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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts Apps
I have been experiencing intermittent dropouts when broadcasting iTunes music from my G5 iMac to my amplifier using AirPort Express. I tried running the firmware updater for the AirPort Express, re-positioning it, checked cables, checked for interference, etc. However, nothing seemed to help.

Then I tried switching the output in iTunes to 'multiple speakers' instead of just to the AirPort Express. With music coming from the iMac's internal speakers and the amplifier connected through the AirPort Express, the problem has resolved itself ... and I haven't a clue why.
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Got instructions?
Authored by: mistersquid on May 15, '06 07:36:56AM

Would you explain how one specifies that iTunes output to multiple speakers?



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Instructions
Authored by: benburrell on May 15, '06 07:59:49AM

You need to have your AirPort Express updated to version 6.3 before you can use the multiple speakers functionality. After that a "Multiple Speakers" option will show up in the speaker selection dropdown in iTunes.



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Instructions
Authored by: mistersquid on May 15, '06 08:10:20AM
Righty, and those of you looking for the firmware update for Airport Express can find it here: Apple web page for Airport Support

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Instructions
Authored by: sjmills on May 17, '06 05:17:22PM
...speaker selection dropdown...

That would be popup, not dropdown. This is Mac OS, not Windows.

Just bein' me.

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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: Nelluk on May 15, '06 09:10:34AM

I've tried tons of things to get the AirTunes skipping on my setup to work. I tried it with multiple speakers a while ago and did not notice any improvement.
The only thing I've been able to do to make it work consistently is move my PowerBook to within a few feet of the Airport Express base station.
I think the submitters experience is just a fluke.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: macHobbes on May 15, '06 10:45:00AM

I read here on OS X Hints that turning off IPv6 in the network preferences speeds up the network. Maybe this also helps with AirTunes. At least I did not have any drop outs since then.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: kdrofwdc on May 15, '06 10:53:39AM

I notcied *exactly* the same thing. I had horrible dropouts on remote speakers, but, very consistantly, I could resolve them by selecting "multiple speakers", and checking "Computer" along with whatever other speakers I wanted to use.

No explanation for this, just verification...



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: eagle on May 15, '06 10:58:20AM

I experience occasional dropouts from my Airport Express too. I finally determined the two sources of the problem:
- my microwave - whenever it is in use, AirTunes cuts out
- my neighbor's 2.4GHz phone... but fortunately he has discarded that unit

That, and changing channels on my 802.11b router (a NetGear MR314) eliminated all of my AirTunes skips.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: frickster on May 15, '06 02:03:16PM

An interesting aside: I had to move my wireless router in my office because when the staff used the microwave, the signal cut off entirely. Microwaves are very nasty around base stations of any type.

---
-frick



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: kevbert on May 15, '06 12:48:59PM

This adds little, but the same fix works for selecting multiple Airport Expresses as well. I get far fewer dropouts when streaming to two Expresses than to just one.



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Fiddle with your multicast rate
Authored by: Elian on May 15, '06 05:07:42PM

I found that increasing the multicast rate (I jacked it to 11, which seemed appropriate somehow) pretty much completely got rid of the dropout problems with my Airport Express.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: ipearx on May 15, '06 08:05:09PM

I would try changing the channel that your airport express works at - try channel 1, 6 and 11 and see if there's any difference.
Also I've found NetMonitor is great to actually see what's going on - it's quick to see if the network is stuttering or not.
http://homepage.mac.com/rominar/net.html

I've made a diagram of streaming to my Airports showing the connection quality difference between streaming normal, with the multiple speaker option, and finally to 2 airports.
http://pear.co.nz/public/airport_express_graphs.gif
Interesting the normal streaming method with 1 airport is not nearly as solid and clean as using the multiple speakers option, even to only 1 express.

My guess it must use a different streaming method, to keep them all in Sync. I think it's amazing it can synchronise the computer sound to the airports at all!

I'm also guessing they're working their way to synchronising video with the sound output - it's only one more step away! Quicktime just needs the ability to delay a video and we'll be there.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: JasonD on May 16, '06 11:34:34AM

I read someplace recently that if you change your Airport Base Station to do either 802.11b OR g that it'll be a fix for the iTunes dropouts. I think the default is to allow b AND g.

I switched to 802.11b only (for compatibility reasons)

It worked flawlessly on my 2.16 MBPro



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: MJMJ on May 16, '06 08:51:26PM

I use a D-Link G router as a base station and two Airport Expresses and I also get dropouts. I tried the trick suggested here of setting iTunes to send music to not just the Airport Expresses but to the computer speaker as well. That did not help. I set the Network preferences to disable IPv6 with no result. Rebooting the computer helps when dropouts become frequent (every few seconds) but does not completely prevent reaccurances of dropouts. I also noted dropouts when the microwave oven was in use. I then used Airport Admin Utility to enable Interference Robustness on each Airport Express, and this seems to help. So far no more dropouts at all. This option isn't available through the Airport Setup Assistant, as far as I can tell. Maybe it was the combination of all of the above, but the interference robustness setting finally did the trick.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: MJMJ on May 20, '06 03:45:36PM

Still had some dropouts after the steps above, despite the early results. I then changed the channel that the router broadcasts on, first using iStumbler to check which channels were in use by others around me first in order to avoid one of those. This last step has seemed to help reduce dropouts further.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: gtwiggs on May 18, '06 07:23:11AM

My "fix" for this problem is just as effective, and bizzarre, as yours - I open the Airport Admin tool (I don't have my mac in front of me at the moment, so not sure of the app name). That's it. However, I'm going to try the other suggestions as my solution is just plain silly.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: mikebrittain on May 30, '06 06:41:54PM

I recently purchased one of these, using it with my Windows XP laptop. I've been extremely impressed with the ease of setup, but also ran into trouble with intermittent dropouts of network service.

Since reviewing some comments here and testing a few things, I seem to have eliminated the network problems. I took the following steps:

1. I was originally using a WEP network because I was unsure about the compatibility with Win XP. Since it was listed as being "more compatible", I used it for my first stap. I have since switched to a WPA2 Personal network with no problems. Don't know whether this improves stability or not.

2. Since I was having significant trouble with iTunes, I upgraded to the latest point release. I doubt this was this issue, however. The network drops affected all software, not just the music streaming to my stereo.

3. There is an "interference robustness" setting that I though might help, and was mentioned here previously. I actually tried that first with no luck. Since the network stability has improved, I decided to turn that off, hoping that my range will improve (not that I'm taking advantage of that).

4. I got rid of my wireless telephone. My suspicion is that this phone was the culprit. Since I rarely use it, I replaced it with a regular corded phone -- and have freed up a power socket in the process!

So far so good. My suggestion to anyone with similar problems would be to look for wireless phones close to your network hub, first. That will probably resolve your issues.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: gogo22 on Jun 02, '06 10:41:50AM

Same here, I tried some many things on the dropout AEX issue...
- Firmware Update
- Using Airfoil instead of Itunes
- Changing wlan channel
- Using network robustness
- Moving microwaves and wireless phones around
- Disabling stateful packet inspection on the router
- Playing around with MTU and Packet acks
- Upgraded the network from 802.11b to 802.11g
- etc.

Yesterday, I needed to downgrade my WLAN security from WPA to WEP128 because of a wintel laptop from work joining the wireless home network - and......NO MORE DROPOUTS SO FAR...

Hope this helps

Georg



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: DylanMuir on Jun 27, '06 05:57:55AM

I use my Airport express as a wireless hub, connected to a cable modem via the ethernet port on the Airport express. I used to connect my mac directly to the cable modem -- I would get a lot of traffic to my machine which was merely "trolls" looking for something juicy to attack. The airport acts as a bit of a filter. Which brings me to my point: sometimes I have the problem with intermittent dropouts. When I disconnect the airport from the internet (unplug the ethernet cable), no more dropouts... I assumed the airport was having to deal with so much traffic that the poor little CPU inside couldn't handle decoding the m4a (I think it's m4a) stream as well.

Could be as indicental as most of the other suggestions...

DRM



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: radiophage on Feb 24, '07 10:39:59AM

Wow. Thanks for this hint. I've struggled with Airtunes dropouts for a long, long time. This idea of switching to multiple speakers instantly solved it.

So it's NOT A FLUKE. Such a simple fix after noise sampling, firmware upgrades, etc etc.

Apple engineering, are you taking note?



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: Kino500 on Mar 07, '07 12:48:08PM

Hi everyone. The "odd fix" doesn't work. Tried it on my Windows Desktop. It's also annoying. Here's what DOES work...

After much frustration trying to keep Airtunes connections working, I discovered a simple way to keep Airtunes running 100% of the time!!

I have an Airport Extreme (2007 Wireless-N), and an Airport Express. I run a Windows XP desktop PC with a WIRED connection to the Extreme. The Express is wirelessly connected across the room to my hi-fi. The Extreme and Express are about 50' apart.

I received the Airport utility version 5.0 with the Extreme. Not sure if this will work with version 4.2, which is the only version you can currently download at Apple.com.

Here's how I fixed the connection cutting out...

I leave the Airport Utility program OPEN. It's that simple. By not closing the Utility program while running my computer I get 100% connection all the time, and play Airtunes all day if I want.

Minimize, but don't close the program. It seems to keep the connection alive.

My only beef with iTunes right now is that sharing libraries and running music off a network is unintuitive and SLOWS the computer down terribly. If Apple could make iTunes more lean and mean for networking, it would be the killer app for music it wants to be.

K



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: dehring on Jun 25, '07 08:01:57PM

this was an awesome find. i found it worked perfectly.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: Mashuri on Nov 23, '07 06:52:27PM

Weird, but the multiple speakers option worked for me as well as having the Airport Utility open. FYI, I have a AX connected wirelessly to a D-Link DIR-655 and wirelessly stream music from a MacBook C2D 2GHz. Thanks for the info! :)



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Fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: thepitcanary on Jun 15, '08 04:52:20AM

Hi all

Just reset my MBP and AirPort Express with Interference Robustness *on* and all seems well... either interference robustness has been improved mightily since this thread first appeared or those bizarre tweaks didn't actually work, really.

So just enable robustness on your machine and your wireless network nodes and you should be fine...



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: StudioLSE on Nov 20, '08 09:24:28PM

Read through all the posts, however no luck...
If you have the Wii console, turn it off.
Now I have no dropping.
Hope that help.

best wishes



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: mjnip on Jan 07, '09 05:48:54PM

I tried everything and nothing worked. In my environment, I use the airport and plug it into my receiver and I use an audioengine aw1 so that my subwoofer can also be wireless. It is the AW1 that is causing the interference as it uses 802.11 to send the bass signals. Switching channels seems to help, but occasionally, probably when there are other apartment networks in use, it still drops out.

The search continues.



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Red: AirTunes intermittent dropouts -- playback buffer
Authored by: stereoscott on Jan 21, '09 12:09:13PM

This may be obvious but I haven't seen it mentioned here. In iTunes goto Preferences > Advanced, and make sure you set the Streaming Buffer Size to "Large". I think the default is "Medium". This will help eliminate any dropouts caused to short connection interruptions.



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Red: AirTunes intermittent dropouts -- playback buffer
Authored by: Gus on Mar 04, '09 11:50:29AM

Nope, doesn't help.

---
ing. G.E.A. Vansteelant, MSc, BSc
Lead Assessor



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Red: AirTunes intermittent dropouts -- playback buffer
Authored by: joestalin on Nov 16, '09 12:44:23PM

I believe this refers to buffers for downloading streams from Internet radio, not for sending streaming music to an Airport.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: LucyLoo on Jan 10, '10 01:56:44PM

Hi all,

I've been trying to fix the drop outs on my airport express and have read through all the helpful comments and tried to do all the things people have mentioned, but being a bit of a technophobe I don't understand a lot of the computer jargon.

Would anyone be able to help me try to fix my airport in a simple way......

I am using a mac.

Thank you so much in advance.

Very frustrated girlie! x



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: degolf on Mar 31, '10 03:57:58AM

Here is something that I have learned. If I have even a momentary loss in internet connection (WAN not LAN) there is a dropout. Apparently the way the express is designed, if you have your Airport Express set to join an existing network and that network looses connection to the internet (not your local connection to your router, but the feed of signal into the router from the outside), it will cause a dropout in the Airport Express connection to your computer. You may not even realize that your are experiencing these momentary internet dropouts, because unless you are interacting with a web server or something else that requires a constant connection you wouldn't experience any trouble. I figured it out because I use an email provider for work that, once I login, requires a constant connection.

You can avoid dopouts caused from this by either fixing your internet connection to make it constant (by working with your ISP) or you can connect directly to the Airport Express without joining a network (in the Admin Utility setup). Of course then you can't access the internet because you are not part of your LAN that goes to the internet. You can also, create separate profiles on your airport express, one for joining a network and another for direct. This would allow you to switch back and forth. You might want to do this just to establish for sure that this is the problem.

Either way, I think this may be the cause of many people's dropouts. I got my ISP to fix my connection, and I have very reliable streaming now (for weeks now)... before I had constant problems on some days and then none on others.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: radioraffi on Nov 13, '10 10:33:38PM

I sort of did this same thing and it's working without any drops (so far). Basically I created a new, dedicated wireless network which is not connected to the internet between my imac and the airport express. Luckily, I dont need my wifi on my imac since I'm connected to a airport extreme router via ethernet which is connected to my DSL modem via ethernet as well. So I can play itunes remotely off the imac without changing my wireless network every time I want to to listen to music, or being unable to connect to the internet.
I'm not sure what you would do if you have to share the internet on your airport express or if its your only wireless router, but this seems to be working without any drops.
I hope it gets addressed either with a airport firmware update or an updated version of itunes, although I just downloaded an update for itunes (v10.1) yesterday. Maybe it has to do with the shift from AirTunes to AirPlay with that itunes update?



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: Reubob on Jun 06, '10 09:06:57AM

I spent a lot of time trying to make this work. In the end, the only network topology that provided consistent results was the following:

Internet -> Time Capsule -> AEX (using Ethernet not wireless) -> speakers

Time Capsule provides wireless and Ethernet connections. The AEX is connected by Ethernet with wireless turned off. The AEX is set to manual IP.

I have AudioEngine A5 speakers. I am thinking about buying AudioEngine W1 wireless connectors to bypass the entire problem.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: rogerh on Aug 31, '10 09:35:14AM

Hi Guys,

Well hat do you think of this?

I have 4 Airport Express units beaming Airtunes to four different rooms. They have worked very well until recently. (I know, but I don't remember which OSX upgrade happened before the failed, doh!!). Then they started dropping out after 3 or 4 bars. I tried everything I could think of to isolate the problem, to no avail. However, (someone please tell me what's going on) ... I have just replaced my Mac wired keyboard with a Mac wireless keyboard and guess what, Airtunes works beautifully! The one thing that doesn't work is the volume control from the keyboard keys, (F10, F11, F12), doesn't work. I don't know what I'm doing, I haven't read the manual yet! (What's the betting that when the keyboard volume works, Airtunes won't!

Heigh ho, back to the treadmill ... and the flogging!



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: alienfreak on Nov 08, '10 07:18:30PM

Hi All,

I've been through all of this, the suggestions on many other sites, two multi-hour discussions with the Apple wireless group (nice guys!), and more. Fighting dropouts from what used to be a near perfect situation to what has for months been an unlistenable situation. reconfigured AEB and AEX's per apple tech advice, etc. Still, no Joy.

Finally, after realizing my son's older macbook pro had no issues with dropouts, whereas both my old and my brand new mb pro do, started looking at the machine itself. Even a virgin Test Account given solid test files to play had the problem. After watching activity monitor and eventually the console, I was able to track down a script (the program that was running it shall remain nameless for now but I think its fairly uncommon) which would launch and create a console permissions issue just before each dropout.

Since I removed that particular software (a SYSTEM WIDE (not user based) utility) I have perfect, no dropout streaming.

So I guess what I am saying is watch your console while listening for airtunes drops and track down your culprit, I presume many different software products COULD theoretically cause this result. I never thought I would say this, but it "does not seem to be the network hardware, but the machine doing the streaming and hidden components that are running in the background."

At least this worked for me and I hope it helps someone else out there.

Good Luck!



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: nosara on Nov 28, '11 03:38:07PM

Can you please tell us what script you deleted that helped? I'm losing my mind here. Thanks



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: dhs100 on Oct 29, '11 03:50:48PM

I recently read this suggestion for a persistent problem I have had with dropouts, which started for no apparent reason a couple of months ago. Whilst it defies logical explanation, so far as I can see, it does work. I am quite certain that the resolution of this difficulty, which occurred on each occasion I used iTunes played through an Airport Express linked to my hifi system (Snow Leopard 10.6.8), was not a mere coincidence as some have suggested.



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: miker71 on Nov 17, '11 08:37:52AM

So here we are, five (5) years later and I'm on a MacBook Pro 17" Early 2011, iTunes 10.5.1, and a 2005 a/b/g Airport Express (AEX) and still the same problem of AirTunes / AirPlay dropout.

I've noticed two things - minimising routing and the tip above do help, but not eliminate, the problem.

My solution so far has been to migrate everything to the 5GHz band - meaning, yes, I bought a 4th generation Airport Base and a 2008 a/b/g/n Airport Express - it seems far more reliable (but still suffers from occasional dropout). However, I'd love to keep using the 2005 AEX but it's just so flakey it's embarrassing - for me when I have friends round, and for Apple who obviously don't think it's important enough to fix after HALF A DECADE.

I don't think it's being caused by interference because nothing else on the WiFi flakes out - only AirPlay. I can stream HD movies from Vimeo with zero dropout, if it was WiFi interference I'd expect to have problems doing that, no? I'd accept higher latency/buffering for listening to tunes if it meant not having dropout.

Next stop - AirFoil perhaps?

Old soundman's maxim - "if you are able, use a cable"



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An odd fix for AirTunes intermittent dropouts
Authored by: nosara on Nov 28, '11 03:35:38PM

Iim still having the same issue. I have 3 AEX's and 1 ATV hooked up throughout the house, streaming from an Airport Extreme. All was running excellent, and then about 2 months ago, all of a sudden the streaming is totally affected to all units, especially when I am streaming to more than one airport express. Not sure if this coincided with an upgrade from Leopard to Lion. Apple TV drops NetFlix all the time now. The internet connection is fine, since if I watch from the unit hardwired to the airport extreme, it functions perfectly. No idea what the problem could be. Interference? So frustrating. Would love any insight.



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