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Old 07-16-2008, 08:26 PM   #1
mmcfly8888
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Jukebox PC


Hi all,

I am a college student on summer break, and I'm trying to take an old computer I have in the basement into a music machine. I have 3 roommates, and we all have our own respective music libraries on our own computers in our own rooms, all connected to the internet through a router. My idea was to have take this old computer, hook it up to our stereo in our living room, and use windows networking/Samba to select and play the music on our separate computers through the stereo. I put slackware 12.1 on the pc, which is a Pentium III from 2001, 700 or 800 mhz, 128 MB ram... nothing fancy.

So anyways, all four of us have a shared folders with all of our music in them, which is then organized into artist/album folders, etc. I set up Slack to mount them all into /music/nicksmusic, /music/mikesmusic, /music/chrismusic, etc. So I just needed a program to play all the songs.

I found this program called Orpheus that is a textmode player that i liked the best, but it requires people to browse through folders and such, but guests and others won't know how everything is organized... and some of them no doubt will have no idea what they are doing. So I want a player that has a music library and has all the songs show up in one list like iTunes, and have an inline search. I loaded up X and tried the ones that come with slack, Amarok was just way to slow. JuK was OK but it rescans the library every time you start it which is simply obnoxious and would take like a half hour. Once it was finished doing that, it wasn't Amarok slow but it was pretty slow. And it isn't because these mp3's are over the network, because i tried it with some on the hard drive.

I could just do XP and itunes but it doesnt exactly run super on this computer either, plus i liked the challenge of setting up a linux one.

i dont really have a specific question, i just was wondering what some of you all think. should i try an older distribution like slackware 8, which was what was around when this computer came out? or should i try one of those 'light' distros? or just another distro alltogether? and also does anyone have any suggestions on a media player? all i want this thing to do is play the mp3's from a library like player with inline search, and maybe browse the web and play some youtube videos. At lightning fast speeds. Nothing else at all.

Input is welcome.
thanks,
mmcfly8888
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
elliott678
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For music, I would go with MPD as a back end, then you have a choice of dozens of front ends. The front ends can be installed on any of the other computers in the house and connected to the one playing the music. You can even have a web based interface if you choose to, it is a very flexible solution.


Playing Youtube and other Flash related things will be the big drawback, Flash is a pig, I've seen P4's struggle with Flash. I have a 900Mhz laptop with 384MB of RAM, Flash can be painfully slow and it usually brings everything else to a crawl too. This is on a system running a basic Arch install, no heavy desktop environments, just Openbox.

Last edited by elliott678; 07-16-2008 at 08:48 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
jamesapnic
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Check out debian with a minimal install and a light window manager such as blackbox. Then use xmms which is pretty similar to winamp and pretty good.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 09:11 PM   #4
mmcfly8888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliott678 View Post
For music, I would go with MPD as a back end, then you have a choice of dozens of front ends. The front ends can be installed on any of the other computers in the house and connected to the one playing the music. You can even have a web based interface if you choose to, it is a very flexible solution.
the thing about it is i would like to have the music stored on our 4 different personal computers, running windows, and play the files over the network with linux. i would just tell whichever media player i choose that my music library is in those four network shares. i want to be able to choose the song in the main room to play on the stereo, from mp3s that are on our seperate computers in our four bedrooms. I just need a lightweight media player with library capabilities, on a lightweight OS.

Last edited by mmcfly8888; 07-16-2008 at 09:12 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 10:46 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

If you got Slackware 12.1 to install and all equipment supported then why change. Solid! Just trim down what you don't need. Several suggestions have been made. Google/linux will get you loads more.

There are several Jukebox applications available. I would add as much memory as possible to the server. Keep as much as you can local that way traffic will be minimal.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
snowtigger
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You can do all that with MPD,

Just mount all the music folders then tell mpd its music_directory is /music

Code:
music_directory                 "/music"
It will then look in all the directories there for music and build its library, and there you go.

Now connect to it with a client, from any machine.

There are lots of clients out there for it.
> Mostly i use sonata, nice and light, its python based. Very nice, simple, yet complete for a player, but don't think of it as a manager.
> Or there is ncmpd, very light, you don't even need a gui as its ncurse based, but isn't the simplest to use.
> Then you can get things like ampache, which is web based, it needs a web server with php and sql support.
> I've even stumbled across a very very simple web front end that i can open on my phone (tis got wlan). it only does the bare minimum really, start, stop, skip, browse already loaded playlist....

Personally i'd suggest sticking with slackware for the OS, but them i'm very biased towards slackware.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
mmcfly8888
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thanks snowtigger, running mpd as both the client and server sounds like the best option... i need to now find a client that balances the features i want with the speed i need...
 
Old 08-12-2008, 09:18 PM   #8
mmcfly8888
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well its a couple weeks later and i was looking at the thread for old times sake... just in case anyone is reading, MPD is the best! its working great, get it set up with phpMP and whichever other gui clients you choose, and you'll never look at itunes the same way again. controlling my linux music server from a webpage on my windows laptop is just so awesome, and it never gets old... and you can control it from the local machine as well.
 
  


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