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Old 01-26-2012, 06:15 AM   #1
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Question Trying to create a music server, need some directions.

Hey everyone,

I think the best way to start is to explain what I am trying to achieve. I want to convert one of my old PCs into a server who's sole purpose is to play music (it doesn't need to stream it). It will be attached to speakers and I would like to remotely control it (hopefully using an android application, or if its a web application then I guess I can just browse through the android device as well).

Now, the direction I went with is installing Ubuntu server 11.10 and setting up a share to place the files in but I got a little lost when it came to the actual music part, my research has led me to MPD, but the latest, in depth, guides I could find were several years old and when you couple that with my inexperience with using linux, I ran into a lot of trouble.

I would really appreciate if someone here could give me some general directions as to how he would accomplish what I'm trying to do, in the simplest way possible (I wanted it to lack any gui and do everything through the cli, but I can see that might not be a good idea when i'm just starting out.). What I mean is, like, what distribution I should go with, what software I'll need to play music remotely (again, hopefully through android) and anything else that i'll need/would be interesting to add. It doesn't need to much in depth (even though I'll love for as much information as possible), I believe I'll be able to dig out the information once I have a base to go on.

Thank you.
Old 01-26-2012, 07:25 AM   #2
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Firefly music server is your answer

Here is an article about firefly music server published in the Linux Magazine

Here is a link about how to firefly and Ubuntu

Good luck to you!
Old 01-26-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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I would say that your research is correct. MPD is the ducks guts for this sort of thing. (for a full HTPC, i would suggest xbmc, but thats a different kettle of fish).

I use MPD, with a GUI front end, on my desktop, plus I use a web UI, for controlling it remotely via, other computers, tablets, phones etc.

You could easily do away with the GUI, and simply run the webUI.

MPD is the backend, it does the grunt work, the actual playing of the music. There is a list of various clients that act as a frontend, effectively telling MPD what to play.

As far as distrobution goes, it is unlikely to matter. Pick one you feel comfortable with, if you are new to Linux, i would suggest choosing one with good community support (which really, they all have anyway).
You'll need the alsa software packages (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), mpd, and depending on the client interface, probably a few dependencies for that. Most of the webUI's will require a basic LAMP(webserver) to be set up.
Old 01-26-2012, 08:34 AM   #4
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Try it shows you how to set up a headless media server and control it over VNC (as well as lots of other stuff).
Old 01-26-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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MPD is a good choice, for good information on it go to the mpd page on the arch wiki, this has good information on writing config files for the mpd. For a music server the mpd is definitely your best choice because many of the other music servers require that x is running and running x on a server is sort of silly. For control of the mpd on the server I would recommend ncmpcpp, for remote control I do not know what you should use but there is most likely something for the mpd to be controlled remotely.


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