The problem went away for me through upgrades over the years. I have not used the Airport express in a long time. I stream to a 2nd gen Apple TV. I really don't know what or where it changed, but it just works. Of course now I rarely use iTunes for anything other then iTunes Radio, which is great...and audiobooks.
I'm another dropout victim and my story goes like this.
I have an ASUS RT-N56U router and three AE's connected to it, two for streaming and one for printer.
The streaming drops out occasionally from both iPad Air and MacBook Pro.
This is what I tried already to resolve:
- connecting the AE directly to the router with an ethernet cable and disabling the Wifi
- disabling IPv6 on the MacBook
- setting a channel that nobody is using
None of this helped to eliminate the drop-outs.
Now I'm considering buying an Airport Extreme to have a "clean" Apple infrastructure.
Can anybody confirm that this might help to resolve this annoying issue?
FOUND A FIX
I have tried almost every single fix and nothing solved it. I noticed a lot of people said after uprading the firmware they started experiencing problem
So what I did was downgraded the firmware and there is a very easy way to do this
1. Open up airport utilty
2. Click once on the device
3. A popup will show the firmware version
4. Hold down option, and downgrade (I downgraded to 7.5.2)
If this works for you be sure to like =)
July 2013 I installed 3 brand new Airport Express boxes happy having the same sound all over my house.
Audio streaming from iTunes on iMac with OSX 10.7 worked well up to 2. October when a so called security update was automatically installed.
After that update I experienced streaming dropouts every 2 minutes for up to 20 seconds.
Started reading Mac forums and found a lot of threads around this problem and a lot of entries talking about reconfiguring the WLAN, take another router etc.
All attempts of reconfiguration etc. to get rid of these dropouts failed.
Frustrated I started iTunes on my old Windows box, opened the iTunes library shared from my iMac started any title to play and stream it to my AE boxes.
YES it works... no dropouts anymore.
This works fine since 3 months until now but it requires Windows.
Meanwhile I have got a new iMac hoping the known streaming issue doesn‘t exist anymore because of new better, faster hardware and Maverics running latest iTunes version.
Nothing changed, as soon as I try to play a tilte directly from OSX 10.9 / iTunes 11.1.3 and streaming to AE the dropouts are back again.
Since my old windows box died mid of december I installed iTunes for Windows on my VMWare Fusion Windows installation and configured it to again take the shared iTunes library from the iMac (also running VMWare!!!).
And YES it works again.
Why the heck does audio streaming to AE from iTunes running on Windows work properly but streaming from iTunes running on Mac OSX always has dropouts?
I don‘t believe that there is any issue with Router, WLAN , Airport Express or iTunes itself. I think there is any software layer in the os or iTunes working fine on Windows but not on OSX.
Using Windows solves this problem for me but is it Apples intention to use Windows?
I also have this problem. I have a MacMini for my music server, an ASUS EA 68 for my router, two ASUS 66 access points for my primary WiFi network. I use 4 AirPort Expresses in client mode to stream music to multiple audio systems around the property. When I first start the system everything works fine and controlling it using my iPhone Remote app works perfectly. But if I move around the house and start and stop other devices on the network I eventually begin to get drop outs and eventually I cannot reach iTunes using Remote even while the rest of the network is behaving fine. When I go to the MacMini to see what is happening, iTunes is unresponsive and I must force quit the app and restart. If nothing changes on WiFi, the streaming will work fine for days at a time.
Obviously iTunes has extensive network logic in it and some changes in the network cause it to hang. So what is the solution? All devices are at the most recent releases of their respective firmware and software. Must iTunes stream over a dedicated WiFi SSID to scale to this level? I have not tried that yet since it is quite a lot of work to setup the experiement. For now I've just gotten used to restarting iTunes frequently but I could never recommend this for a client setup and doing everything with ethernet defeats the purpose of using Airport Express, even if it would fix the problem.
Sad to hear of this. But I am in a similar boat. After experimenting with a Belkin Bluetooth connector between my HiFi and IPhone and IPad due to occasional dropouts, I purchased an apple airport AND Arcam irDAC (£400) Now I have better sound but much more frequent dropouts, so many that it really is not worth switching it on. A total waste of money and judging by the forum discussion, no real solution. Such is life!
Well....after about 2 years of using the airport express and having frequent drop outs I decided to buy the latest version of airport express (looks like ATV). = NO MORE DROP OUTS
I have my airport express connected to my Audio Engine speakers so it's really annoying when you have drop out while it's on airplay as the music cuts out. I looked on all forums and couldn't find a solution.
This is my 5th day of using the new airport express and I haven't had a single drop out. I can conclude that the drop outs are probably a hardware issue with the old airport express
Only solution is to just buy a new one!
Hope this helps
Like many here, I've done my fair share of time-wasting reading forums suggesting everything from "Apple broke the old Airport Express" to "drop outs are caused by connecting the AE to your high end DAC and it not liking the jitter..." However a new unit MAY not be necessary...
I didn't really believe any of these very specific solutions. My airport network consists of a Sky router used purely as a modem (wifi turned off) connected by Ethernet to a previous gen (flat, Mac mini-sized) AirPort Extreme base station. As the signal from this (upstairs) doesn't quite make it all over the house, I added two (1st gen - plug into wall) Airport express units (downstairs) and set them to 'extend network'. This gives coverage all over plus each is sited by some speakers for streaming - one analogue into an amp, the other optically into an Apple hifi (big white speaker).
This always used to work perfectly for several years until about a year ago. However for at least that year, we've experienced crap internet speeds through Airport and constant, though intermittent dropouts using airplay - notably when trying to stream from our iPhone 4s's. I initially thought it something to do with a switch to Sky but the Sky wifi gave around 20meg down and 8 up from the phone so I knew the slow internet over airport had to be specific to the airport network. I turned the Sky wifi off anyway in the hope that it was causing the slow airport and dropouts due to co-channel interference. No improvement.
So...I've muddled along, thinking that I might need new airport gear or a brain transplant etc...
Today this finally got me so I investigated further and I THINK I have discovered my problem in so much as I am listening to uninterrupted music (Unknown Mortal Orchestra - very therapeutic!) and have 'sensible' internet speeds over airport. My solution? Using the airport utility app on the iphone, I discovered (because it gave me a warning after I tried a 'force to channel 12' - well-documented workaround) that the base station had somehow defaulted to DCHP/NAT mode. It's supposed to be in bridge mode which I think means it doesn't try to distribute DCHP/NAT addresses as well as my Sky router. Forgive my terminology - I am no network techie!
Anyway - given my apparent success, I would advise you to:
1) Use airport utility app on the iphone to check that the airport extreme is indeed in bridge mode (you'll need to log in and hit 'edit' to do this)
2) switch to channel 12 (though I expect this has little to do with the improvement!)
There you go - hope it helps someone. Being a glass-half-empty guy with computers, I fully expect this to be broken again by tomorrow in which case I'll post back again ;-)