MM as a central music server?

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68rustang
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MM as a central music server?

Post by 68rustang »

Has anybody installed MediaMonkey on a headless server?

I would like to share the MM DB with a couple other PCs in the house and access music files, playlists, etc on various iDevices via a UPnP/DLNA client, AirPlayer. I would like the library/playlists to be available to all devices as long as the WHS is turned on (always).

Currently MM is installed on my main PC and it monitors/controls/updates the library db via File Monitor. The db file resides on a network share so if the main desktop is offline the other computers with MM can access the library. The other computers have FileMonitoring turned off so they are only reading the db not changing it. This has worked great for years. The problem with the current setup only recently came up when I turned on MediaSharing. If the desktop is offline/sleeping then shared items aren't available via DLNA.

I am trying to install MM on my WHS 2011 box in the basement. I was hoping that the desktop would still monitor/control the db and the the WHS box would just act as the always on DLNA server. I installed MM on WHS but the config for media sharing must be in the db somewhere because it picked up the same config as the desktop and now nothing is available to the iDevices.

Where are the options for media sharing controlled? The WHS mediamonkey.ini shows the following under [MediaSharing]:

Code: Select all

[MediaSharing]
EnableMediaSharing=0
AllowControlViaUPnP=0
LimitConvertedContent=1
LimitConvertedContentSize=5000
UPNP_CacheDir=C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp\2\Transcoded_Media_Files
UPNP_RendererUUID=
Which to me looks like it is off on the WHS but when I look under MediaSharing in Options it is configured the same as what is on the dektop. Its picking up the info from somewhere.

The idea of MM as a central server has been brought up before but I couldn't anything relating to this in particular. I know there are other DLNA servers out there that can be installed headless but they just serve up files. i want to access playlists that I build in MM.

Any ideas?
68rustang
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by 68rustang »

well...It appears to be working the way I want it to :)

Part 1:
WHS 2011 headless running MM 4 RC2 with "file monitor" turned on and "DBName" in mediamonkey.ini set to UNC path of mm.db on shared folder on itself. "File monitor" is set to scan the shared music folder constantly. "Enable media sharing (UPnP/DLNA)" is enabled and all options configured as necessary. Since my WHS is headless everything was done via remore desktop and really as long as the user is left logged on with MM everything works. Part 4 below explains a better way to handle this.
Part 2:
Desktop running MM 4 RC2 with "file monitor" turned off and "DBName" in mediamonkey.ini set to UNC path of mm.db on shared folder on WHS 2011. Can see and play all files and playlists in the library. *Can see and play all files and playlists shared via UPnP/DLNA under "Media Servers." Any changes made to the library/playlists are reflected immediately on all network devices.

Part 3:
iDevices running Airplayer (any UPnP/DLNA client should work the same) can see and play **all shared files and play using playlists

Part 4:
Used Task Scheduler to start MM on WHS at start-up so user intervention isn't required every time the server restarts.

*Playing files this way on the PC results in all files being subject to auto-conversion rules.
**I had two reasons for going through the trouble of this vs iTunes and Airplay. I hate iTunes and most of my music is stored as lossless FLAC files. With this setup the iDevices see the songs and MM on WHS takes care of transcoding.

Quirks:
1.) The UPnP/DLNA configuration shows up on all MM computers that are sharing the mm.db. As long as the "enable media sharing (UPnP/DLNA)" check box isn't checked and any computer other than the server it appears to work fine.
2.) The MM UPnP/DLNA server doesn't have anyway to differentiate between the different types of devices that are connecting so all devices are subject to the same auto-conversion rules. Other servers can handle different devices differently but I don't know of any others that will alllow me to easily share my MM playlists.

Maybe I should call this my poor man's Sonos system. I think with Airfoil / Remote Speakers Output Plug-In, MonkeyTunes and the Remote appI have almost all the functionality covered :)

It would be nice to see MM developed as a package to wrap all this into one nice bundle but I realize that is asking alot. I think the Server/Client system should be looked at pretty closely though. Central storage is the direction everybody is moving and MM seems to be the iTunes alternative that audiophiles and normal people turn to.
KEP
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by KEP »

68rustang wrote:Part 2:
Desktop running MM 4 RC2 with "file monitor" turned off and "DBName" in mediamonkey.ini set to UNC path of mm.db on shared folder on WHS 2011. Can see and play all files and playlists in the library. *Can see and play all files and playlists shared via UPnP/DLNA under "Media Servers." Any changes made to the library/playlists are reflected immediately on all network devices.
Do you know if there's a way to restrict the library changes to a single desktop? Share permissions, maybe? Want to be able to share with all machines, but not allow any but mine to edit, if possible. (Way too many hours invested in that library!)
Lowlander
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by Lowlander »

I doubt it, as I don't think you can make the database read-only. You could force Party mode: http://www.mediamonkey.com/support/inde ... ticleid=45 which can prevent editing.

Also make sure the machines have only read-only access to the media files themselves.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
68rustang
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by 68rustang »

Are you worried about changes to the library DB file or the actual music files themselves? You can keep anybody from deleting media files with share permissions. I can't think of any way to restrict changes to the actual DB though.
KEP
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by KEP »

Yeah, good point on the files themselves. I'll just make those read-only.

As I read another thread, it did seem like the machines accessing the DB via UPnP/DLNA didn't have update rights at all, though? I guess I really need to just play with it, and see how it goes. Or maybe state my goal, and let y'all call me crazy. <g>

I'd simply like to manage the library from one machine, and access it from all the others. Don't want even "accidental" changes made from anywhere but the main workstation. Other machines are mostly a mix of Windows XP and 7, and one XBox. Crazy?
68rustang
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by 68rustang »

Nah, that basically what I am doing. Make the files themselves read only and you should be ok.
KEP
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by KEP »

68rustang wrote:Nah, that basically what I am doing. Make the files themselves read only and you should be ok.
Cool. I'll do that with the share. :)
GibsonXXI
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Re: MM as a central music server?

Post by GibsonXXI »

I'm not sure how it works with WHS but My configuration involves a NAS (NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 4) and a dedicated HTPC running a hybrid of W7 and XBMC. Now With this setup, I also wanted Media Player on my other systems to be able to access the files but not modify them or be able to write to the shares (as there is no way, currently, to stop Media Player replacing all your album art with low quality versions, and art files with absurdly long filenames (as a pose to a simple Folder.jpg file).

I got around this problem by configuring independant user accounts on the NAS. Each one belongs to an individual machine (including the one running MediaMonkey). And set permissions for these users to READ-ONLY on the share storing my music. I then point Media Player at this share.

But in order to still be able to modify the files, I created an extra user (that is also the user i use for remote access when i'm away from home). I gave this user full permissions to the share.

Now Windows only allows one set of credentials per UNC path. However you can use multiple credentials if you specify the path as HOSTNAME and by IP address on the same machine, like so;

\\HOSTNAME\Share\Music Folder (One set of credentials - added to Media Player for example - Read Only)
\\IP-Address\Share\Music Folder (Different Set of Credentials - Added to MediaMonkey - Full Access).

The MediaMonkey Db isn't on the NAS, but two of the machines run XBMC and the Db for that IS on the NAS, running via a MySQL addon.
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