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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Media Server?

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Mike.Bowden's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 23, 2006
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 105
Mike.Bowden is an unknown at this point
Mac Specs: MPH: 3.5Ghz i7 | MPS: 2.66Ghz Xeon | iPhone 4S | iPad 2 | MacBook 13"

Mike.Bowden is offline
Ok, so I'm looking to setup a media server. I have a different setup than most so I need a little help to figure out the best route to take.

Basically I don't own a TV. I do everything on my computers. I have a workstation I work on daily and I watch TV and movies on it and of course listen to music. In the bedroom I have an iMac that my wife uses as her computer, but we also use it as our "TV" durning the night when we're watching TV in bed.

The above setup works pretty well for us right now. I like to rip all my DVD's and put them on the computer so I have access to them anytime I'd like. So when we want to watch a movie in the bedroom I have to transfer that DVD over to the iMac, either over the network or via a thumb drive. This is starting to get tiresome and I'd love to find another way of doing this.

I recently acquired a very decent computer, basically it has a 3-GHz hyper-threaded processor in it, a few Gigs of ram and a decent graphics card. I have plenty of hard drives to add to it. So after some deliberation and hard drive space on the other computers slowly dwindling away, I decided it was time to setup a media server.

Basically what I'm looking for is software and OS suggestions on what I should run on this computer. Frankly I could care less if it's Windows or Linux. Don't think I can get OS X running on it, but if need be I could give it a try. I've seen it done before, just not sure if the particular hardware in that computer will support OS X or not.

So what I'd like to do is have one computer that stores all of our media, that one computer will then serve those files to any computer on the network that would like to access them. I use Front Row on the iMac to watch TV and movies, while in there and I use whatever I need to on the Mac Pro, while I'm in the office.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should use for the media server and what I can run on the other computers to access the media server? I've looked into a lot of media center type software and they all seem to be a gateway to other devices that store the data. I'm looking for an all-in-one solution. Something that can store the media files and stream them across the network to any computer that accesses them. I'd also love a "slingbox" type setup if it is possible, but this isn't required.

Basic Needs
  • One computer to act as a media server.
  • The server stores all of the media files.
  • Has the ability to access online media sites/services. (Hulu, Netflix, etc...)
  • Can stream to other computers on the network.
  • Can play any type of media file. (The less converting of file types, the better)

Would Like
  • Watch my media collection remotely. (I have a business class connection with static IPs, so I have the resources to support this.)
  • Ability to control the media server remotely or on the network.
  • Access all of my pictures over the network and/or remotely.

I appreciate any help and if anyone has any questions about what I'm looking for, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide answers.

Mike Bowden
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Member Since: Apr 23, 2009
Location: The boring countryside of SE Wi
Posts: 231
OnlyTimeWillTel can only hope to improve
Mac Specs: see sig...

OnlyTimeWillTel is offline
Check out EarOS. I was looking for something for my old Sony Vaio, and EarOS is a media based Linux distro.

My understanding is that it can be your entire media center, and can network as well. Theoretically you could use EarOS for your bedtime movie showings and the same tower could stream shows to other computers in your house.

eMac 1.5ghz, 256mb ram, 40gb hdd, Sony cd burner
2g iPod Shuffle 1gb, 2g iPod Touch 16gb

<Rep is overrated>
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Mike.Bowden's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 23, 2006
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 105
Mike.Bowden is an unknown at this point
Mac Specs: MPH: 3.5Ghz i7 | MPS: 2.66Ghz Xeon | iPhone 4S | iPad 2 | MacBook 13"

Mike.Bowden is offline
Sounds interesting. I'll take a look at it tonight and see if it is a fit for what we're looking for.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Mike Bowden
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