The curse of the flashing amber LED
The new Mac came with an AirPort Express Base Station. I read up and it turns out this thing can be used to stream iTunes music to my stereo located in the next room. Something Apple calls “AirTunes”. Cool! I have no real use for the unit as a wireless client/repeater, so I figured AirTunes was worth checking out. I opened up the box and followed the installation instructions. They pretty much say:
- Hook up the AirPort Express to your stereo via the mini-jack.
- Insert the AirPort Express into the power socket.
- When the status LED shows green, you’re good to go.
Done. I await the green light from the status LED, but all I get is an amber colored LED that flashes. So I look in the manual and apparently, “flashing amber” means:
Startup is complete, but AirPort Express didn’t get an IP connection. Depending on your setup, it may mean AirPort Express is out of network range, unplugged from Ethernet, lacks a path to the Internet (or local router), or that there’s an issue with your Internet service provider.
Out of network range? At the time, the AirPort Express was two feet from the Mac. Unplugged from Ethernet? Damn right. I thought this thing was wireless? Lacks a path to the Internet? What the hell does this thing need the Internet for?
Oh, well. To cut a long, long story short. It turns out that the “flashing amber” signal is to be expected when you’re using AirTunes. You might want to mention that in the manual, Apple! Still didn’t work though. With the help of some people in the Apple discussion forums (yay for forums!), I was later able to get it going. Thing is, I’m not 100% sure what I did in order for it to start working. I know I had to connect to the unit via a regular Ethernet cable and run the AirPort Admin Utility to change some of the settings, but it was one of those things where it just started working all of a sudden. I hate it when that happens.
Apple: I’m very pleased with my Mac, but you really need to revise the manual for the AirPort Express. Not even the article in your knowledge base mentions the fact that “flashing amber” is what to expect when using AirTunes.