Completing my Pi powered personal (Media) cloud


In my previous article I had mentioned how I setup a Samba based file server using my Raspberry PI to share media across my computers in my home network. It works fine, but still it’s not really streaming the media and I figured out that I still couldn’t use my media via the XBox because XBox doesn’t work with Network shares unless they are over UPnP. So the next quest was to setup a UPnP server on my Pi.

Turned out to be really easy thanks to MiniDLNA. This article has all the steps if you need Samba+Transmission (Torrent Client)+OpenDNS.

Setting up MiniDLNA Only

I already had Samba installed so I skipped that step and just installed MiniDLNA. Also I didn’t need it over the web, so I didn’t need Transmission or the Torrent Client, most of my media are training videos that I download from their respective sites. I setup MiniDLNA only and used nano as my editor (yeah, still no good with VI)

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sudo apt-get install minidlna

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sudo nano /etc/minidlna.conf

While updating the minidlna.conf file you have the option of specifying Video/Music/Pictures folders. I already had my media split up in those categories so I used those configurations.

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Give it a friendly name to identify over the network

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friendly_name=MediaPi

Hit Ctrl+X and say Yes when asked if you want to save the changes. This will get you out of Nano. Now restart the service

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sudo service minidlna restart

Force it to rescan for a good measure (though if you are patient enough this might not be necessary

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sudo service minidlna force-reload

Once you are done reloading, give it about 5 minutes, yeah, walk away from your terminal.

Enjoying your Media

After MiniDLNA is done scanning the folders are you good to go.

From Windows 8

If you have connected to a ‘Private’ network, Windows will automatically look for Media servers and you should see the Name you gave above (MediaPi) in my case:

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You can select it and open it in Windows Media Player, or directly open Windows Media Player and start playing from it directly

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From XBox

Just start your ‘System Video Player’ App (NOT XBox Video).

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The Friendly Name should popup automatically assuming you are on the same network

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From iOS

Well iOS doesn’t recognize UPnP and DLNA devices out of the box. But fear not, there is an ‘app for that’. Yeah, cliché I know. Most app players cost a bit of money, but I found ‘Fresh Player’ to be a usable application. Interestingly I can’t connect to the MediaPi at the moment with it, so it may not be the most ‘reliable’. I’ll update once I find a decent player.

Well, that’s a wrap for the day! Things you can do with this tiny $35 computer is simply amazing! The fun continues!

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3 thoughts on “Completing my Pi powered personal (Media) cloud

  1. […] I have blogged about how I converted my Raspberry Pi into a DLNA Media Server. When we moved to UK I brought along my media server and it was up in a jiffy. However, yesterday, […]

  2. tom millar says:

    i can see the media server but there is no music showing up, i have changed to directory to one on my USB, they are all mp3 format

    media_dir=A,/media/pi/KINGSTON/documents/music

    • Sumit says:

      Hi Tom,

      I double checked, the other settings in the conf file are

      port=8200

      serial=12345678

      model_number=1

      The only other thing I can think of is to force restart the service and let it run for 30 minutes to see if it finishes indexing.

      Final check is to ensure is the correct mount, from a terminal/command prompty when you do a

      ls /media/pi/KINGSTON/documents/music

      it does list the files.

      Good luck.

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