The new AirPort Express Base Station solves a few long-standing problems for me. Several years ago, I made the switch to notebooks, and have never looked back. When we returned from Asia last year, I decided it made no sense to have a portable computer that was always tethered to an Ethernet cable, and dove into Wi-Fi. But I've still felt restrained by printing and playing music.
We have three laptops and one printer. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, if you want to make a printout you have to go into the office, connect the printer via USB, print, and then return to wherever it is you were working. AirPort Express solves this. What's more, it allows me to stash the printer somewhere out of the way since I don't have to fool with connecting the cable anymore.
Likewise, whenever I want to play the music from my computer through my stereo, I have to hook my PowerBook up to an RCA to Minijack connecter that stays plugged into the stereo. Again, AirPort Express solves this, and allows us to play music from any one of the computers in the house over the stereo.
But what's more, it adds value to the iTunes Music Store. I'm completely flummoxed as to why one would buy a CD, unless that was the only format in which it's available. All my purchases these days are either vinyl albums, or electronic downloads from iTMS. But to hear those iTMS songs anywhere other than on my laptop or iPod, I have to burn a CD.
I have entirely too many CDs already. They number in the high hundreds, perhaps even 1000. If you don't own this many already, you soon will too. I have data CDs, audio CDs, installation CDs, picture CDs, backup CDs, and of course dozens of DVDs to boot. Burning yet another Audio CD just to be able to play songs on my stereo, that I already own in another digital format, seems wasteful in terms of both resources and time.
More than the ability to play songs wirelessly, I'm just glad to have an easy way to circumvent the tyranny of the compact disc.