A lot of what’s obvious to geeks is a lot less obvious to “normal” people. AirPlay is a great example, and while geeks might say something like “it’s just DLNA for Apple” or “of course I stream media wirelessly”, I know of quite a few iPad owners who simply respond with “…what?” when they hear the term. It’s a shame, really, because a lot of people use their iPad for home entertainment in homes that aren’t otherwise very technologically equipped, and wireless music streaming is still an undiscovered frontier in these homes. The fact that Apple’s go-to device for anything AirPlay is the Apple TV that isn’t even sold in all countries doesn’t make it any easier to get everything set up.
Luckily there is a second Apple device that is both affordable and AirPlay enabled (music only), as well as being available worldwide and better suited for pure music streaming; the AirPort Express. The AirPort extreme is Apple’s own WiFi router, though the very minimalistic iPad charger-looking device certainly doesn’t look like a router, especially not with its built in AC plug. The AirPort Express also has an audio jack, which is what makes it AirPlay compatible. Simply plug it into the wall and connect to your stereo. Naturally you can also connect a network cable to get internet through the Airport Express’ WiFi network. At $99 (in the US) it is an affordable way to get wireless music streaming, and one of the simplest to set up.