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Old 08-21-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
Phoenix32
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Default Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

One of the things I wish GOS had is a plugin for DLNA serving.


IMO, the Guardian OS is about as good as it gets for an NAS. However, one of the problems for a home user is multimedia. I mean really, if not for multimedia files, how many people would really need mass storage at home? But the GOS does not have anything built in, that I am aware of, for hosting multimedia files.

I freely admit I am a complete rookie when it comes to serving up multimedia files for home use. But, from my research, it looks like DLNA is the way most of the time. I encourage people to post on this subject with their knowlege or opinions on this subject please.

Many modern TVs, BluRay players, and many of those type of devices can now play multimedia files (videos, music, and show photos). But, most of the time, these devices have either/both USB connections for external drives and/or an ethernet (or wireless) network connection for using these files. This limits how you can access themultimedia files.

In the case of a USB port, it is simple enough. You plug in an external USB drive and off you go. But! This kind of limits what you can access by the size of the USB external drive you are using. I myself know of no way to attach an NAS to some unknown piece of hardware to plug it into a USB port simulating an external USB drive.

With the ethernet (or wireless) connection, a very few have the ability to go out and search the network for devices that have multimedia files. When I say a very few, I mean a very few, and not the ones I have (TV, BluRay player, PS3, XBox 360). What most of them do is look for a DLNA server on the network. Thus, unless someone throws something else in the mix here, this leads me to think DLNA is the way to go. Yes?

Okay, now the problem, at least for using Snap Servers and most other dedicated NAS units. You need something to locate the multimedia files on the NAS and then serve them up as DLNA.

Okay, the simplest way I know of is the have a dedicated host/server connected to the network, mapping the NAS, an then running a DLNA server program. IMO, this is a serious waste of a computer/server, not to mention waste of electricity. Unless you already have a server up and running for some other purpose (say Windows Home Server as one example), then there has to be a better way!

There are multimedia boxes out there like Patriot Box Office or WD TV Live as a couple examples. But, I have no idea if any of these devices can either 1) search a Network and discover an NAS and then serve up DLNA on a network, or 2) search a Network and discover an NAS and then play the files directly on an HDMI connection. Do they? Which ones? Beats me...

So in a nutshell, what we have here is; a TV (or other similar device) with HDMI inputs, a USB port, and an ethernet (or wireless connection) that can find a DLNA Server. That, and we have a Network with an NAS mass storage device with a ton of multimedia. So how do we bring the two together without running a decicated host/server that soaks up too much electricity and is just a waste of hardware? That is the question...

I truly hope this will stir up a good conversation with a lot of input (and maybe more questions) from many sources and find a great solution.

Time to stop lurking and just reading message posts here. Time to step up and throw what you know out there.
THIS MEANS YOU!
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix32 View Post
One of the things I wish GOS had is a plugin for DLNA serving.

Time to stop lurking and just reading message posts here. Time to step up and throw what you know out there.
I've never had a GOS-based Snap server. But I thought it was Linux-based? If that's the case, there should be a GPL source tarball for at least the kernel available. You might not be able to use the GOS plugin architecture, but you should be able to get to a shell prompt and install and start something like MediaTomb.

Of course, the issue then becomes whether the GOS units have enough CPU and memory to perform whatever transcoding might be needed. That's one of the reasons I designed massive CPU and memory (2 E5520 Xeons, 48GB RAM) into the RAIDzilla II's.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

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Originally Posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
I've never had a GOS-based Snap server. But I thought it was Linux-based? If that's the case, there should be a GPL source tarball for at least the kernel available. You might not be able to use the GOS plugin architecture, but you should be able to get to a shell prompt and install and start something like MediaTomb.
Hmmmm, it is based on SUSE Linux (at least the 5.x versions are). I am not a Linux guy, but sounds like it may be reasonable. Maybe someone with some Linux knowledge (a better understanding of GOS etc than me, I'm a hardware guy) will chime in here with some ideas?

Ideas anyone?

Other ideas?

ANYONE?
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Are you guys (and maybe gals) frakin'kidding me?!?

Over 100 views, plenty of home users using the snaps for multimedia, and only one person cared to join in?!?


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Old 08-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

It appears that 'SOME' of the set top media servers like the Seagate Go Flex and WD TV live, Patriot PBO, and the like will use media on your home network and play it on your TV. It's not DLNA, and that would be better, but still will work.

I myself would prefer a box like these that can serve up DLNA from the network, but it is an alternative.

The problem here comes down to a few things.

1st, figuring out what the capabilities of any of these devices are beyond the very general "it can play video on your TV", often from the Internet (only), can be difficult. You almost have to go to each web site and download the manuals and read the whole manual to figure it out. Even then it can be very misleading, confusing, and out of date from current firmware.

2nd, find reviews that you can trust can be a nightmare! You go to one place and they praise one unit as the ONLY ONE that is a great unit, only to go to another place and read a complete reversal of that. WHICH ONE(s) are good?!?

3rd, there are so many of them, and quite often very little attention given to them, that even knowing about a particular unit is a chore sometimes.


This might be a good place for some of you who might have one of these units to give the rest of us the straight and narrow truth about the units you know about.
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GOS v5.2.067

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Terry touched on something that has always been an "itch" for me about the GOS units. The GOS units are an NAS box running on modified variation of Linux, simple as that. I am NOT a software guy, much less a Linux guy, but it seems to me that there should be no reason why a person could not install other Linux applications onto a system running a variation of Linux, right? Please feel free to jump all over me and tell me how and why I am wrong here, or even maybe how it might be done.

In this case, why not be able to load up a Linux version of Twonky Media (a DLNA Server program) running in the backgroundon top of a GOS NAS?

Can it be done?

How?
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GOS v5.2.067

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Come on guys and gals. I put forth a lot of time and effort over along time trying to help people on the hardware ends of things (so do other people, not just me). How about one of you software guys/gals help me (and maybe some others) out now on the software ends of things.
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GOS v5.2.067

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Old 08-29-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix32 View Post
Over 100 views, plenty of home users using the snaps for multimedia, and only one person cared to join in?!?
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix32 View Post
Terry touched on something that has always been an "itch" for me about the GOS units. The GOS units are an NAS box running on modified variation of Linux, simple as that. I am NOT a software guy, much less a Linux guy, but it seems to me that there should be no reason why a person could not install other Linux applications onto a system running a variation of Linux, right? Please feel free to jump all over me and tell me how and why I am wrong here, or even maybe how it might be done.
In theory, that should work. The GPL states that customers must be provided with an opportunity to acquire the source code.

That only covers the parts that are GPL'd. For example, the GPL tarball for the Linksys / Cisco NSS4000 and NSS6000 doesn't include the menu system, just the underlying utilities.

Sometimes vendors get "creative" and prevent the GPL code they give you from running. The TiVo and the PhatBox are 2 products that are like that - they both require code to be "signed" before it will run. The PhatBox ROM has been patched for quite a few years; I'm not sure what the TiVo user community is up to.

Quote:
In this case, why not be able to load up a Linux version of Twonky Media (a DLNA Server program) running in the backgroundon top of a GOS NAS?

Can it be done?

How?
First, you need a development environment to build the code you want to run. The Snap boxes were x86-based, and I assume the GOS ones are as well. That means you can easily use a desktop system. Some other devices use different CPUs, which makes it a bit more difficult as you need to build on one architecture for execution on a different architecture.

Second, you need a way to get your code executed on the target system. The most common way is to get shell (console terminal) access by some means. Some devices have incomplete console hardware in them already - for example, the NSLU2 has a TTL console port which needs to be converted into either RS-232 serial or USB serial in order to connect it to a PC using a terminal program. Sometimes there is no console hardware in the box, and you need to get a network connection via telnet or SSH.

Once you have a command prompt, you need to make your new program visible to the operating system. On a Snap box, that would mean copying it to the reserved partition (which you can do from the debug console). I have no idea about the GOS boxes.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

The GOS units are x86 based. I don't know what/who/how etc, but my understanding is that you can get to a "console" from the serial port.

I know enough to follow what you were saying, but not enough to even come close to doing. I know that David has some knowledge in that stuff (beyond mine for the software ends of things), and from conversations I have seen here on the forum, others who appear to have knowledge beyond that. I hope they will get involved.

Okay Terry, so let's do this.

Let's try to get people going here on the forum and solve this like we used to do on the forum. This looks very doable, so.... I may have started it, but I will have to pretty much just be a cheerleader on this one. I am very weak in the software ends of things.
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GOS v5.2.067

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Old 08-30-2011, 06:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

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Okay Terry, so let's do this.
I'm not your best choice. Or even a good choice. I don't have any GOS units, don't use Linux, and will be traveling until mid-October.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Well, it looks like nobody else is interested in SAYING ANYTHING...

So ends another good idea...

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

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So ends another good idea...
What is the smallest / cheapest GOS system? Extra points if it has the latest GOS and whatever the best set of console ports (VGA / serial) is.

When I get back, I could look at one if it isn't too expensive. I don't know how far I'll get, but I'll give it a try.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

I was kind of hoping we could get a community project going (after 250 views), but I am glad you are willing to at least look at it.

David contacted me via email (he is out of town and on dial-up right now) and said when he returned to town he would try to get involved also. He told me he had looked into some of this at one point already (so he might have a head start).

As for which GOS unit, it kind of depends on any given day what is least expensive. You have the 4400, 4200, 4500, 15000, 18000, 110, 210, 410, and 520 to choose from (I am not sure a 110 or 210 would be a good idea for this project though). There are others, but they are usualy rare and/or very expensive or kind of "quirky". I am guessing a 4400, 4200, or 4500, maybe even a 410 would be the least expensive. Just depends on any given day. I have seen them all sell for way too much and also seen some really good deals.

As for the GOS, I am sure we could get one up to the latest 5.x GOS


Give us/me an idea of what you want and area of price range and I can do some looking for you.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

David? Terry?
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

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David? Terry?
I'm at a layover in Salt Lake City on my way out to Oregon to pick up my race car - see my avatar for a picture. I won't be back home for a month or so, but you can track me at http://www.atomacrossamerica.org.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Phoenix32,

Based on what I've read online, I think I may have a solution (or at least point you in the right direction)... but I can't test it since I don't have any DLNA recievers.

Basically, you would just have to use Putty to get into the GOS via SSH. That basically brings you into the operating system where you might be able to install miniDLNA. Mind you that I am SURE doing this will void any warranties

The DLNA server I would use would be miniDLNA which is written by a Netgear employee (open sourced). Installation steps can be found here but it was written for the RedHat/CentOS/Fedora packages... I am sure SUSE isn't that much different but certain dependencies may need to be installed:

http://wiki.oppodigital.com/index.php?title=DLNA_Linux

If I do come across a DLNA reciever, I would definitely probably try this out... btw the installation instructions are a bit dated since the latest build of miniDLNA is version 1.0.22. Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

What's funny about that is that you probably have a DLNA device and don't even know it. There is a ton of devices out there that do DLNA but people don't lnow it because it is not mentioned in the documentation very clearly or advertised.

Do you have a smartphone? A majority of smartphones have DLNA in them if you can figure out how to get to it.


Why that particular DLNA server (just curious)? I have read that Twonky and Mezzmo are the best DLNA servers (doesn't mean they are, just what I have read). Samsung also have a freely available DLNA Server for download. Etc, etc..
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1 x Snap 110
5 x Snap 410
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GOS v5.2.067

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Old 09-19-2011, 04:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

I should have clarified... I don't have any DLNA devices at work where all the Snap Servers live. I was going to bring the converted Snap home but I needed it for a production archive server.

I chose miniDLNA as the best fit because of two reasons... First, it's actually the DLNA server built into the Netgear ReadyNAS (Debian Linux based) so I figured what better software to put on another Linux based NAS Second, it's open source, free to use and it's a fairly active project on SourceForge:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/minidlna/

Plus from reading other DLNA forums, apparently this software is extremely "lightweight" and just works... if I were to do a DLNA install on a Snap, this would be the first one I would personally test.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

I have never used that one, but sounds reasonable to me. I'm convinced.

Now what?
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #21
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

IT's a way:

Using DNLA server (like LACIE) to reach a SNAP.

Another Hadrware way it's using a trick like this:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/homee.../mediaplayers/

IT's cheap cost, and work weel. It using low power but I know, it's one more hardware , butt Iknow it's working well .

But mini DLNA is way to explor
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: Multimedia File Serving (DLNA)

Another way:

IT's using a PC somewhre: tag all of your files with WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and share it with multimedia device.

The bad think in this way: you have to keep a computer turn on

But that work fine and you have nothing to do. Everything come with standard installation (files on SNAP, PC under windows and media think (PS3, TV etc))
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