Remote Access to Media?

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
I've been trying to figure out the best if any solution for this, so I was wondering if you all could give me a good starting point.

I have residences in 2 locations right now, Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA and I was wondering if its possible to stream media from my macs that are here in AZ to my residence in CA without having to just have the media physically in both ways.

I currently have the media streamed to my Mini (living room) over wifi from my Mac Pro (office) in my apartment in AZ.

Does OSX have this capability present from the start or do I need OSX Server? Are there any third party options if OSX isn't capable?

Thanks so much everyone!
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
I've been trying to figure out the best if any solution for this, so I was wondering if you all could give me a good starting point.

I have residences in 2 locations right now, Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA and I was wondering if its possible to stream media from my macs that are here in AZ to my residence in CA without having to just have the media physically in both ways.

I currently have the media streamed to my Mini (living room) over wifi from my Mac Pro (office) in my apartment in AZ.

Does OSX have this capability present from the start or do I need OSX Server? Are there any third party options if OSX isn't capable?

Thanks so much everyone!
I've been working on a bunch of different ways to accomplish this - both to other computers and to my iPhone. One option that's great for music - but only music - is Simplify Media. Open iTunes, open Simplify and then on your other computer, open iTunes, open Simplify and you'll see your other iTunes library available as if it were a Shared library on your local network. There is a bit more to it (ie setting up accounts and contacts in Simplify but that's pretty easy).
Video I have yet to conquer... one option that you might want to look at is Orb Media. It recently released an OSX client. I'm not entirely sure how it works computer-to-computer but it seems to stream video fine to my iPhone, though quality isn't the greatest (especially over 3G). Over WiFi using your computer, I bet it wouldn't be too bad.
I don't have to computers and have mainly focused on media stored at home, being accessible to my iPhone so there are probably better options, but that should be something to look at.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
The iPhone I have under control as I use Air Video which is AMAZING and works without a hitch, I have access to everything through that. I was hoping for a way to make PLEX see remote media on my home server while being in other locations.

I've tried to do some basic research into VPNs but so far I am a bit overwhelmed, so we'll see haha
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
The iPhone I have under control as I use Air Video which is AMAZING and works without a hitch, I have access to everything through that. I was hoping for a way to make PLEX see remote media on my home server while being in other locations.

I've tried to do some basic research into VPNs but so far I am a bit overwhelmed, so we'll see haha
I have all of my media on a NAS (DNS-323) and did consider the VPN but a) couldn't get it to work with my first attempt and b) gave up. While researching it, I did come across something called MacFusion (combined with MacFuse and Expandrive... not sure how or why, but I ended up with all three). I would look into those because it essentially let me mount my NAS drive (via FTP/SFTP) when I was away from home. I kind of got it to work one day but was using my cell phone as my connection and couldn't do anything other than mount the drive. Then when I was finally on a different wifi network, my external IP address changed and I didn't ahve the correct address to connect. After that, I gave up again. Perhaps if you're more driven you'll see it through, but I MacFusion/MacFuse/Expandrive seem like great solutions for mounting drives over WAN instead of LAN.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,045
1,176
5045 feet above sea level
The iPhone I have under control as I use Air Video which is AMAZING and works without a hitch, I have access to everything through that. I was hoping for a way to make PLEX see remote media on my home server while being in other locations.

I've tried to do some basic research into VPNs but so far I am a bit overwhelmed, so we'll see haha
how did you get air video to work???

i can acess stuff over lan but how do i ensure i can over wan? it doesnt pick up my ip addy
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2009
6,488
3,418
how did you get air video to work???

i can acess stuff over lan but how do i ensure i can over wan? it doesnt pick up my ip addy
First, do you have the free version or the paid one--my understanding is the free app only works over Wifi. Second, have you enabled remote access in the air video server preferences? I just made sure 'Enable Access From Internet (Experimental)' was checked, along with the option to 'Automatically Map Port (requires router with UPnP or NAT-PMP support) and let it do it's thing. After doing so, fire up Air Video on your iPhone, add a new server, manually input the server PIN provided under the Air Video Server remote preferences, let it find you system and you should be good to go.

It takes a while to get started over 3G but after it has sufficiently buffered, video looks as good as anything I manually sync. Great app, especially with 3 young children--firing up a movie when we are waiting at a restaurant or doctor's office has saved me quite a few times.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
any way to get in trouble with ATT if you use this app, alot?


Would be nice if there was a simple solution like this but pertaining to computer to computer
Nah, ATT doesn't seem to actually track usage, just look at the JB forums for the fact that some use their iphones as torrent servers over mywi and never have any problems even with multiple GB's of usage

Besides, air video is a approved app

As to prior answers, yes, this is frustrating as I don't know what. I've been trying to use my air video in combination with my jb'd iphone and tv landscape out (just recently released) and a component cable to output to a tv but its spotty at best

How can things like Air video server work so well yet there are no computer to computer solutions? I can hardly believe I'm the first to look for something like this
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2009
6,488
3,418
Take a look at this article---it describes a 'hack' to allow streaming media to your iPhone but in theory, it should work with another computer just as well.

I haven't tried it since Air Video has worked so well but thought it might be worth a try.
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
How can things like Air video server work so well yet there are no computer to computer solutions? I can hardly believe I'm the first to look for something like this
Definitely not the first, I'm sure many people have and continue to.. still is very surprising that there doesn't appear to be an obvious solution.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
Take a look at this article---it describes a 'hack' to allow streaming media to your iPhone but in theory, it should work with another computer just as well.

I haven't tried it since Air Video has worked so well but thought it might be worth a try.
hmm, that article is interesting, I'm going to mess around with that a little bit and see if I can figure it out. Its a temporary solution, as ultimately I'd love to have the ability to see my hd's as remote disks so that I could use them as sources for PLEX/XBMC
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
Definitely not the first, I'm sure many people have and continue to.. still is very surprising that there doesn't appear to be an obvious solution.
Absolutely, I think the key is going to have to be having a dedicated server (perhaps running OSX server) and creating some sort of VPN that my computers will be able to access.

It would make sense given the fact that services like Logmein and even some of the ones that come with certain NAS devices and give you internet access rout the information through home computer -> their servers -> web gui -> remote computer

It would be nice to cut out the middle man. I think I'll pop this in as a question over in the OSX server section as well and see what I come up with. I'll post any info I get access to in here on this topic!
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
I think (well, hope) that if this tablet computer is meant to revolutionize (maybe that's a bit strong) the way we consume media - combined with Apple's interest in becoming your own personal media hub - we should see some kind of Apple-based EASY solution for storing your iTunes library in one central location and have it be accessible at multiple LAN and WAN locations. Something in between the Mac Mini Server and Time Capsule that let's you connect with your laptops locally or at a Starbucks, your tablet while you're on the bus, iPhone while driving (using hands-free of course...).

That would solve our problem, for now it's patchwork and/or non-Apple-based solutions unfortunately.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
well...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=831450

lol

im in a very wanting need of a solution
I posed a similar question on the osx server forum here on macrumors, just waiting for some responses on it

I feel like there has to be some way, and I think that setting up a VPN via osx server and initiating file sharing should be the way to do it, I'm just not super knowledgeable in this area (my geekiness has hit a wall) but I'm going to research/google this to death until I figure it out
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,046
1,104
NYC
I don't know about a permanent solution, but I run OS X Server and I set up a VPN connection. Then I VPN to my computer and get all the files I need. This includes my iTunes library, etc. It does help to have a static IP.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
I don't know about a permanent solution, but I run OS X Server and I set up a VPN connection. Then I VPN to my computer and get all the files I need. This includes my iTunes library, etc. It does help to have a static IP.
How difficult was it to get this running? I don't really have any experience in it but I did do computer science for my first year of college and I catch on quick. Are you able to browse the files as a remote disk drive similar to hard drives attached by usb or a nas? (i.e. through finder on the left hand side like other computers on the network)

If this works as described I'd happily plunk down some $ for osx server
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
you can connect to established VPNs with regular OSX but you need the advanced tools of Server to create and administrate a VPN (to the best of my knowledge, someone speak up if I'm wrong)
I think if it's a NAS you can use your router to set up a VPN.. at least that's what I tried to do. Maybe I failed because it's not actually possible.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
I'll see what I can do to help you. I'm assuming you just want to be able to access the contents of a specific folder on your computer from another Mac, not on the local LAN but over the internet. Those files could then be images or videos that you could view from anywhere.

With those assumptions in mind...

You can do this a couple ways. The first step is going to be getting a DynDNS account and update client. So go to DynDNS.com and get an account and the Mac updater. This way you don't have to remember your home computer IP (which probably changes), you can just have MyName.something.com and that will give you quick access to your home computer from anywhere.

Once you have the DNS set up, you need to set up your computer to host the services you want. I feel that the simplest ways are going to be using Web Sharing or SSH (would include SFTP).

To enable these http://www.woopid.com/video/865/Enable-Web-Sharing or http://www.woopid.com/video/863/Enable-Remote-SSH-Login will tell you what to do. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.

If you go with SSH you will need an application to pull the files off of the remote computer and put them on your local. The bonus is that this is a SECURE connection that is password protected with your home computer's login. You also will have access to ANY files on the entire computer. So you can have your files anywhere.

If you go with HTTP (Web Sharing) the connection is open and anyone would be able to get read access to these files if they knew the address. Also any files you want to access need to be in a shared location.

If you enable any of these you will have to enable port forwarding on your router. You can probably google your router to find out how, but SSH is port 22 and HTTP is port 80. So those are what you'll need to enable. You'll understand when you find out how port forwarding works.

Now I'll assume you have your service of choice (I actually have both) enabled and the ports forwarded.

If you're using SSH you can just connect with an SFTP client like Fugu or Fetch to your new DynDNS domain that you set up at the beginning and log in with your server's login name and password and download any media files you want to view.

If you are using HTTP you'll have to add the files to your shared folder. I always forget where that hosted folder is but you can put any file you want in there and it will technically be hosted. Then you'll have to remember the address to the file or create a small page that you can view with links to all the files that you want access to. The advantage of this is that you can view these from any web browser and not have to use a specific client.

This is a very rough guide but it should get you started. If you have specific questions you can ask here.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
This is only a new post because it's kind of a different direction...

If you just want to set up a VPN and access that then you can use https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/hamachi2/default.aspx to do it. Get the free version on both your server and your remote machine. It will basically create a VPN between the computers automatically.

So I guess if you have any LAN media sharing it should work over the VPN created by Hamachi.
 

robotartfashion

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2009
311
0
Phoenix, AZ
This is a very rough guide but it should get you started. If you have specific questions you can ask here.
First, thanks so much for taking the time to respond Vivid, you're a great resource on these forums and I appreciate assistance (ok all sycophantic comments aside)

So I don't want to have to download the files, just stream them, so I'm assuming the web sharing is the way to go? I'm not sure if you use Plex/Boxee/XBMC but what I would like to do is list these files as sources, which would mean that they could be flagged in the programs just like local media, and then streamed appropriately

Will the above option allow that? I know its all down to the size of the file and the upload/download speed of the clients at its core. My upload speed averages between 4-7 Mbps (depending on the hours of the day) and I'm wondering if that would be adequate to allow streaming without stutter?

Now that I think about it that may be inadequate for anything over 480p, 720p and 1080p may choke that connection? I'm so confused haha

Any additional thoughts?