We named it “Adam“, our iPod is called Eve, so they are a good pair.
Adam has UKW FM radio, playback of mp3s on USB drives, internet radio (the first station I listened to is, of course, slay radio), management of favorite radio stations via the wifiradio-frontier.com webservice, Wifi connectivity, LAN RJ45 connectivity, playback of your own media collection using microsoft windows media player 11 media sharing, and he also has an alarm clock.
now the problem is of course: how can Adam playback my iTunes library from my Apple iBook G4 “Eden”? I have a backup of this iTunes library on my linux home server “Franse” – so hosting some magic server on Linux should do it, right? right.
My device is a Tevion IWR 394. I can’t find anything about it in the interwebs (crazy?! nobody bought this before?), so it is probably a branding of an asian white-label product. The menu shows a software “ir-mmi.arts.ven6-jupiter6.1_V126.96.36.19935-1A19”. It connects like a baby to a breast when using UPnP and my Windows XP laptop. FM/UKW radio, usb, also work easily.
Background: accoring to microsoft help of windows media player 11, the following ports should be opened to have media streaming working:
1900 UDP, 2869 TCP, 10243 TCP, 10280-10284 UDP. There is a wikipedia page on the Media_Transfer_Protocol which is to connect your media library to your USB device. For network media streaming, UPnP_AV_MediaServers seem to be the right place. There is a upnp server comparison table on wikipedia also.
My own requirements:
- host a lot of mp3s from my iTunes collection (ideally, also host my DRM protected itunes files, but thats probably impossible)
- be piss-easy to install on a headless ubuntu
- import my iTunes playlists and song ratings
How they meet this:
- xbmc is installable, and it can do a lot more on the playback side which I don’t need for a headless box
- brisa sounds hard to install and more a framework than an app
- coherence sounds ok, but is a python easy_install
- x360mediaserve has no proper sf.net homepage
- fuppes looks fine but a bit dead. it has no ubuntu package mentioned on its homepage
- MediaTomb is in ubuntu universal and has a headless option. fine. also there is loads of “this rules upnp on ubuntu” feedback
- mythtv supports all I need and someone hacked an iTunes xml library-to-mythtv-playlist converter script. but its not headless.
- ps3 media server is said to have itunes playlist support, but its missing a clear “headless” installation
ok, having found mediatomb as my “easy way to go”, I try
sudo apt-get install mediatomb-daemon
fine! I see it installs it as daemon on rc2.d also, so it will start on system boot.
The various install instructions (ubuntu, official) go on:
sudo nano /etc/mediatomb/config.xml
hm, seems I don’t have to change anything in config.xml, that looks fine as it is. The password and username, ok.
I go to my server using
(franse is my server name. it won’t work at your place)
Ok, I see a very minimal user interface, fine. Somehow I find the folder I want to share and click “+”, it starts indexing. That makes the mediatomb process jump to 80% cpu time on “top” for some 10:50 minutes. good.
But – most amazing – the files show up on my Tevion IWR 394. Life is good!
It does not read/interpret my itunes playlists, though. Googling for itunes playlists in mediatomb does show an empty graveyard. Ok, but its possible to convert an “iTunes Music Library.xml” to several .m3u files using itunesexport, a java tool (here java bytes me again). Sadly, the ericaugherty sf version causes an out-of-memory even with -Xmx300m, so thats a bit annoying. There are zillions of shabby scripts out there to do it, but most don’t work, maybe this one does, as the author says. It does! But it needs some tweaking for folder names, which is done using the “-d” parameter. So the command is something like this (note the trailing shlash at -d) which I put into updateplaylists.sh
python /home/leobard/local/bin/itunes2m3u.py -d “/home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes Music/” /home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music\ Library.xml
(at this moment, my newly discovered and totally weird emap.fm internet radio station plays the amazingly happy disturbing song “It’s so chic to be pregnant on christmas“, greetings to the pregnant-women-we-know B+S)
It seems importing m3u playlists into mediatomb is not out of the box. It goes something like this:
- check the playlists are allright. do they point to the right path? are the characeters fine? do the directories exist?
- in my case, the playlists are in /home/media/music/playlists folder and contain lines that look something like this: /home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Christoph & Lollo/Schispringerlieder/04 Mika, Du Saufkopf, Hast Du Wieder Verloren_.mp3 – that means, absolute paths do work fine for me
- I import the playlist using the explicit “+” button for the filesystem folder in MediaTomb. Other things didn’t seem to work, especially the autoscan did not work.
- I thought about script the adding of the playlists by using the mediatomb –add command … but that is not optimal. It starts a server and adds the file, but the server is not shut down. Not ideal for a command line thing.
So to sum up: it would be good to have a DAAPD and upnp server in one, which could read iTunes playlists. BUT I am equally happy with my Tevion IWR 394 “Adam” and mediatomb.