Saturday, September 12, 2009

More music server stuff.

So, after awhile of living in Switzerland, I decided it'd be nice to be able to access my music over the network. To do this, I'd have to rip all my CDs, what I brought to Switzerland and have in some nice storage cases, though they do take up a bit of space.

I thought it'd be nice to have some sort of server to store the music. At first I thought a PC would be good, but they were to expensive and too loud. At some point I stumbled upon the Linksys NSLU2. This is a great little device with a 266mhz processor and 32mb of memory. It draws something like 3 watts of power when not connected to the USB drives that one can connect to it. It runs Linux as an OS, and as the source was available, people figured out how to modify and replace the OS. When I think back, this little machine is several times the machine that the VAX 11/780 we had in college. It has no fan, and is absolutely quiet. I found a fanless external disk drive that was also fairly quiet and that was my hardware configuration.

The next thing I needed was a way to serve the music to iTunes. The answer was what was called mt-daapd at that point, and is now called the firefly media server. Firefly does a great job of serving up to iTunes. The only big drawback is that you don't get coverflow. But, if you just want to fire up iTunes and play random music, this is a good way to do it.

This was a great solution for a bit, but my little G4 iBook didn't have that much power, and so I started thinking about another way to listen to music....
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