Stream music From home Server
A general definition for “server” is something that serves or is used in serving. A more specific definition of the kind of server we’ve been discussing in the book is a host computer which serves the needs of client computers in a Local Area Network (LAN).
For the purposes of this chapter, serving the needs of a client involves a very basic function: serving files to the clients in a network. In this chapter, we will be discussing how Windows Home Server 2011 integrates with various network devices – PCs, network media receivers, games consoles and Connected TVs to share and stream media files. Yes, unless you’re really into backup, it’s time to talk about the fun stuff – Entertainment.
As part of the standard Windows Home Server 2011 installation, a number of shared folders are created:
- Recorded TV
As Microsoft target Windows Home Server to the home (funnily enough, given the name) four of those five folders deal with media files. Of those four folders, three of them deal with the more interesting media types which are:
These particular folders are designed to contain specific files types, as suggested by their names, for serving to clients in the home network. When I say “clients”, I mean not only other computers (PC, Mac and hey, Linux too!) in the network, but other devices such as dedicated media players.
Like Windows 7, Windows Home Server 2011 is a DLNA-compliant operating system. Don’t worry so much about the acronym (okay, it stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance, trivia fans, a group of companies who got together to define a set of common networking standards and protocols for media sharing). If the media receiving device is also DLNA-compliant, you will be able to stream media that is not natively supported through the magic of transcoding a file as it is being served to the receiving device/program. As transcoding requires a fair amount of computing power, and if transcoding is something that you think or know you will need, please make sure that the server hardware (typically the CPU) is powerful enough to handle on-the-fly transcoding. We discuss transcoding and hardware requirements extensively in Chapter 9.
Prior to serving media to your clients, there is one item you should check to ensure that your media folders are accessible to your home network users. In the Windows Home Server 2011 Dashboard, open the Server Folders and Hard Drives tab, open the Server Folder tab, highlight a folder, and click on View the folder properties.
This opens the Folder Properties dialog from you can check the sharing rights of various users in the home network. Make sure users have at least Read rights to each to these shared media folders.