Originally Posted by prouddad1
Sounds like you have quite a bit of experience in this area. I'm just getting started. I have a NAS and after a few weeks of getting things set up I'm learning the pitfalls of DLNA.
Not to bag on DLNA, its just not explained very well in product literature. This thread has helped tremendously.
So, to stay on topic, what is the best "DLNA" software package? Actually, I will be more specific. I've been looking at network media players but b/c DLNA seems to be in infancy, I'm thinking a netbook might be the best choice until this technology matures a bit. Thoughts?
BTW, I like VLC as a player and plan on running linux on the netbook (or media player/nettop). The NAS does well streaming music on its own with its integrated music player. Any software and/or hardware recommendations?
Oh, contraire. I started learning about all this around mid-November when I preordered my Netgear NeoTV 550 and following that thread ever since. Around late November I purchased my first WDTV Live+ for my daughter's playroom to get her and her many Disney and Dora DVD's out of my living room and play from the network. Then I've been trying to standardize on file formats to play across my house, ultimately ditching the PS3 in favor or a second Live+ for my HT. I started this thread so that you all could teach me!
Everything I know about streaming movies, NAS, metadata, etc, is from reading the NeoTV 550 thread, the WDTV Live thread, the WDTV Live+ threads, and a few others off and on. I feel dumb when I read those.
For music, I started several years ago with a slew of mp3's on my computer that I've accumulated over the years. I used to play them on a laptop through an Edirol USB D/A converter hooked over RCA's into my receiver or guitar amplifier for parties elsewhere. Then I built my home theater and purchased a Denon 3808 in December 2007 that was my first networked attached media device. I could stream Windows Media playlists to it really making it easier to make and enjoy custom playlists around the house. Then WMP 12 came out with DLNA "Play To," and that reallly unlocked a new dimension in home media.
Unfortunately, DLNA's video support is poor so it's not really a consideration with selecting a media player specifically for video; however, most of them support DLNA these days anyway which is better for music. On the WDTV Live threads there are those that report accessing the DLNA server for M2TS and MKV files for better network performance and less stuttering. This is a complex discussion that I won't deal with here.
For software, I've gone round and round with this. I downloaded Media Monkey to start cleaning up the metadata on my music files and add cover art. It's a great free tool. When I opened WMP 12, it would automatically rewrite the metadata in the songs added to my library erasing hours of work. Even when I unchecked all of the automatic media information retreival options, it would still write over the metadata with blank information. After not being able to figure this out, I removed WMP from my system in its entirety and installed Twonky Media Manager. Twonky is a no frills reliable DLNA media server for music, photos, and supported video. It's cheap, but it is a reference DLNA server so it promises to play nice with all media renderers and other media servers on your network.
So now my system is as follows:
Living Room - NeoTV 550
Playroom - WDTV Live+
HT/Basement - WDTV Live+, Denon 3808, PS3
Server is my 4-core Intel Q8200 desktop
Twonky Media Manager for media server and music playback on desktop
VLC for video playback on my desktop
Media Monkey to manage music metadata and cover art
Media Center Master for movie and TV show metadata and cover art
iTunes because I can't live without my iPhone
PlugPlayer app on iPhone that I can control any DLNA supported music, photos, and video to all of my devices. In other words, I walk around the house and use my iPhone as a remote control for the music coming out of the nearest media player.
Prouddad1, I don't know anything about netbooks and am not sure how you would use it as a media player. I'm pretty sure they don't have HDMI or component video connections for HD and lack the processing muscle to do it. A WDTV Live+ is the is the best thing going today for the money and basic HD video, music, and photo functionality. you can usually find new ones for $90 and refurbs sometimes can be had for $60-$70.
I would start with WMP 12 for your server software unless there is a specific requirement that is not being met. Then look at one of the following: Twonky, Tversity, Mezzmo, or J.River. All of those have free trials.
Disclaimer: there are many different philosophies and possibilities on server software, media playback devices, file formats, and every facet of media networking. It really depends on what your priorities and specific requirements are.