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#266303 - 07/16/09 12:49 PM Software media client - help appreciated!
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
A question for you technical experts out there:

I am looking for a way to stream media from a media server on my network to my PC/laptop over my network. Is there a free software package out there that allows this?

My setup is as follows:
DNS-323 NAS box with built in UPnP media server/iTunes server
All files are stored on the DNS-323

My PS3 streams from the built in UPnP server no problem.
My iTunes accesses the built in iTunes server no problem.

However I am starting to convert to .flac for audio files and of course iTunes does not support this. So I am looking for a software based media client that can tap into the generic UPnP media server functionality for easy access to ALL of my media files. That way I can eventually ditch iTunes and all of its limitations.

I can just 'brute force' point to specific directories on my network to get files to play with VLC or some other generic media player, but that does not provide the more elegant functionality of a client that accesses the cache of all artists, formats etc...

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Edit - Ooops, should have mentioned this is for Windows XP.


Edited by cb919 (07/16/09 01:08 PM)
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#266314 - 07/16/09 01:43 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: cb919]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
I think either MediaMonkey or WinAmp will work just fine. But you might have trouble accessing the iTunes files until you remove the DRM and convert them to FLAC or MP3 (I recommend spending the money on AudialsOne software).

You could also try the software version of Squeezebox (softsqueeze). Although I'm not sure if your NAS box would accommodate the required server-side software. You might be able to have that reside locally, though (I don't think that slimserver and the library have to reside on the same physical machine).

I used Winamp, but I know Dean and others really like MediaMonkey.
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#266316 - 07/16/09 01:50 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: tomtuttle]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks Tom, I used to use Winamp a long time ago - guess I'll give it another shot. Any tips for getting it setup to find and use my UPnP server?
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In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#266317 - 07/16/09 01:51 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17695
Loc: NoVA
Not true, Tom. He'll have trouble accessing music purchased from the iTunes store before the time they themselves removed all the DRM. Music ripped into iTunes has no DRM, and music purchased as iTunes Plus has no DRM.
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#266318 - 07/16/09 01:58 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: Ken.C]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks, but i have no DRM'd (aka iTunes Store) music to contend with. Almost everything I have is ripped directly to mp3 from original disc (but now starting to toy with .flac).
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In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#266321 - 07/16/09 02:17 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: cb919]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3269
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Check Firefly. It is the most iTunes-compatible server and likely supports FLAC files (could require an addon).
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#266334 - 07/16/09 03:48 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: EFalardeau]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6612
Loc: PEI, Canada
WinAmp Remote also allows you to extend the reach of your media to the outside world. I use it to listen to my entire 4500 song music library from my work laptop at the office or on the road.

So far, I haven't read about any exploits on the port it opens up so I felt safe with that tiny pinprick in my home firewall.
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#266335 - 07/16/09 03:49 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: EFalardeau]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Cool, I have a few options to try now. I have installed WinAmp and it seems to be working, though it is a different solution than I was originally looking for.

I was originally thinking of a 'thin' client that would just talk to my UPnP server (like the PS3 does) and take advantage of all the cached info there. Winamp worked by making it's own local cache of my shared network folder (took an hour or so), but not by being a client to my pre-existing UPnP server.

I'd still be interested if anybody knows of a true 'thin' client solution. However I am rolling with Winamp so far.
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In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#266340 - 07/16/09 04:35 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: Murph]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Murph, must've posted at the same time as you.

Wow, that's a really cool feature I am going to have to try. I usually try to keep duplicate libraries at home and at the office. Being able to just tap in and stream from my home content would be sooo much simpler.
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In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#266345 - 07/16/09 07:19 PM Re: Software media client - help appreciated! [Re: cb919]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
I just keep my offsite backup at the office. \:\)
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