Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ubuntu Media Server ... whats next?

    If you have been following my blog, then you already know that I use Ubuntu 11.10 and the Plex media server software as a "Media Center PC". The Ubuntu PC also functions as file server and has two 500GB partitions for Time Machine Backup from my two Mac's. I have also managed to get Netatalk 2.2.2 and Avahi to play nice with the default Samba file sharing software. I wanted to keep Samba available for when friends with Microsoft Windows laptop's came to visit.

    So far, this setup has been working out much better than expected. The server (which is really just plain Jane Ubuntu 11.10 for desktops) is more stable than I could have hoped for and everything integrates well enough into my network that even my "non-techie" wife can use it regularly from her Mac or from the Roku without any trouble. The real question is, where do I go from here?

    Airplay

    It's not as simple as it sounds, and will require at least a few days of research before I start installing a bunch of python scripts. I want this Airplay to work just as well and effortlessly for my wife (and myself) as the rest of the network.

    This is the "ideal setup" I am looking to create:

    Airplay from any of the Mac's on the network, and any iOS devices directly to my television through my Plex Media Server. To make this "super easy" I think it should be a channel that can be viewed through the Roku box. This would make it easy for my wife and guest's to use. That doesn't equal easy to setup, it rarely is.

    There is really no need for this functionality. Really there isn't, yet. But it would bring the "cool" factor for some of my geekier friends and co-workers. Of course, it would also allow my wife an easy way to watch video's from her favorite websites on the T.V.. Unfortunately my schedule for the next two weeks is very full, so at this point all I really have time for is to research the solution.

    As always, once I find out a relatively easy way to accomplish this, I will post a How-To.

    Until next time ...