Music Streaming with MiniDLNA and foobar2000

Posted by Eric Stein - January 30, 2011 CE @ 21:54:21 UTC
I recently build a new machine for gaming, running Windows 7. Since I'll be dual booting it, I am looking to install as little as possible onto the Windows partition. To this end, I sought a way to stream the music backups I store on my home server to any machine in the apartment.

There are a few routes: sharing files, or streaming servers. Sharing files is a bit clumsy as some devices like set-top boxes support streaming better. Of all the streaming protocols, DLNA seems to be the top contender these days: most home A/V systems seem to support it, and all popular OSes seem to have support either built in or in some of the popular music software. I believe iTunes uses it natively.

MiniDLNA

I looked up a few lists of DLNA streaming servers and found that there are quite a few servers out there. I chose from DLNA media servers, by looking over the webpages for the products. To be honest I just chose the one that seemed less commercial, and it worked out. Installation of MiniDLNA was quick and easy on my Gentoo machine: all I had to do was edit the config file to point it at the directory where my music is stored and ensure the settings were for read-only use.

foobar2000 + UPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control Point

For the last few years I'd heard that foobar2000 was one of the best minimal music players for Windows, so it's what I went for first. I found a helpful plugin by bubblegum called UPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control PoinUPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control Point that does the trick: I use the UPnP browser to select music and stream it.

But Wait, There's More!

Not quite yet, but there is promise in the ability to do the same from RhythmBox on Linux. I'll be trying that out to stream when not at home, and eventually in my Linux dual boot on this machine.

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