Geek Freely: media

    Featured Post

    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label media.

    Showing posts with label media.

    So I decided to setup a samba share on my Plex Media Server so I could pull off the mobile photos that are uploaded.

    First off you need to know the location of your mobile uploads, on Ubuntu Server 12.04 that would be:

    cd /var/lib/plexmediaserver/Library/Application\ Support/Plex\ Media\ Server/Media\ Upload/Mobile\ Photos/

    Once you are aware of the location you can now define the samba share. Open the following file, with write privileges:

    sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

    At the very end of this file, put in your share details:


    path = /var/lib/plexmediaserver/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Media Upload/Mobile Photos/

    available = yes

    valid users = macleod

    read only = yes

    browseable = yes

    public = yes

    writable = no

    Share name is [Pictures], path is obviously path and the rest of the settings are self-explanatory.

    Restart samba using the following command

    sudo service smbd restart

    And to test the syntax use the following:


    I used the following link for most of the information provided here:

    So I have about 3 machines in my house that function as HTPCs.  One of those systems I use with full blown blown Ubuntu and XBMC install from repo.  The other systems I use , I have this installed on an old NVIDIA ION system and a Rasberry Pi.

    I have also advised two systems, which I setup, to use Openelec.  which has a great price on it, I can only assume due to the fact that they are coming out with a new version…which !

    Some of the main benefits about openelec.

    The main reason I am not using this on my main media center is due to the lack of support installing .  This main system is used to serve my streaming music to web and mobile apps, therefore, until I have played about with installing Subsonic on NAS4Free or Openelec, I will stick with an Ubuntu system in my household.

    Some other options:

    So I sourced this information from another site, it was referencing iTunes 8.x, however I am using 10.2.

    My problem:

    Slow response to starting/stopping application, as well as initiating playback


    iTunes music stored on FreeNAS box, one iTunes users DB is remote, the others is local.


    Disable unrequired display columns:

    iTunes Columns

    Removing unused smart-playlists.

    Disabling live updating of playlists:

    Playlist Settings

    Disable looking for shared services:

    iTunes Preferences


    SUCCESS – I have seen a noticable improvement in my iTunes performance for both users.

    I have an iPhone and I used to use an application called SimplifyMedia to stream all my music across the nets to my phone – freeing up space on the device.

    After about 4 months of using it, I guess, SimplifyMedia was acquired by Google and took their service offline, so I needed to fine a replacement.

    In steps

    (, a great little service that can run on a variety of OS, including my FreeNAS box if I chose to.  I currently run Subsonic on my Ubuntu box, I have donated to the cause allowing me to use the API’s (when I say me, I mean I can use apps that use the API’s).

    Along with Subsonic, I use

    3.0 ( currently on my iPhone, the whole thing has been such a success I bought the application for my wife’s phone.

    I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty here, but Subsonic allows you to access your music (and video to some extent) through an encrypted connection via the web or supporting app.  Once connected the user can access any of the folders available to subsonic, make playlists, rate tracks, and scrobble tunes to (apps have some limitations, but it is mostly catch-up to support APIs).  iSub allows me to see what others are playing as well as chat to them, once scrobbling is implemented I am laughing – oh and the caching feature of iSub is awesome too, along with the desire to implement video streaming!

    To implement the whole solution, will cost about $14.99 before tax, $10 (min) donation to Subsonic, and $4.99 for the iSub app – well worth it!

    I was trying to use symbolic links:

    ln -s /mnt/Personal/Music /mnt/user/Music

    But I needed to add them to the wheel group – which didn’t make sense, I tried doing everything relative, instead of absolute – like indicated but it didn’t work for me.  Adding them to wheel basically allowed them to navigate anywhere they wanted.

    If anyone has had success using symlinks with their proftpd server, do let me know.

    In the end I had to mount a null filesystem

    mount_nullfs /mnt/Personal/Music /mnt/user/Music

    This basically duplicates the filesystem, any changes made to the dupe will affect the original, so be very careful with your user privilages.

    To undo this “link” you can simple umount the dupe

    umount /mnt/user/Music

    I do not currently know of any ill side effects to this, but I would appreciate any feedback from the guru’s out there.

    I do have to run these commands every-time the system starts – this is a real drawback – I would love to use symbolic links, but have not been able to work it out.

    So the other month I bought a ton of new equipment for a new NAS box.  The question was, which NAS software to go for?  As ever it needed to be free, preferably open-source, and have all the functionality I was looking for.


    FTP server



    I wrote about my excitment for

    more than a few months back ().  However during this wait my current NAS ) began to fail, due to harddrive issues, and the fact that it was a crappy old box.

    OMV has yet to be released, so I was in a bit of a pickle, I have new hardware, I need a new NAS, so I began to try my alternatives.  I installed and checked out the following NAS solutions:

    P.S. There are more, but some of them were ruled out due to hardware limitations, or pricing for several drive solutions ().

    eBox was nice in the fact that it had a built in LDAP server, but I soon realized that it is not something I really need.  Openfiler was cool, but I had some issues with my

    drives (a), and I wasn’t really a fan of the Volume Management. And Amahi… it sounds good, but the plug and play aspect is a little cluncky/cloogy in my mind.

    So in the end, I stuck with FreeNAS!  I have implemented encryption on my drives, FreeNAS handles the WD EARS no problem, setup the UPS feature for safe power downs.  All in all I am happy with my decision, there is no guarantee that OMV will be in a good shape when it is release, so why take the risk – stick with something I know and love!

    So a while back I was looking for an application to convert FLAC to MP3,

    the solution resulted in Foobar 2000 ().  Only

    problem I had with this amazingly fast little tool, was getting my hands

    on the lame.exe ()

    but it only took a little googling to find – and I just gave you the

    link – so you are good to go


    is a freeware application that is not only capable of converting audio files such as flac, but also image and other formats.  Will be checking this out!

    So I used to be a big fan of Lupas Rename 2000 (), but I came across a problem that it could not solve.

    I had several files that had characters at the start of the filename that I wanted to move to the end… after some searching I found a utility (free too) that could accomplish my requirement.  It’s called Bulk Rename Utility ().

    This nifty little application allows me to, for example, do the following:

    Original filename – “(1937) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.avi”

    New Filename – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).avi”

    This is an example you understand…

    The application can be downloaded as an installer, or as a stand alone application – for all you portable pundits out there.

    So I signed up to be notified about the

    beta, but I never received an email – today I went to check the site out for an update… the beta has been out since the 7th.  I have downloaded the deb on my Ubuntu machine and installed it:

    sudo dpkg -i “downloaded file name without quotes”

    Probably have dependency issues…

    sudo apt-get -f install

    Worth checking on a few updates…

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get upgrade

    Well, obviously I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but we will see – I am very interested in the social aspects of the application, but I am loving


    right now!


    So I played about with boxee for a short period, the beta is a much needed improvement, but I am not sure if I will switch to it from xbmc!

    Looks like developer is leaving FreeNAS behind due to limitations, and moving to a Linux based system called – which then later changed to .  Being somewhat excited about an update for future-proofing and allowing major development , I was happy to hear the developer taking steps – however, there could be some time before we see anything.

    For all you FreeNAS lovers out there, don’t worry, looks like

    is going to take over FreeNAS development.

    Myself, I am going to look into ….

    If you got the money to fork out – then drobo is your solution:

    I love keeping all my media and music organized, whether it is completing music tag information for some OCD sanity or keeping clean file names for scraping purposes (the task or retrieving the information by parsing data from a website).

    Now this can be a bit laborious for TV show names/episodes so I searched to find a convenient/efficient way to do this and came up EpNamer.  EpNamer scrapes a couple of sites for file information, you just select the files, specify the series name and then search!  EpNamer will come back with the suggested names for the various files you queried, show you a preview of the changes that will be made, and if applied it will make those changes.  Find out more about this free application here (mac and windows):

    Now, for keeping my music tags up to date I like to use the open source solution MusicBrainz, specifically their Picard tagger.  MusicBrainz is an open source publicly maintained database of thousands of albums.  The Picard tagger comes with a variety of plugins, allowing album art download, original release date tagging, among many other great features.  Maintaining music can be hard, but MusicBrainz is there to help, the software has the ability to lookup tracks based on existing tag/filename information as well as PUID (acoustic fingerprints) – therefore that actual audio data content, rather than name/tag.  Be sure not to rename the files unless you know what you are doing, as this will mess up your music database if it uses filename, which iTunes and I imagine most others do, for database management.  To find out more about MusicBrainz click on the following link:

    Subscribe to:


    Blog Archive


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.