Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Does WMP copy files or just store pointers to files?

Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:56 pm

I have a large music collection on an NAS drive. I want to stream music off the NAS to my Roku Soundbridge via a Windows XP/Pro computer (the NAS cannot directly stream files). I'd rather not transfer the music from the NAS drive to the computer's local hard drive. I'm trying to understand how music streamers such as WMP and Firefly work before I dig myself in too deeply. For example, it seems to be necessary to add a file to WMP's library before WMP will be able to stream that file. Does this mean that the entire file is copied into WMP's library (on the computer's local hard drive), or does WMP's library save only a pointer to the file on the NAS drive, or must I configure WMP to do one or the other of those two things? Saving a pointer is obviously preferable, since otherwise the computer's local hard drive will be filled with many GBs of files which already reside on the NAS drive. Any comments would be appreciated.
Regards, Blake
 
jjaf
Posts: 709
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:49 am
Location: Epping Forest (bordering London), UK

Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:14 am

Hi Blake

The answer to your question is yes WMP will share your medial files directly from your network folder without having to copy them locally.

You don't say which version of WMP you have. If you have XP and have never upgraded to WMP 11 then you should first do that since WMP10 does not have media sharing functionalty. If you want to keep WMP10 then you have to install an additional package Windows Media Connect. I receommend you upgrade to WMP11.

To get WMP to share your network files, do the following (I am reading from WMP11 on Vista here):
1. In WMP Library options, select Add to library and add your root media folder from your NAS.
2. Open up the Media Sharing dialog and enable Share my media. This will scan for media devices and your Sounbridge should show up Make sure this device is Allowed for sharing. If your SB does not appear then you most likely have to configure your firewall but we'll leave that for another post.
3. Finally, WMP has to be told to share the external folders on your NAS, by default it will only share local folders. You need to add a Registry setting, here are the MS instructions:

Perform the following steps on the computer that contains the library you are sharing.

1.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2.
In the registry tree (on the left), expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, MediaPlayer, and Preferences.

3.
Right-click HME, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

4.
Type EnableRemoteContentSharing, and then press ENTER.

5.
Right-click EnableRemoteContentSharing, and then click Modify.

6.
In the Value data text box, type 1, and then click OK. If you later decide to disable remote content sharing, you can repeat this procedure and change the value to 0.

Caution: Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.

Hope this works for you.

References:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... mspx#q20_3
http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t=17978
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:17 am

Thank you very much.

Everything is working nicely.

I'll mention one glitch & its fix, in case others find it helpful.

I've seen many posts regarding problems streaming music stored on NAS drives. A common issue seems to be: 'my SB can see the music on my NAS drive, but I keep getting "unable to play" error messages from my SB whenever I try to play a song stored on my NAS drive.' I ran into that problem and saw various suggested solutons in the forums. In my case the solution was trivial. I realized that after adding some songs to my WMP library I thought of a 'better' way to organize the music on my NAS drive, so for example I renamed one of the NAS drive directories containing my music. Bad move! My SB does not see the music on my NAS drive; what my SB sees is the WMP library information regarding those NAS drive songs which I have added to my WMP library. The WMP library information includes information about where each song is stored on my NAS drive. If I change the NAS drive storage location, e.g. by renaming the directory containing the songs, then WMP is unable to stream those songs to the SB. The fix is to either change the directory name back to what it was, or to remove the songs from the WMP library then add them back so WMP will have correct information about where each song is stored on my NAS drive.
Regards, Blake
 
jjaf
Posts: 709
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:49 am
Location: Epping Forest (bordering London), UK

Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:51 am

Excellent, enjoy the music.

Of course, your setup means that you have to keep your PC running to serve music to the Soundbridge. Depending on what NAS you have you might be able to install a media server on there so you can save energy. Soundbridge devices work with a dedicated server called Firefly which is available to run on many Linux platforms as well as the Windows version. Indeed this server comes pre-installed on many NAS systems, its also known as mt-daapd or sometimes just as an iTunes server (it was written as a replacement for iTunes). Others on this forum will tell you about their favourite alternatives such as Twonky which also work with Soundbridge devices.
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:31 am

Great suggestion. I had assumed that my several-years-old 300GB Maxtor NAS drive would not support stand alone media serving. But, inspired by your comment, I tracked down the manual online and lo & behold it does! The feature is turned off by default, but I'll turn it on and give it a whirl as you suggest. Thanks again.
Regards, Blake

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