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I want to make an audio server

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by MKREdit, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. MKREdit

    MKREdit
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    I just replaced an old pc (P4 1ghz XP Pro) I currently have a wired and wireless network with 4 computers. Each computer has mp3's stored on there hard drives and each user uses itunes.

    Altough the old PC has been replaced I would like to give it something to do. I have Added it back to the network and what I want to do is move all the mp3's to this machine and allow the other machines to access the mp3's at will sort of like an audio server.

    I am currently doing this sharing the drive on the network and running itunes sharing the music. Although this works for playback of music from the old pc playlist creation and burning of cd's etc. is not permitted.

    I probably am doing this project all wrong so I need some help. I'm not married to itunes although it would be nice. I'm not married to the OS on the old pc. I guess what I'm trying to accomplish is getting the other machines on the network to recognise the mp3 drive on the old pc as a local drive or source drive. Any ideas will be greatly apreciated.
     
  2. mjn

    mjn
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    just map your shared MP3 folder to a drive letter on your PC, and point iTunes to the new driove letter.
     
  3. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    mjn, would the other Itunes installations pickup mp3's added from another pc? Not sure if it would?
     
  4. MKREdit

    MKREdit
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    Thanks mjn that was in the back of my mind I needed someone to kick it out.

    The next hurdle for me is what FaxFan2002 has bought up. As it stands now only the itunes taking in the new material has a record of it the other installations do not. There is one option which would require each person on the network to take in the new tracks manually, a small annoyance.

    I am going to try an experiment today. I haven't seen any documentation on this so it is a shot in the dark. I am going to try installing Itunes to the networked drive and see if the individual machines can access itunes from there. Even if this works the second part will make or break its benefit. If the playlist data etc are stored locally it's a win but I'm not optimistic. I guess I'll find out in a couple hours.
     
  5. GETanner

    GETanner
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  6. hinesle

    hinesle
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    or just click the “Share my music” checkbox in the Sharing panel of the iTunes Preferences dialog, you can let anyone in the house listen to your music on another Mac or PC :thumbsup:
     
  7. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    hinesle,
    I think the point is that the file store will be a NAS i.e. a file sharing device only - which is fair enough having computer on 24x7 is not ideal
     
  8. hinesle

    hinesle
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    I think MKREdit wants to have a computer on 24/7 judging by his post else how would he be able to access the centrally stored music???

    Remember Windows XP pro only supports 2 concurrent connections to any share so if more are required (i.e 4 in mkredits case) then a different OS will need to be loaded on the spare PC.

    This cost of the new OS + electricity and not forgetting noise will need to be taken into account.

    MKRedit may as well sell the PC on Ebay and use the funds to buy a linksys NSLU2 (or equivalent) + large external USB drive.

    Edit:

    Furthermore it is not clear by what is meant by the word ‘AudioServer’ does this mean
    • A simple file share
    • Or the ability to stream music to other devices??

    A little more clarity around this would be appreciated.
     
  9. MKREdit

    MKREdit
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    The progresss so far

    The extra machine which I guess I'll refer to as the server for simplicities sake is running 24/7 it's in the back of a closet out of site. As for its noise it would have to try real hard to be heard over my 2 DVR's

    Using the share my music option in itunes only allows others to listen to music you cannot manipulate it in any way ie; burn a cd, make a playlist, put on an ipod etc.

    My initial tests have only used 2 machines simultaneously I guess in light of this new information I'll have to try all machines simultaneously. Other than that everything else seems to be working out. The only problem I have now is with playlists. Since it seems .m3u files and itunes playists have absolute paths and not relative ones. This can be a problem especially since I just went through over 100 cassettes made playlist equivalents, something I do not want to repeat.

    Would a linksys NSLU2 (or equivalent) + large external USB drive provide the throughput to playback audio reliably?
     
  10. hinesle

    hinesle
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    Yes the NSLU2 would provide the throughput to playback audio reliably. just read my commnets in the "The best mp3 jukebox?" thread.

    If its just a simple file share then the Bufallo Linkstation/freecom clasic cl??/or maxtor network storage could be a cheaper soulution than an NSLU2 + USB hard drive but i just liked what you can do with the NSLU2.
     
  11. hinesle

    hinesle
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    MKedit,

    Where are the .m3u files located?? can you give me the path please e.g C:\test. As i have not got access to an itunes PC at work
     
  12. FaxFan2002

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    hinesle,

    A NAS is a Network Attached Storage which provides basic file sharing without the need for a server. Basically a black box that is left on and different computers can access via the SMB protocol (i.e. \\nas\share). The share contains music files, switch on you pc/mac fire up you music software that points to the central store THAT IS HOW ELSE HE CAN ACCESS MUSIC FILES.

    If you want to keep a computer on 24/7 to provide the file share then thats fine as well.
     
  13. hinesle

    hinesle
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    Thanks for you explanation of a NAS device but working in IT for 12 years predominately as an Infrastructure consultant for a leading Global IT company I have a pretty good idea what one is :smashin:

    Any way to the point what is with the attitude?? I was commenting on your statement (if you check the posts) “leaving a PC on 24/7 is not ideal.” I responded by questioning if the server was NOT left on 24/7 then how was MRKedit going to access the music? A fair enough question I do believe.

    And one final point the ‘black box as you put it’ is in fact a server (just not a conventional PC/server) so your statement is incorrect when you say there is no need for a server.

    EDIT: (maybe I’m being a bit pedantic there though)
    Truce??
     
  14. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    Not to hijack the thread, but...

    If you know what a NAS is and how it works why did you ask how he was going to access centrally stored music? err.. from the NAS obiviously - switch on the pc / mac, it maps a drive and bingo. If you asked how he was going to listen to music that would be different question altogether.

    The black box solution is indeed a NAS or a simplified server more often than not referred to as a "black box solution" since you don't, normally, plugin a monitor, keyboard or mouse. So in fact your interpretation of my statement is incorrect.

    I'm very happy that you work for a global IT company, as a "Infrastructure Consultant" - have a gold star. If I had a pound for everytime I have to sort a mess a global IT company had left behind them I would be a very rich person indeed.
     
  15. MKREdit

    MKREdit
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    The thing with the m3u files is that I made them with musicmatch before i switched over to itunes originally they imported without problem because the files where in the same location. Now that the files are in a different location importing causes the playlist to be empty. inside the playlist the path is I:\mp3\artist etc. I could go into the file and change each entry to Z:\artist etc. but this could be alot of work considering how many files i have.

    The NAS is definately a possiblity which will require a little more research on my part. Do any of these units posess firewire capability?
     
  16. hinesle

    hinesle
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    FaxFan

    I got annoyed due your use of case accompanied by sarcasm, but so as not to fall out lets move on shall we??

    Anyway pack to MK's problem.. Itunes (I think) stores library and play list information in C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\My Music\iTunes.

    If this is the case you could either set up
    • Roaming user profiles (see the links for an easy tutorial) http://www.quantumsoftware.com.au/O...ing/WindowsOffice/WindowsXP/RoamProfiles.aspx)
    • Or only redirect the My documents folder to a Central PC http://www.quantumsoftware.com.au/O...ing/WindowsOffice/WindowsXP/RoamProfiles.aspx
    • OR both

    This would allow you to freely roam between PCS maintaing all your library settings (on a user basis if implementing roaming user profiles) or for all users if you redirect the My documents folder to the SAME CENTRAL LOCATION for all users).
     
  17. hinesle

    hinesle
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    I think some devices may be firewire capable but of the top of my head i'm not sure if any are.

    You would not have to edit the files if you mapped the I: drive to the NAS and then put all you muisc in a folder called I:\mp3\artist. That is just an easy thing to do as im sure you are aware.
     
  18. hinesle

    hinesle
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    MKREdit

    any joy with the above config???
     
  19. MKREdit

    MKREdit
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    Yes there is joy, All systems have access to the music server which has now also taken on the task of backing up all the systems on the network. In fact this past weekend (memorial weekend) was it's big test. My Powerbook connected to my stereo served up music for the festivities at the BBQ. I know its a little crude for the moment but this is my version 1.0 in time improvements will be made but for now it does what I expect it to do. even now as I type this I got 2 steaks on the grill laptop playing tunes fom the server. I'm pretty satisfied (for now)

    Thanks to all you guys for all the help you have provided me. I would love to say that I would be thinking of you all when I pull the steaks off the grill but I'd be lying, here's the wife (who thinks I'm a genious now) and she's looking verry special this evening. Thanks again everybody
     
  20. hinesle

    hinesle
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    Great to see it all works:
    Keep us posted on future configs oh and one last thing Thanks for the BBQ post - I am now craving meat :)
     

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