. 802.11n is expected to be ratified sometime in 2008.

  • Steve Madsen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi, Carolyn. Thanks for the pointer, but I am confident this is not a wireless compatibility issue. The only 802.11n devices on the network are my Mac Pro and the Airport Express. The AX is in N-only (5 GHz) mode, so nothing should be bothering it.

    I can see both AX base stations in Airport Utility, and both sets of AirTunes speakers show up in iTunes.

    If I start sending audio to the b/g AX, I can see in netstat that I have a connection to the AX and data is being sent:

    steve@macpro:~$ netstat -n | grep 249
    tcp4 0 131429 ESTABLISHED
    tcp4 0 0 ESTABLISHED

    (The third column is the send queue -- bytes sent by an application, but not yet transmitted on the wire.)

    So, the data is being sent and I can ping the AX, yet no audio is played.
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (98,875 points)
    HI Steve,

    Ok... not a compatibility issue. AX just doesn't wanna play... at this point, try posting over in the Airport Forums. You will get more exposure to the pros beyond my experience. I don't want to suggest something that might add insult to injury. http://discussions.apple.com/category.jspa?categoryID=140

    Also, MacWorld magazine (site) is also a great place for tips: http://www.macworld.com/