Remote Access of iTunes library through AppleTV

Are you limited to only playing music stored on the AppleTV HD when connected to an audio system only (no monitor), or can you use the Remote app w/ iPhone/iPod to access music from your iTunes library stored on an iMac?

I'm considering using AppleTV or Airport Express to replace my iTransport/iPod server for more freedom. The thought of being able to use my iPhone (or getting a dedicated iPod Touch) as a remote intrigues me. I realize it'll be a compromise with sound quality to some degree but I'm willing to accept that.

Thoughts to consider with the two options;

Airport Express:


Inexpensive ($99)
Compact size and easy set up
Easy access of iMac/iTunes Music Library w/ remote App
No Power Cord (plug into VelocitorS)


Mini Optical Output Connection (is there a high quality cable for this or is that a contradiction?)
Sound Quality (due to Optical connection/cable)



Optical Output Connection (more high-end cable selection)
Watch Movies HDTV
Easy Set Up and still compact for features.


Over twice the cost ($329 - 160GB, but offset by more features;i.e, HDTV,..etc)
Power Cord
*Limited to Playing Music Stored on it's HD (*confirm)

Once I set up/sync AppleTV on my TV for use with the Remote app, then it's as simple as re-connecting it to my audio system. With the AE set up is even easier - plug-n-play.

If only either of these had RCA SPDIF output (like the SB3). Better yet, if only Apple would design a high-end touch screen mini iMac music server w/ RCA SPDIF output. Wow! How cool would that be. They're missing out. Although pretty soon you'll probably be able to wirelessly play music from your iPhone/iPod to your audio system. iTunes has to offer full resolution music downloads first, not this compressed garbage. Apple Lossles would do.

Note: I tried the SB3. Although the sound was great (same as iTransport) it was plagued by constant wireless drop-outs. A Sooloos system would be the ultimate solution, but so expensive for technology that's "obsolete" before you buy it. ;-)
The Apple TV will have the exact same music as on your iTunes music library if it is linked and synched to that library.

If you have more than one library on more than one computer the Apple TV will only access one library so you will have to choose which library it is synched to.

For more than one Library the Sonos would be the best solution. Sonos can also be operated via an iPhone or iPod Touch. Sonos has far less problems with drop-outs and wireless connections than Logitech Squeezebox because it forms its own unique wireless network.

What if the iTunes Library is larger then the AppleTV's 160GB capacity? How do you access music that's not stored on the AppleTV HD? I don't care for the idea of being limited to only the music from AppleTV. That's similar to my current set up, albeit w/ no remote control of the music selection, and probably better sound. I don't know why Apple doesn't allow streaming with AppleTV. It's the same restriction they impose with watching movies (i.e, only from iTunes, no DVD playing from iMac).

I had considered Sonos before, but the initial set up cost was higher, not to mention all the required system parts (ZonePlayer, ZoneBridge and Controller). Plus, I like using the iTunes GUI. Do you still need their Controller with the new iPhone/iPod Touch remote feature, or can I just get the ZonePlayer and ZoneBridge?
The apple tv will stream music from itunes as long as itunes is open and the computer is on. You can have more than one computer linked to apple tv but can only use one library at a time.
Your Apple TV will also connect with your itunes library wirelessly, the same as if you used a airport express. You can access any number of seperate libraries through your apple tv and ipod remote, providing your computers are operating.