xbee api or not question

hi all,

never used xbees before and i could use a little help understanding the right approach for my project.

i have an arduino and a shielded xbee (series 1) that receives data from a max patch. this patch needs to send data to other unique xbee modules. i have it working now, but only as a broadcaster: all remote nodes receive the same data. what i need is to be able to specify which module gets what data.

i know this must be basic, but in order to get xbee addressing to work properly do i need to need my xbees to be in api mode? or is there a way to format my data strings in software so they get sent to the right xbee? it seems going into command mode each time i need to change a destination address is not the right way to do this...

Would it be possible to setup each Arduino with a unique "device id" that the master unit could send out and basically notify the remote unit which one it is talking to. All remote units would receive the same data, but could ween out data not destined for it.

On a side note, how is the reception on the xbee? I am considering picking up a couple of those for some home projects and I was planning to use that exact method of device control. One further idea I had was the ability to remotely change the device id. To do this you could have a particular command that would basically say "if you are device x, change your id to y" and then store it in the EEPROM.

Hope that helps in some way.