You have two options here.
Option 1. is to have your computer on with iTunes running in the background.
Option 2. is have all of your iTunes library running on a NAS device, meaning you don’t have to have your computer on at all.
Both options here require you to connect your devices to your wireless internet router. This doesn’t have the be the Apple Airport Extreme but this helps.
Option 1 is simple. Keep your computer on while connected to the wireless router with iTunes running. You will need to purchase an Airport Express (not to be confused with your Airport Extreme above as easily done) and connect it to your stereo in another room. You will need to follow the instructions provided on how to set it up, but it is very straight forward. Essentially you need to tell your Airport Express to talk your wireless router. As soon as that is complete, iTunes will now be able to see your new device. From iTunes you need to select your new Airport Express so it can play all the music on your stereo wherever it is in the house.
Now here comes the smart part. Say you have a few people round and the music is streaming from your computer using this setup. How do you change the song currently playing without going upstairs to your computer or finding your laptop in the room? Easy! Simply pull out your iPhone change the song using Apple’s Remote app. Since you already have a wireless setup, your iPhone can talk to your computer and control iTunes from anywhere in the house. Even better, if you have an Apple TV you can control that too. And it’s not just linked to one iTunes library either. Any of your friends that bring their laptop with iTunes can stream their music to your stereo. Simple as that.
Option 2 requires a little more time to setup. You have to find the right NAS device (Network Attached Storage) the meets your needs. If your smart you can find one that will stream to any device in the house including your new flat screen TV, PS3, Squeezebox, Revo or any other wireless device in the house. Some NAS devices are cheaper than others and others offer more functionality at a price. I recommend a Western Digital network drive, they start at $199. Once you have one in your possession, transfer your whole library to it via your computer. Once everything is copied over, this little NAS device can stay powered on the whole time (obviously you can turn it off when not needed) without the need to turn your computer on to listen to music. The added bonus is that your wireless device e.g stereo (if setup correctly) has now acquired a larger library than it previously had when you were listening to CD’s and radio. By having a NAS device in your house, it also expands the storage facilities of your PS3 using the same library. Your PS3 has now got access to more films and music than you had before. Now there is no need to plug up a USB device to your PS3 to watch all your films. This applies to all your HD films too. Keep it wireless.
It’s your decision.
If you have found this has helped, please share this with your friends. Alternatively please leave a comment and let me know if this has worked for you or you know of better ways of achieving this. Thanks.