ted & pamela

Archive for August 2010

Streaming music from Windows to Linux

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Pamela and I had a problem we thought would be simple to solve: we have all of our music on one computer, and we want to make it available over the network to all of the other computers in the house. Sounds like it should be a pretty common problem (at least among the tech crowd), right?

Well, since we use iTunes on our Windows and Mac machines, we figured we’d try iTunes sharing first. This worked great… except that there doesn’t seem to be any way to stream music from iTunes to Linux. iTunes doesn’t run under Wine, and DAAP streaming from iTunes hasn’t worked since iTunes 6.

After a bit of searching around, I decided to try running a DAAP server on the Windows 7 machine to serve our music. Based on what I had read, our our other Windows and Mac machines should be able to stream music from the DAAP server using iTunes, and our Linux box should be able to do the same with a common player like Rhythmbox. However, the only server that people seemed to be using was Firefly, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to install it — it hasn’t been updated since 2007, and there’s never been a “stable” release of it for Windows.

Following some more hesitation and searching around, I decided that Firefly was probably the only free option available, so I gave it a shot. I downloaded the latest nightly build, from May 17 2007, and installed it. The installation went smoothly, but it didn’t seem to serve any music. Looking over the logs (which really aren’t user friendly), it appeared that Firefly might be having permissions issues, so I decided to modify the service to use my own login credentials. That seemed to do the trick.

Whew. I think we have streaming music in the house now. It’s still amazing that the DAAP server everyone’s using hasn’t been updated in the last three years…