Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

AirPort Extreme

Thomas Brand:

In the era of Post-PC computing I would like to see an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule that do more than just desktop backup and wireless networking. A central household cache for iTunes streaming, App Store downloads, and iCloud backups would be a great start. Maybe next year we will see another vertically oriented white box that does just that.

A few months ago, I experimented with putting my iTunes library on a hard drive shared via my AirPort Extreme base station. Whether it was because of the speed of the 802.11n connection, or something else, it was an exercise in patience and frustration. While 802.11ac is much (much) faster than the previous spec, it’s only barely cracking the transfer rate of USB 2.

I desperately want a local cache for things like system updates or for loading an iTunes library wirelessly from anywhere. Imagine the benefits for something like the Apple TV, which doesn’t have much internal storage. Unfortunately, I think such a product will have to wait for the next revision of the 802.11 spec for something like this to be usable.