I have a dirty little secret.
I have an XBOX 360… yes, a Microsoft product in my house!
Anyways, in order to play movies which are stored on my fileserver, on my xbox, over the network, I needed to run what is called a UPnP server which shares all the files. However, Microsoft being Microsoft, decided to slightly pervert the UPnP protocol and only support their own special version. ie. They want you to run a windows computer to stream the files from.
I don’t do windows… but months ago, in desperation, I installed TVersity (a windows program) on my VMWared XP box that I use for website testing in Internet Explorer.
TVersity, like a lot of windows software was buggy and bloated and did stuff I didn’t give it permission to do, like download 9 gigs of podcasts and free online movies for me. Anywhere else in the world that would just be annoying. Here it’s R600 worth of bandwidth you never realised you had used.
Anyway. There are basically 2 open source equivalents. I’d tried both before upgrading to Ubuntu Gutsy and both gave me issues when I didn’t have time for issues so I gave up.
Recently I had time to spare (a rarity) so I decided to tackle them.
First up was uShare. A great little app which installed relatively easily on gutsy. uShare’s flaw though is that it doesn’t do transcoding so you can’t watch movies that aren’t in one of the formats that the xbox understands AND it doesn’t support virtual folders based on mp3 tags.
Next up was Fuppes, (Free UPnP Entertainment Service) which can be a tricky install but once I had it installed and had correctly configured my virtual folder markup syntax it worked flawlessly… and it’s written well and can be quite fascinating to see in action because it exposes the UPnp protocol allowing you to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Being a nerd that’s a bonus.
The other problem with TVersity is that it used to crash every night. (remember, it’s Windows software)
Fuppes has been running for a few days now and is working flawlessly.
VIVA OPEN SOURCE!