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Old 06-07-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
CliffLandin
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado, USA
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Lightbulb Media Server Info


I am a fairly competent Linux user, but have dealt mainly with desktop distros. I am looking to build a Linux media server and would love some hardware/distro suggestions.

I am looking for large storage capacity for storing mostly music in lossless formats .wav and .flac. I want to be able to connect a stereo to it and play the lossless files. I would also like to have duplicates of all files in .mp3 for iPod use.

I would eventually like to be able to store quality video and attach to a t.v., but that is down the line as my t.v. is crap and I would rather invest in audio components at the moment.

We have 2 Macs, 2 Linux boxes and a Windows box in the house and would like all of them to be able to access files on the server.

Money is an object. I wish it wasn't, but we must deal in reality here. I'm certainly not poor, but I ain't rich either.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by CliffLandin; 06-07-2008 at 12:05 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
gr8scot
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Registered: Jun 2007
Distribution: Debian
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First & foremost, no ATI All-In-Wonder cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffLandin View Post
I am a fairly competent Linux user, but have dealt mainly with desktop distros. I am looking to build a Linux media server and would love some hardware/distro suggestions.

I am looking for large storage capacity for storing mostly music in lossless formats .wav and .flac. I want to be able to connect a stereo to it and play the lossless files. I would also like to have duplicates of all files in .mp3 for iPod use.

I would eventually like to be able to store quality video and attach to a t.v., but that is down the line as my t.v. is crap and I would rather invest in audio components at the moment.

We have 2 Macs, 2 Linux boxes and a Windows box in the house and would like all of them to be able to access files on the server.

Money is an object. I wish it wasn't, but we must deal in reality here. I'm certainly not poor, but I ain't rich either.

Thanks for any help.
You very likely know this already, but the gatos drivers for ATI's combination display/video capture cards do not include full v4l support. All my research indicates that is still unresolved, and the manufacturer is unhelpful.

I have found Debian to be fine for a home file server on a LAN including Windows and other Debian workstations. Due to its package management I have not tried any other distros for about 3 years. I can only assume, based on the atalk service which is installed by default with the standard desktop selection, that Apple computers can also access files OK. I don't have any Apple computers to test this, but common wisdom suggests no compatibility problems other than those created by the admin.



At least at the beginning, I'd recommend transcoding to .mp3 on the client machines. This prevents "clutter" of compressed versions on your archiving machine. I treat mp3s as disposable copies, and it works pretty well, both at conserving space on the file server and keeping the entire collection organized. Although their file size is less than .flac & .wav, it is still not negligible, so I don't allocate them storage space of their own except on portables.

I would guess any drive with at least 7200 RPM spec (pretty standard for desktop drives), whether SATA or IDE, will be OK on a 5-client LAN. IIRC a PCI-slot ethernet adapter on the server is more important, to avoid processing lag of network traffic, than hard drive or even processor spec. Check that, though.

My best tip: To maximize my utility, I look for mainboards with as many hdd connections as possible so I can take advantage of the $/GB sweet spot, usually somewhere around half the maximum capacity available.
 
  


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