My airtunes worked, and I say worked in the past tense, for 4-5 years flawlessly with no dropouts at all. My setup also has massive dropouts now since Apple started updating Itunes with all the new bells and whistles. It isn't any problem on your setup, it is an issue that Apple has somehow created with their updates, and it will not be fixed until Apple fixes their software. Don't beat your brains out, nothing you can do. I have tried every suggested fix on every board, and none of them work.
SOmething you have to deal with Until Apple stop with all the updates, and start fixing some of the problems they are creating. *****, but it is life.
From what I'm reading here and elsewhere, it looks like there's not much that can be done. I usually get between 1/2 hour and an hour before it starts dropping. If I turn off iTunes and turn it back on, it usually fixes it. I guess that the solution until Apple takes a look at the issue. Thanks for all your suggestions.
Think I got the fix for mine. So far...four days w/o any dropouts, yellow blinking light, etc.
AEX running in wds mode via my linksys WRT54GL (dd-wrt) to living room speakers.
1. Changed the beacon interval setting on my router from the default of 100 down to 50.
2. I keep my iphone far away from the AEX and no longer attempt to remote control or engage airplay from my phone.
I have a similar issue with Ipad 2. I am streaming from Ipad 2 to my home speakers via Airport Express. The connection keeps dropping, about once every hour. Whenever it does, the Airport Express disappears from my Ipad and there is no way to bring it back. The only way to reconnect to Airport Express is to reboot my Ipad.
This is annoying. So, now I stopped streaming, and I just use the Ipad's built-in speakers. This is a shame because I bought Airport Express precisely for this purpose.
I am shocked to have found this same AX audio dropout problem starting TODAY, every few seconds the audio just stops for a couple seconds and then resumes: Latest software versions of everything. No iPad, iPhone or Touch. Internet hardwired to D-Link DES1105 (1000baseT Switch) hardwired to new 80211N AX, AX optical to stereo, AX Wi-Fi internet to basic 1st-gen MacBook operating at 80211G, and an older 'G' AX extender at the far end of the house, away from all this. The MacBook streaming iTunes is usually 12 feet from AX. I've used this setup for years of trouble-free AirTunes / Airplay until today. Today I also found 2 very reliable fixes and 1 way to force a dropout, but first, I read some posts and tried ALL following settings one-at-a-time and restored them ALL because NONE of them helped: Turned off IPV6. Stream to multiple speakers 'Computer' and 'AX' (restored to just AX). Turn off 'Ask to Join new (WiFi) Networks'. Turn off Bluetooth (can't live without Magic Trackpad, so glad that wasn't it). Here's my discoveries: Lo and behold, each time I click the Airport icon in the Menu, you know, the one that shows you've got 4 bars from AX, when the status switches to 'Looking for Networks' for a second CAUSING the audio to drop out for a couple seconds (it never did that before today.) iTunes still playing, streaming, AX laser still lit, but the 'PCM' light on stereo DOES go out EVERY time I click the Aiport icon in the menubar, just like the regular dropouts. So, to reduce traffic I quit Safari (3 tabs, no streaming, just Gmail, Google, and Netflix browsing). Lo and behold, the dropouts stopped altogether. No other Web apps going (not iTunes Store, Genius, Ping, nothing), so I launched Chrome to the same 3 tabs and the droputs HAVE NOT RETURNED. That's right, not only did simply QUITTING SAFARI cure it, and Chrome doesn't contribute to it, but I can demonstrate it just by forcing my Airport to re-scan. Works for me, written using Chrome. The other reliable fix is to hardwire MacBook to the Switch. This is obviously not ideal, but Airplay audio doesn't drop out over Ethernet. Also, in all my tests, it made no difference whether iTunes did the streaming, or Airfoil did.
I've had flawless airtunes for a few years now, and then in the last few weeks i've tried to setup my airport ex to provide airtunes, while also connecting through to internet - this wasn't possible as my vdsl router isn't an airtunes base station, so I couldn't extend to airtunes ex. instead of turning internet off, i just left internet misconfigured on the airtunes ex, so that it couldn't connect to the internet, even though my laptop and ipad were connecting via wireless to the airtunes ex - so I had music but not internet. I noticed the dropouts of sound immediately... itunes would play songs but the sound would drop out after a minute or 5. The common log message pattern follows:
Jun 05 11:17:25 Severity:5 Installed unicast CCMP key for supplicant xxxxx
Jun 05 11:17:25 Severity:5 Rotated CCMP group key.
Jun 05 11:22:25 Severity:5 Disassociated with station xxxxx
Jun 05 11:22:25 Severity:5 Associated with station xxxx
Jun 05 11:22:25 Severity:5 Installed unicast CCMP key for supplicant xxxx
Jun 05 11:22:25 Severity:5 Rotated CCMP group key.
after some playing with the airport utility, i realised i could connect airport ex to my routers internet and that it will support ethernet clients only now (which is fine, as I can use the main vdsl router for wireless, I don't need it extended). Now the airport ex doesn't show up as a wireless network, but it still shows up in itunes as airtunes speakers.
now when i play through the airtunes speakers via itunes, there are no such log messages related to the client, and the sound continues without disruption.
It appears that, for me at least, the issue was in the misconfigured interent connectivity, which seemed to be messing with the stability of the wireless network, which therefore messed with the streaming via airtunes. all is well!
.. and theres the added benefit of the airport ex having a green light, and the airport utility not reporting any errors.
hope this helps someone,