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Old 04-22-2005, 06:43 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Question Streaming Music -- UPnP server alternatives

I recently bought a Rockford Omnifi DMS1 media player that streams audio over ethernet or wifi from your desktop mp3 collection to a device that you put by your stereo. It has both a tv display and a device text display and remote control.

The included media streamer only handles up to 10,000 tracks, so I'm looking for alternatives. All I need is a [size=-1]UPnP server. The only one I'm aware of so far is Orb.com, but I've heard the interface is not so great. I don't need to stream over the internet, just to my DMS1 at home. (And when I get a wifi-enabled PDA, to that also.)

[/size][size=-1]Free is preferred, but not necessary. Mainstream and popular is more important because it means it's more likely to work without giving me a lot of trouble!

[/size][size=-1]So, anyone know where I can find more info on alternatives, including suggestions of the simplest and best that do UPnP for about 30,000 tracks?

Thanks!
[/size]
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Old 04-23-2005, 02:37 AM   #2
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My fruitless results so far...

No luck yet. Omnifi support (at http://www.omnifimedia.com/scripts/o...duser/home.php) gave me a quick response... yes 10,000 is the limit to nbr of tracks, and no there are not any workarounds.

They also said there are forums that I can visit if I search the internet. Only one seems to exist, http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/omnifi/

From that, I've determined that there are some alternate media servers.
I've tried....

  • SimpleCenter - Falls short due to tracks limit.

    This is the software that came with the Omnifi DMS1 remote media player device. It works great except for the 10,000 track limit which is far short of what I need.

    Seems that someone has hacked the .jar files to allow larger sets of tracks, but I'm not comfortable using that makeshift solution.

  • Windows Media Connect - Won't connect

    This seemed to be nice, except it didn't like sharing folders with subfolders, and adding a few thousand album folders individually is not a pleasant thought.

    More importantly, my media device could not connect, even though the device was activated from the WMConnect side.

    This was, therefore, a bust despite Microsoft indicating my device was compatible. Have heard of one person that made it work, and sent him an email. Hope to hear back from him with the "secret".

  • NeroVision Express 3 / Nero MediaHome - Won't play tracks

    This appeared to work because my remote media device found the server, and it could browse the media library (i.e. all my folders and mp3 files.) But when I try to play, it says that it can't play that media type. Clearly, that's not the problem, because they are standard mp3 files which stream just fine from SimpleCenter, which is the included streamer software.
Similar results were reported for lossless audio at http://www.mikeyp.com/weblog/media/musicstorage7.html

I didn't try TwonkyVision Media Server yet, which also has a Linux version. Probably won't try it based on Mikeyp's results.

Most other media servers don't seem to support UPNP (which I now know stands for "Universal Plug and Play", but is anything but that!)

One more left to try is orb.com, which I was trying to avoid. Maybe it's time to give it a try. Unfortunately, it seems to be a server based thing (their server, not mine) because it's meant to serve to internet, not just my home network. Not so sure I want to do that, but I may take a look if no one here comes to the rescue.

The only good news so far is that I have it working with Comcast's free Rhapsody radio service. Lots of nice commercial free stations. Probably enough to justify the purchase, but I want more... I really want to be able to play my whole music collection.

I know it's not the focus of this site (until we are all trying to stream audio to portable devices, that is), but if anyone has any tips, I'd appreciate them. I'll also post here on any solutions from the omnifi forums.

Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:25 AM   #3
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More info on media servers & TwonkyVision

I guess I've been thinking in terms of just audio, but the future of course includes video and pictures.

Here's a forum that covers lots of media servers, including non-UPNP...
http://www.media-servers.com/forums/

Twonkyvision seems to be pretty good. There's two products. A free "Music server" product that runs on PC, Linux, Mac. It only serves audio.

And a commercial product called "Media Server" that also serves video and pictures. In addition, it gets you better tree searching (like by Artist/Album instead of just Artist or just Album). About 15 Euros, I think, but don't know what that means in terms of exchanges rates for US dollars.

And what's really neat is that the commercial version supports some of the NAS products. It runs right on those storage devices and serves media without needing a computer to be turned on. (Including UPNP and shoutcast internet radio stations that appear just like MP3 files which never end!)

I'm going to give the free version a try. I'm very disappointed that it's so hard to get this Omnifi DMS1 to work with a media server for a large set of music tracks, but hopefully Twonkyvision will get me going. I'll let you know.
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:36 AM   #4
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Bob I don't have much experience streaming audio, but what has worked fine for me: my modified X-Box that uses Xbox Media Center to stream audio and video content from my network-shared PC drives. Of course you could also place the content on the X-Box harddrive (mine currently has a 250Gb HDD), but I prefer the silence of not having a drive spin constantly.
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Alex. That sounds like an interesting potential justification for buying the new XBox 360! But seems that I found a working solution for my Omnifi DMS1 with TwonkyVision.

Summary of what I've learned...
  1. Omnifi DMS1 uses UPNP (Univseral Plug and Play) media servers.

    Support is available at http://www.omnifimedia.com/scripts/o...duser/home.php

    They surprised me by answering by email within a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon!
  2. The included media server (SimpleCenter) looks very nice, but has a maximum of 10,000 tracks. It can be expanded to about 50,000 with some replacement .jar files if you are more adventurous than me. That can be found at http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/omnifi/

  3. I couldn't get Windows Media Connect or Nero MediaHome to work on WinXP with MP3 files. More media server info is available at http://www.media-servers.com/forums/

  4. The best (and only solution for me) for a library of >10,000 songs and an Omnifi DMS1 seems to be TwonkyVision, which has a free music-only server, plus a commercial multimedia server that can even be installed on an NAS storage device. I don't want to spend that much money right now on an NAS, even though I drool over the TB-sized ones. Therefore, I guess I'll stick with the free version unless I really need the additional navigation options like "Artist/Album" instead of just by Artist or Album.
  5. Comcast's free Rhapsody Radio service works great with the OmniFi DMS1. You just need to make sure that you have a recent version of the Rhapsody software, and turn the UPNP setting in options to "ON". Unfortunately, you have to turn the PC on and run the Rhapsody software as your server.
  6. UPNP might need to be turned on at the router using the router's administration URL. Haven't tested turning it off yet.
  7. A few other setup tidbits specific to the Omnifi DMS1...

    -- You can upgrade both the SimpleCenter software and the DMS1 firmware using SimpleCenter. I stuck with my original version of firmware because it was close to the current release.

    -- If using WiFi, you'll need to set both the SSID and the WEP key if you use one. Hope you are using Hex keys because the text keys are hard to enter with a jog dial!

    -- The instructions say you have to have the server running before turning on the media receiver. I doubt it, because I've done it both ways and never had a problem. But you might keep it in mind just in case.

    -- If you want to reset your Omnifi DMS1, hold down the power button on either the console or remote until the light turns red. Seems to be a "soft reset", but I can't guarantee that no settings will be lost. There's also a menu item to do a hard reset and return it to factory condition. (But probably not the factory firmware version if you upgraded it.)
What I would have tried next if necessary... orb.com

But don't have to! Yippee! Time to clean out the software that didn't work for me and then enjoy my new toy. (Of course, in true geek fashion, I had more fun making it work than I will using it!)

Hopefully this thread will serve as a good reference for Omnifi buyers that are searching for information. There doesn't seem to be any easy way to find out all this.

And the thread may also have served, I hope, as a way of introducing a few more MobileRead readers to the world of streaming content. I expect that streaming content at home and over the internet will be as common as iPods very soon, and the much of it will be streaming to portable devices!
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:34 PM   #6
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better uPnP

I'm experiencing the same problems. Personally, I don't want to put up with not having the artist/album option in addition to the artist and album options. I've read that Musicmatch Jukebox does uPnP serving, and doesn't have the 10,000 song limit.

I've installed version 10 of musicmatch, and i'm thinking they removed the functionality. I read about it being in version 8
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Old 06-07-2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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Well, I landed here while searching for an alternative to MusicMatch. It worked ok with my Linksys WMLS11B for a long time with over 10,000 songs, but recently the server app will not run at all. I used to have go through a little dance. Once the PC started up, I had to go into Task Manager and kill the mm_server process, then go into MM and start it from there.

Now, even that doesn't work. It blows up immediately. I have tried two different computers and still no luck. I recently went over 15,000 songs and I wonder if that was the breaking point.

I've been to both the Linksys and MM websites and there is nothing of help there. I haven't tried the MM tech support. If I can't find a decent replacement, I'll give MM another shot.
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:48 PM   #8
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What a mess

dang!

Well, if anyone finds a better solution, please share. If there is a better forum to discuss this in, please share.

It seems like a uPnP server for mp3 files would be an easy thing. Shows what I know.

There are these hardware network storage servers that say "uPnP compatible" in the specs, but they seem to require external USB HDD's and i'm not sure if they read the MP3 tag info(artist, album, etc).

http://www.trendnet.com/en/products/TS-U200.htm
http://www.trendnet.com/en/products/TS-U100.htm
http://www.ovislink.com.tw/MU-5000FS.htm
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:59 PM   #9
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Shoutcast is what I've been using, with IceCast for streaming my own music on my LAN here.
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:47 PM   #10
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I just thought I'd check back in with an update. I've been using the free Twonkyvision Music Server v2.8 for a week now. Everything seems to be working fine with my Linksys WMLS11B.

Now, the only problem is the Linksys is so slow paging through a list of thousand of albums, three at a time. I might upgrade to the full Media Server for the $18 bucks (or whatever 15 Euros equals - I can't remember). The Media Server gives more options for the directory tree structure (ie: genre/artist/album instead of just by artist or by album). Tonight, I wanted to listen to an album in the Ms and it would have been a lot quicker to get up, go find the cd and play it!

I'm also thinking about looking into the Apples Airtunes thing, since I do most of my library maintenance stuff in iTunes. I find its browing, smart playlists, etc. to be better than musicmatch. If only iTunes could serve uPnP, I'd have it made.

Last edited by mpawloski; 06-12-2005 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:14 PM   #11
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Some thoughts...

I came across this thread while looking for something else but thought I'd relay what little info I have.

I don't have a DMS1, but I do have a DMP1 from Rockford, and yes, SimpleCenter is a pain. However, there is a pretty active community of users working on mods over at:

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/grou...guid=233021899

In particular, a version of SimpleCenter has been hacked/modded to surpase the 10k song limit. If I recall correctly, the limit has been bumped to 50k+ songs. Several other major improvements have been made as well. Look in the "Files" section of the group for the newest update.

On other notes, I use a J River's Media Center software:

http://www.jriver.com/

It supposedly does upnp serving. I don't have a upnp device yet, so I haven't tried it. In their forums there is a thread talking about what devices its been tried with and compatability. I believe they claim it works with the DMS1.

The software isn't free, but IMHO worth the money. I've been a paying user since Version 8 and find it completely indespensible for managing my 16k+ file library. I use it my home machine, office machine, and laptop (legal under their licensing). I use it at home with a remote as a media center type software to listen to music and watch video. It has library serving and client capabilities, expandable, etc.

I know these kinds of things always come to personal preference but I highly recommend the software. Oh yeah, it is Windows only, so that doesn't apply to those of you who have the luxury of chosing another OS.
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Old 11-06-2005, 11:03 PM   #12
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My adventures today

I found this thread researching simplecenter and a newly purchased Omnifi dms-1. Everything below is via windows XP pro and home.
SimpleCenter - on initial scan said i was trying to add more files than the 10k limit and therefore won't add any at all - not a great experience by any stretch.

Twonky MusicServer - this was not the most straightforward setup. I choose to have it install as a service but my dms-1 wouldn't see it until i read on the their site that you should run the musicserver.exe file from the same dir as your music. Did this and dms-1 saw it just fine and played music with no problems.

Upgraded to Twonky MediaServer ($18 and change)- You would think the set up would be more intuitive but it isn't. Installed as a service. DMS-1 wouldn't see it. So i added a port 9090 in my windows firewall and in the web configuration i specified the http port to match. Also set the ip address of dms-1 in the webconfig to be a music only client and it works great.

Then i saw i had windows media connect installed - set it to active, and added the music dir - dms-1 saw it just fine.

All of my music is set to wma and i am in the process of reripping everything to wma lossless. I have not tested a lossless file yet but will post results later.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:25 AM   #13
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I'm interested to hear the additional results.
Thanks benleal!
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:34 AM   #14
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benleal, which firmware is your OmniFi running? I can't get my OmniFi to see Windows Media Connect at all, even after trying the new version 2.0.

Any luck with WMA Lossless?

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Old 12-27-2005, 04:42 PM   #15
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Cool media servers

I thought I was alone it this. But I have the D-Link Media Center DSM-320. You can go to their page and go to applications and try their media server software to see if it works. I have tried, Nero, Microsoft Media thingy, as well as real rhapsody...which works well with music. But I have had the best experience so far with tversity. It browses through my music quickly. It handles almost any video I throw at it. I really like it so far. They finally added a GUI interface to it, which is still a little buggy, but it works....give that a shot.
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