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Old 12-14-2008, 08:16 PM   #1
kaldrenon
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Turning a Linux Machine into a Streaming Media Server


Intro Stuff
-----------
Hi All! I'm a relative newcomer to Ubuntu, especially in the realm of networking and administration, but I've been a Linux user and fan for a few years now.

Recently, I put together a machine, and although I installed Ubuntu Desktop Edition on it, I'm gradually turning it into a server for all my local network's needs. I have my Samba/ftp/ssh all set up and running smoothly. However, I'm working on an additional project, and thus far I have not found an existing solution to the problem.

The Problem at Hand
-------------------
My family owns a lot of CDs. We have, I think, 6 or 7 binders full, along with CD towers and racks throughout the house. We each have the music we listen to often ripped to our local machines, but it's scattered, not unified, and a little disorganized. What I would really like to do is to rip them all to a drive on my server, and then enable users to access it, streaming, via a media player. A Samba share will make the media accessible, but I would like to do more than that. The features I have in mind are something like this:
  • A server program/service/daemon is running on the Ubuntu machine
  • Any machine on the local network can run a client program to connect. I would rather the client not be web based, although, as most of the other comps on my network are Windows boxen, this is a tough one.
  • The media is organized and handled in a media library that is maintained by the server and not editable by the client.
  • Optionally, I would like user accounts with passwords to be required to connect to the server.

I haven't found anything that appears to perform this task. I have seen plenty of means for making a certain machine into a media center, and means for streaming media over the local network, or the internet. However, I haven't found anything that meets the core specs of what I'm interested in. The closest I've come is Winamp, along with a media library plugin, and a Samba share.

Does a program like this exist? Is there a solution even similar to what I've described? I've done a good deal of Googling, scanning Wikipedia articles about Media Centers and Streaming and such, and haven't seen a solution that I like.

I greatly appreciate any help that you folks can offer me, and apologize in advance for any "TL,DR"s.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:17 PM   #2
lazlow
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I guess I cannot see any advantage of what you are asking for over samba. You can limit w access only with samba. You can require a password. Any OS's(that can use samba) application can play the media. Samba is a service on the Ubuntu machine. Do not think for a minute I like samba becuase I do not, but if you have windows to linux connections you basically have two choices, samba or M$ unix tool box(to use nfs from the windows boxes).
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
billymayday
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See if mediatomb does what you want.

http://mediatomb.cc/
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
gilead
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I'm not sure how close this is to what you're looking for, but...

I use Twonky to make my mp3s, photos and videos available over the network so I can see them with my PS3. Apparently Winamp versions over 5 are supported so your Windows boxes should be able to see it as well.

The trial version is free but there is a cost to keep using it after the trial period. Using the trial version will let you know if it suits what you want to do though.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:50 PM   #5
billymayday
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fupes looks like another one, but haven't tried it

http://fuppes.ulrich-voelkel.de/
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:20 PM   #6
ArfaSmif
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Another one could be GmediaServer http://www.gnu.org/software/gmediaserver/. Can't say I've tried though.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 12:44 AM   #7
kaldrenon
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Thanks for all the replies, folks!

I hadn't been aware of "UPnP A/V Media Server" as a name for something I might want to use, so I hadn't including that phrase in my googlings. But, looking at Twonky, Fuppes, and GMediaServer, I'm fairly certain that one of those will do the trick for what I'm after. I'll play around with all three tomorrow when I get home from work (I'm on EST, so it's bedtime for me), and I'll let you know what I pick up on after some testing.

Thanks again!
 
Old 12-15-2008, 02:08 AM   #8
bonzini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaldrenon View Post
Thanks for all the replies, folks!

I hadn't been aware of "UPnP A/V Media Server" as a name for something I might want to use
In principle, Rhythmbox will act as a UPnP server. I say "in principle" because this seems to be more of a late-model thing.

However, you might want to try this approach. You may end up needing to get the source for the latest Rhythmbox and compile it.

Also, FWIW (not an answer to your question) but I have a nice little 500Gb ethernet hard drive made by IOMega that acts as a UPnP server, plus of course other useful stuff. You might want to check these out too.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 03:08 AM   #9
indeliblestamp
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If you're requirement is only for music, then you could try ObsidianMusic (search for it on kde-apps.org). It works side-by-side with amarok, and displays the entire collection on a web page. Songs added to the playlist are streamed over the network.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 10:07 AM   #10
queency
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if it helps

i heard about vlc can send stream for broadcast server
if you can play with definisition at vlc maybe u can build
your own stream server.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #11
nonades
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MPD. http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon_Wiki

The only issue would be finding a decent Windows client.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 10:40 PM   #12
AwesomeMachine
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Make the server Apache. Make accounts for all your machines. Load the ripped CD files into the Apache root, and use streaming audio clients. There's a reason why 1/2 of all web servers use Apache. Web based is the best solution for what you want to do. Set up Apache so that everything is banned, besides local IP addresses. Apache is super easy to use.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 12:00 AM   #13
kaldrenon
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Thanks again for all the great input, guys!

So far, it looks like UPnP A/V media serving is the closest to what I want. It's still not identical to what I was trying for, but I've gotten fairly nice results from Twonky, although I'm going to toy with a few more things before I settle on a firm choice - especially because Twonky costs money to use long term.

Right now, I'm looking at Cidero as the control point for the client machines. Windows Media Player 11 connects to my Twonky server automagically on a Vista machine, but that functionality is apparently only native to the -Vista- version of WMP11. Can anyone tell me about their own experiences with Cidero?
 
  


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