Tag Archives: minidlna

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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