I’d not given AirPlay (the capability in iOS 4.x to stream media to cooperating devices) too much thought, as I don’t have an Apple TV (yet). However, a conversation with my sister over the Thanksgiving weekend got me curious about the relationship of AirPlay and AirTunes and whether an iOS device could use an Airport Express to stream music. I use an Airport Express as a network extender in my house, but had never hooked up speakers to it. I checked my iTunes and it could see the AE and stream music – on to the iPad! But, no, the media redirect button was not there 🙁 . A bit of googling showed that it seemed to work for some folks and not others. A common theme though was a soft reset of the iPad. I was skeptical (some said that didn’t work) but it was easy to try. Bingo. Worked like a champ. Checked my wife’s iPad – was not showing Airplay, reset and there it was. Streamed iPod, YouTube, and Pandora. I’m thinking that this feature is going to grow in mindshare as folks play with it. I’m looking forward to that Apple TV that’s on my Christmas list 😉 So, the story seems to be that Airplay is an evolution of AirTunes, that it works in the legacy AirTunes environment and the emerging AirPlay ecosystem.

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