Suggestions for Linux based media server?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jayceee, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. jayceee macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2010
    I have centralized media server in my house that is a small ION powered linux box with a 2TB drive in it. It holds all of my pictures, music, and videos. Also in my house I have a couple of macbooks, 2 iphones, and an ipad.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for streaming media from my Linux box to my IOS devices? The best thing that I have found so far (but haven't actually tried) is sharing everything as SMB and using the IOS Filebrowser/NetPortal apps.

    I'd love a Plex-based solution, but they don't seem very interested in Linux.

    Any other workable solutions out there?

    Thanks - J
  2. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Take a look at mt-daap for your Linux box. I think this is what you are talking about. There is a mt-daap client app that you can use as well on iOS devices.
  3. jayceee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2010
    That's interesting - I wouldn't have guessed that Apple would allow a DAAP client in the store. But there it is "A Simple DAAP Client".

    The one limitation that I see is that it appears to be music only. I really want both music and video at a minimum and photos too if possible.
  4. Lagranger macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I've had pretty good success using Mediatomb (a UPNP media server) running on a Linksys NSLU2 with the Buzz player on the iPad. Since the NSLU2 only has a 266MHz CPU, I don't attempt on-the-fly transcoding, but pre-render everything to h.264-encoded .mp4 files. (The NSLU2 doesn't natively come with this ability, but it's essentially an embedded Linux fileserver and it's possible to get it to run custom firmware that allows user-installed apps such as MediaTomb)

    MediaTomb is a free (GPL-ed) UPNP media server. I've been able to stream my movies from it to a desktop Mac using the XBMC client for OSX with no problems.

    For an iPad client, I started with MediaLink Player Lite since it was free, but I'd notice my movies would freeze on occasion. Then I switched to the Buzz player app since others were speaking highly of it. So far I've had no problems with that app and feel the few dollars I paid for it were well spent.

    It appears that the Buzz player will also stream movies over SMB, but I honestly haven't done extensive testing on this other than watching part of one movie play when logged in over this protocol [and no, I have no association with this app or its creators other than as a customer]

    Of course, YMMV. Hope this helps.
  5. jayceee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks for the tip - that may be exactly what I've been looking for! I started out looking for UPNP clients a few weeks ago but didn't find many(any?) reports of success.

    My ION server doesn't have the horsepower for transcoding either, but it is already full of iOS-friendly H.264 stuff. I really just need to stream the files...

    I'll try this combination of server/client! Thanks....
  6. Lagranger macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Glad to help.

    A few other general comments I thought I'd add for anyone else following this discussion:

    1. UPNP/DLNA media servers don't do any form of authentication -- basically there's no way to password protect your media. This is probably not a big deal, but it may affect the choice for some. (e.g. wanting to store movies that are rating-inappropriate for young kids, etc. <make up your own scenario here>) Of course, if the Buzz player's SMB streaming does work, then this issue goes away -- just put your files behind a p/w protected share.

    2. Most of the movies I stream from Mediatomb were downscaled to something like 640/720 horiz. resolution. This was to reduce the overall filesize of each movie as well as reduce the resource strain on the embedded device acting as the server. For the record, I have never tried streaming a full 720p/1080p movie using the described setup. (I'd be interested in hearing the results of others who try)

    3. Before looking to UPNP/DLNA servers, I spent some time researching the Linux port of the media server component for the excellent Air Video app (which I also own). However, as great as this app is when streaming from a Mac/Win box, the Linux port of the server app is non-trivial to set up (e.g requires Java) and it streams via a proprietary protocol. In my case I wanted to stream from a server device with really modest hardware resources, so the Air Video server was out for me. However, for those much more at home with Linux than I am, you may want to give it a look. (Check the support forum at the Air Video site for more details)
  7. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    tried unRAID?

    It's been a long time since I've researched this (and I didn't end up building one) but the unRAID server is pretty compelling. You sacrifice one hdd for parity and you can have a backed up 12 hard drives somehow with single-failure redundancy.

    I didn't end up buying this because I got a Mac Pro with 5 storage drives inside.

Share This Page