Tag Archives: iPod

Sharing your media around the house

I have CDs in mp3 format and videos that I have now centralised onto a massive hard drive at home.   And I want to be able to listen and view these around my house at home.   Like on my TV, on my home stereo, on my portable iPod docking speakers.

Simple request?  I think so.

Simple answer?  Not really.

I’m started drawing up this list of solutions as it may help others out there in the same position as me.

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Scenario 1: Video stored on Server, Controlled by iPhone, Viewed on iPhone

Use Air Video.  Best thing about this is that Air Video will transcode media on the fly so that it will “just work” on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Scenario 2:Video stored on Server, Controlled by PS3, Viewed on PS3

Use PS3 Media Server.  Best thing about this is that PS3 Media Server will transcode media on the fly so that it will “just work” on the PS3.  PS3 Media Server is what is referred to as a DLNA Server – which means devices that support the DLNA protocol (like the PS3 and XBOX360) will be able to talk to it.

Scenario 3: Video stored on Server, Controlled by family member’s PC, Viewed on family member’s PC

I’m not sure what’s best here at the moment.  Just use folder sharing?  This seems a bit “backward”!  I’m still looking for a really easy to use, nice looking DLNA client program for the Mac.  Might try XBMC (Xbox Media Center – a piece of software that was originally designed to turn an old XBOX into a Media Center, but now exists on many different platforms).

Scenario 4: Music stored on Server, Controlled by Server, Listen on Home Stereo

Use iTunes on Server, output to Airport Express speaker connected to Home Stereo

Scenario 5: Music stored on Server, Controlled by iPhone, Listen on Home Stereo (practically the same as above)

Use iTunes on Server, output to Airport Express speaker connected to Home Stereo, use Apple Remote on iPhone to control iTunes on server

Scenario 6: Music stored on Server, Controlled by PS3, Listen on PS3

Use PS3 Media Server running on Server, PS3 automatically recognises PS3 Media Server.

Scenario 7: Music stored on Server, Controlled by iPhone, Listen on iPhone (or speakers with iPhone dock)

Not sure.  Airfoil nearly gets there but due to no multi-tasking, you can’t run the Remote application and the Airfoil application at the same time on the iPhone.  Other third party solutions include Dot.tunes and Orb. 

Scenario 8: Music stored on Server, Controlled by family member’s PC, Listen on family member’s PC

Use iTunes on Server, use iTunes on other PC, setup with iTunes Home Sharing

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So it seems you still need a few different bits of software to achieve what really should be simple. 

Running a half Apple setup at home, iTunes is a good fit.  However, additional things to make it all work include Air Video, Airfoil and PS3 Media Server.   However, I’m now running THREE different media server applications – iTunes, Air Video and PS3 Media Server.  This is ridiculous!  It would best if I only had to run one.  Why can’t iTunes do it all?  

There also seems to be much overlap between Air Video and PS3 Media Server too – they both do transcoding and make media libraries easily accessible via other devices – these guys should join forces or something. 

Also, it seems really restricted and limiting that I can access my iTunes libraries on other family member’s PCs, but I can’t on my own iPhone at home.   Apple – are you listening?  You really need to expand Home Sharing to iPhones and iPod Touches.  I would love to have the gigabytes of music on my server natively accessible to my iPhone at home.  It would make my iPod docking speakers a true media extension for my home.

The day when it all just works simply without the user having to figure out which application to use for what purpose – that’ll be the day when technology really starts helping us instead of users being slaves.

Related Links

PS3 Media Server: http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/

Air Video: http://www.inmethod.com/

Airfoil: http://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

XBMC: http://xbmc.org/

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I’m listening to my daughter’s iPod!

It has come…  that line has been crossed.

When our kids were younger (eg. toddlers), they really only listened to music that we put on.  They might have liked some of the music I liked.  They might have not.  But their music universe was mostly contained/restrained by what Wifey and I listened to and the TV/movies we watched together.

However, this year, I think our little Miss 10 has started her music revolution.

A few things:

Writing out lyrics

I remember going through a stage where I started writing out lyrics to pop music in a notebook.  I don’t know why I did it.  Maybe to learn some lyrics of pop songs.  But in my daggy youth, I must have thought that it was a step to making me cooler.  Or something. 

The funny thing is that when I found out Wifey went through the same stage too!  But she had files and files of lyrics that she had written out by hand when she was a kid.

And just a few weeks ago, Miss 10 started in earnest writing and printing out lyrics to songs – both from her own singing lessons, but also pop songs.  Wifey and I just looked at each other and smiled…

New Music

That universe of music controlled by us?  Gone…  Miss 10 has bought pop music THAT I HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF by an artist I HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF in iTunes!!!  Am I just getting older and daggier?  Maybe 🙂   But the scary thing is that through her friends at school or media, she is getting exposed and getting excited to new music. 

Reminds me of the days when I would actually listen to the Top 10 countdown on the radio 🙂

Playlists – the Mix Tape of the 2000’s

Anyone made a mixtape?  I thought it was hilarious that the Avenue Q musical had a scene where someone made a mix tape for someone else.  This was how it always was!!  I made mix tapes for myself, but funnier, I made mix tapes for my Wifey when we were going out..  and she made me mix tapes too! 

Anyway, digressing, I picked up Miss 10’s iPod today and noticed that she had made her first playlist… this generation’s mix tape. 

And the funny thing – I’ve been listening to the playlist all today!  It’s a good combination of pop songs (and even includes that pop song I hadn’t heard of previously).
Ahh… growing up.