Getting started and need help with my setup. I have a Mac powerbook currently and here is my plan.
1. Buy reasonable hard drive, say 250 GB, and connect to network. Here is my first question for mac users, I use airport express for wireless with this one laptop. Can I use this for the hard drive network or what else do I need?
2. Have all my music loaded into iTunes with Apple Loseless to the hard drive.
3. Buy either Squeezbox 3 or similar and connect to my meridian pre/pro.
4. Use my mac as a remote to choose music for wireless SB.

How does this sound??

1. No, though you could save $$$ and just buy a 802.11G router and then use the digital out on the AE (after reseting it to be a client of your network)to connect to your pre/pro and you wouldn't need the sqeezebox, or any other hardware for that matter.

Typically D-Link or Lyncsys 802.11G routers are on sale for <$40 and usually less than $30 in the paper. This would give you digital in to your pre/pro, and allow you to use the MAC as a remote.

FWIW I would buy more than 250 GB, drive space is cheap, and more is better than less.
Lots of info here and on Audio Asylum in the PC Audio forum.

Not quite sure what you are trying to do. It is possible to put a hard drive on a Ethenet network and have it be independent of the computer. This is called a network area storage device (NAS) and it basically is a hard drive with some brains in it to handle the requests for data.

Seems to me that you already have this figured out. Get as big an external HD as you can - actually get two, one for back-up. To work with a Powerbook it needs to be Firewire or better yet USB2.0 (much more available)

Create the iTunes Library Folder on the external HD, point iTunes at the external (tell it that the library is on the external) and rip your music to it. Airport Express doesn't care where the music data lives...

Now if you buy a wireless SB you don't need Airport Express - just use the 802.11 built into the Powerbook to talk directly to the SB. What you will have to do is install a small applet from SLIM that lets the SB access your iTunes library (you actually will designate "use iTunes")

So now you have one iTunes Library that you can rip to and make playlists with using iTunes, feed your iPod with, and support your SB. Plus you can control your SB from your Powerbook using the SLIM browser based interface or the SLIM remote

If you have a wireless or a wired router, hook the SB up to that as well and you can listen to Internet radio.

If I don't use the AE, then don't I need some other form of wireless network setup, i.e. a Linksys model?

Thanks for the input from you both.
I think I see where the confusion is.

Let's review a couple of concepts. Airport Extreme is Apple's implementation of 802.11G - WiFi. Keep in mind that Airport Extreme is exactly the same thing as a wireless card. And that Airport Express is a wireless device that can be used on a Airport Extreme/WiFi network.

Here is the potentially confusing part. The SB is a network device. As such it is designed to have two-way communication over the network. To use it, (enable it to talk) you first install a free applet on any computer that has a music library that you want to be able to access (eg the one on the 250.)

SLIM has nothing to do with iTunes except that it can read an iTunes Library. You cannot feed an SB with Air Tunes from Air Express - SB doesn't know anything about Air Tunes and has no idea what to do with it. The protocols for two way communication are not there.

Assuming that your PBook has Airport Extreme built-in, you should be able to "talk" directly to a wireless Squeezebox. Effectively the SB is just another wireless node on the Airport network.

If you do not have Airport built-in, you have to buy a 802.11g card to provide your PB with wireless functionality. Then, by adding a router you can mix wired and wireless devices, as well as providing Internet access to all devices. So for instance you can run a wire from your PB to a router, connect to the SB wirelessly through the wireless router, and run a Airport Express to do wireless printing over USB.

(Typically a wireless router includes the capability to access a DSL or cable modem. For instance the SB3 can access the Internet this way for Internet radio)

Also your wireless mileage may vary - it is very environmentally dependent. Does not go through walls and around corners very well.

Hope this helps