Firefly Transcodes FLAC > .WAV for iTunes & Airtunes

So I bit the bullet and ordered a couple of Airport Express base stations so that I can finally listen to music over both ethernet and 802.11n.  A small miracle, the old Dell P3 is able to transcode the FLAC on a USB hard disk drive attached to the Time Capsule (a Samba share via Bonjour in Windows XP mind you) and serve it via Firefly to the iTunes (as uncompressed .WAV with track info) on our Mac laptops.  So now, when I get the Airport Express base stations it should be a matter of selecting both “kitchen” and “living room” in the Airtunes settings and bingo bango, I’m done. Music everywhere.  If I’m ever flush I could use an iPod touch or iPhone to remote control via the mobile interface, however, I’m holding out until they offer 802.11n 5 GHz as a feature.  I don’t understand how Apple could push so hard for 802.11n and then not have it on the products that are supposed to integrate into the “home media system”.  So I think this is it.  It’s the end of the odyssey.  If Z’s in the kitchen with her laptop she can select music from the MP3 library via her iTunes, or if I want to listen to FLAC I select the Firefly Share.  Simple as that, really.

  • Sean

    Are you able to serve the Airport Express directly from Firefly or do you need to have iTunes running somewhere? I have a Windows Home Server with Firefly installed and want to use that to serve audio around the house, controlled by an iPod Touch, and not have to have another computer up and running iTunes.

    • Mark

      As far as I know, using an Apple TV (acts as iTunes mt-daapd player/server) is the only way to do what you’d like without having to run an instance of iTunes on a separate machine; that being said, couldn’t you run iTunes on the Windows Home Server machine and control it via iTouch?

      My solution initially was a machine in the closet (like your server) that ran either iTunes or Media Monkey or Foobar2000 and I’d remote VNC into it to control music. Right now at home we usually have a laptop running iTunes to feed Airport Express and FLAC is being transcoded by Firefly (mt-daapd) on the closet server which is connected via CIFS/Samaba over the network to the Time Capsule.

      Another route of course is Rogue Amoeba’s AirFoil software software which can send any audio from any application over the AirPort Express. Remote Buddy is an application for the iPhone/Touch that can control more varieties of software than just iTunes. But as far as simplicity goes, I’d just run an instance of iTunes on the Windows Home Server if that’s possible and use the “app store” Apple Remote “app”.

      -Mark